I’ve never been able to take Geraldo Rivera seriously. But now that he’s found himself under the spotlight of controversy with his statement last Friday on hoodies and the death of Trayvon Martin, I understand that he is serious…about being stupid. And then there is his age thing.
There is nothing I love more than seeing a man coming into his own on live television. A man who speaks his mind based on sound reasoning and rational thought is a rarity in today’s world (she writes with a heavy pen of sarcasm.) It’s gotta be that mustache…you spend so much time wondering how anyone can kiss someone with a mustache like that and if he has a special comb he uses to clear out the crumbs that you tune out the actual words and only listen to his authoritative tone. He’s like white noise for bigots.
It was this comment that got the party started:
I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.
If that’s not racial profiling, then I guess I need to put in a call to the dictionary people to get them to change the definition before more people start using the “hoodie” defense when they accidentally, or on purpose, shoot someone. (I think that determination is up to the police and the courts, not the media…but then, I’m a stickler that way.)
I think Nike, Lululemon and all the other makers of athletic gear should take note and start adding a warning label to their hooded sweats and jackets. “Wearing this article of clothing with the hood up could lead to serious bodily injury and/or death.” In small print they should also add: “We’re including this warning because we’ve found that people are stupid. This warning only applies to people of color; white people are exempt.”
As a Sl.ob [slut (former) and snob] I just know that any day now we’ll be seeing advertising featuring non-white models sporting hooded clothing with the slogan: “Be Daring. Wear a hoodie and let your next trip to the 7-11 be an adventure.”
Do a lot of young people wear hoodies? Yes. Do they wear low-slung jeans? Yes. Does that make them all murderous felon wannabe’s, rapists and thugs? According to Geraldo, yes. Because, after all…clothing makes the man and everyone should base their fears on first impressions.
The only crime people are committing when wearing clothing like this is a fashion crime. Wearing a hoodie makes you no more likely to be a vicious criminal than wearing a really short skirt makes a woman a slut. Showing cleavage does not mean you are “asking for it.” The only thing they are “asking for” is a good friend to tell them to rethink that outfit.
Society puts too much emphasis on style and not enough on substance. I wish Geraldo would use his high-profile pulpit to educate people about prejudices and bigotry instead of using words like these:
He called it “common sense” for minorities to avoid wearing hoodies. He said that he was “reminding minority parents of the risk that comes with being a kid of color in America.”
Sure, blame the parents. Some parents do deserve to be called out but telling your teen not to wear a hoodie because some white guy might shoot them is not the lesson parents should focus on. Educating and limiting the amount of ignorance among other parents and adults seems to me to be the better lesson.
But it’s an age thing, too. The older you become, the more fearful you get of anything different or something that doesn’t fit your concept of “correct or good behavior.” You are inching ever closer to your own mortality and in some people’s minds, like Geraldo — hoodies are worn by young people; young people are scary — that means hoodies are scary. Quick someone, hand me my gun.
There are greater risks than choosing to wear the hood of your jacket up or down. For example, listening to people like Geraldo and Rush Limbaugh…they are taking the wrong end of the stick and shaking it in people’s faces, which is only making things worse.
But then, it’s easier to use fear as a tool to educate. Saying no is always easier. Ask any parent of a four-year old. Saying that wearing a hoodie was the cause of Trayvon Martin’s death was the easy-out answer for Mr. Rivera.
“I’ll bet you money, if he didn’t have that hoodie on, that nutty neighborhood watch guy wouldn’t have responded in that violent and aggressive way.”
Telling a kid “if you wear a hoodie, you’ll be a victim of racial profiling” IS racial profiling. Am I the only one who gets this? Right there, Geraldo shows his ignorance and that blanket statements like this will only lead to more cases of violence and death.
I know that we don’t live in a perfect world. As much as I’m an idealist, I’m not a total moron. Some kids do wear hoodies and commit crimes. But not every kid is a “gangsta.” Some women do wear short skirts and show a lot of cleavage. But not every woman who does so is a hooker. Some people wear really god-awful mustaches but not all of them are demented crazy scientists…they just have something to hide…and what’s wrong with that? If it’s worth the aggravation of growing out a big, bushy mustache then odds are I don’t want to see what you’re hiding anyway.
My rather long get-to-the-point point is: don’t let clothing be the motive behind a heinous crime. Don’t judge everyone on their fashion sense…judge them on their actions. After all, some of the worst criminals in today’s world don’t wear hoodies…they wear $5,000-worth of hand-stitched English houndstooth suits and $2,000 Italian loafers. Like bankers. And Republican presidential candidates. Which goes to show there are exceptions to everything…them you can judge both ways.