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Geraldo Rivera’s Parental Advice in Wake of Trayvon Martin’s Death: Don’t Let Your Kids Wear Hoodies

Geraldo Rivera has a sweet mustache. Too bad it doesn’t cover his mouth because maybe then we wouldn’t have been able to hear his idiotic takeaway from the Trayvon Martin tragedy. By now everyone knows the story of the 17-year-old who was gunned down by George Zimmerman in a supposed act self-defense despite the fact that the only weapon Martin had was a bag of Skittles.

But what you may not know is that Rivera appeared on Fox & Friends this morning to offer his two cents on the tragedy, and if you were expecting the full two cents, then you got shortchanged. Because Geraldo’s take is worthless.

Rivera attributes the death to attire, saying that Martin’s choice to wear a hoodie just might have been a fatal one. You’ll know that the block quotes which appear below are legit, because there’s no way I could ever make them up. Here, for example, is Rivera’s parental advice in light of the tragedy.

I am urging the parents of black and Latino youngsters particularly to not let their children go out wearing hoodies. I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.

No word yet on whether or not that advice extends to parents of NFL coach Bill Belichick, or, for that matter, if the hoodie has sought legal counsel.

Seriously, y’all, “W” stands for wow. On the heels of one of the most notorious and senseless hate crimes in recent history, when most are demanding that the man responsible be brought to justice, Rivera’s calling for parents to institute a dress code. I’m far from the only one taken aback by Rivera’s take. The blogosphere is blowing up with many clever responses, one of my favorites belonging to Washington Post blogger Alexandra Petri.

Below I’ve embedded the video of Rivera’s remarks, in part because there are too many ignorant quotes for me to reference here, though I suppose I could highlight just a couple more before I give you my pithy reaction.

Every time you see someone sticking up a 7-11, the kid’s wearing a hoodie.

So true. Say, who’s up for a Pollack joke?

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.

Don’t know about you, but with shrewd bets like that, I wish Geraldo had helped me fill out my tourney bracket. Because that thing is sucking it right now.

When one of the Fox & Friends anchors brought up the Million Hoodie March, Rivera offered the following nugget of wisdom:

You cannot rehabilitate the hoodie.

Wow. That’s deep. He oughtta write fortune cookies.

So look, maybe the hoodie can’t be rehabilitated, but how about common sense? Can it be rehabilitated? Because Rivera’s got this thing all wrong on two counts. First, by advising parents to not let their kids wear hoodies, he’s empowering bigots like George Zimmerman to act like bigots. What’s next, Geraldo? Gonna advice women to wear burlap sacks lest they get raped?

But second, by reaching out to the parents, he’s going the wrong way. To prevent future George Zimmermans, we should be reaching out to our children and telling them that hate crimes will not be tolerated. That discrimination of any kind is wrong, whether it be based on race, gender, creed, or clothing, for crying out loud. And that good people can make a difference by rallying around good causes and demanding justice when injustice has been committed.

The lessons here are ones based on kindness and tolerance for our children. Not ones based on suspicion and intolerance for their parents.

So, seriously Geraldo, get with the times, or get off the air. If the latter, maybe you can kill some of your newly created time by yelling at those damn kids to get off your lawn. Especially if they’re wearing hoodies.

Here’s that video.

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