Geraldo Rivera revealed his continued existence last week by taking a brave stand against brown kids wearing hoodies. Apparently, it’s gangsta and you will immediately be suspect. As many have been pointing out, hoodies are worn by… pretty much everyone, including Geraldo himself. (Jen Sorensen had a great cartoon on the hoodie/violence connection.) And if we are talking about only black and brown kids not wearing them, then maybe the problem isn’t hoodies at all.
I wish the victim-blaming sentiment was the worst we could point to in all this, but nasty racism is bubbling up all over as people search for ways not to empathize with a black person. (The idea apparently horrifies some Hunger Games fans.) That Trayvon was suspended from school for weed, was tall, and that the most widely seen photo of him is not current, does not retroactively justify his killing. The Martin’s probably weren’t photographing their 17 year-old son every day in hopes of disturbing the most current photo upon his death.
I was suspended from high school once. I even wore hoodies and smoked weed at that age. Quick – someone travel back in time and murder me!
Geraldo has since “apologized” in a statement that makes Rush’s apology to Fluke appear graceful: "I apologize to anyone offended by what one prominent black conservative called my "very practical and potentially life-saving campaign urging black and Hispanic parents not to let their children go around wearing hoodies.’”
Translation: I am deeply sorry you don’t understand how dangerous hoodies are.
News outlets have to stop falsely reporting apologies have taken place merely because the word ’apology’ is said in a victim-blaming rant.
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I used the McGruff the Crime Dog commercials from my childhood for this one. (As did McFadden in this great cartoon.) This PSA I ran carries an eerie vibe in light of Trayvon’s killing.