[in the hoodie]
Geraldo Rivera has recently commented on the Trayvon Martin killing at the hands of George Zimmerman saying that the victim bore some of the responsibility for his own death because he wore a hoodie. There’s been an outcry from some over both the killing and the “stand-your-ground” law that enabled it but I’m betting that most of those people hadn’t had a chance to see Geraldo’s full argument. So before I comment, let’s take a look at what he actually said:
Sober minds will immediately realize that Geraldo is correct. Absolutely correct, in fact.
“Hoodie”, of course, derives from the word “hood” and “hood” is a truncation of the word “hoodlum”. So, it stands to reason, that by wearing a hoodie, you are pretty much announcing to the world you are a hoodlum. Many people believe that Trayvon’s killer, George Zimmerman, was part of a neighborhood watch. In fact, the media got it wrong. Zimmerman was part of a neighbor hoodie watch. And watch for neighbors’ hoodies, he did.
Geraldo knows this.
He clearly points out (quoting a Johnny Cash song): “Don’t take your gun to town, son, leave your gun at home…” Geraldo correctly applies this lyric to Tayvon Martin’s hoodie and not George Zimmerman’s gun. (Don’t be confused by the word “gun” in the song; it’s a metaphor – this is a song after all.)
Geraldo even makes the erudite connection of the hoodie to the Unabomber (god, he has an excellent research staff!) because nothing says “gangsta” like a pasty-white, middle-aged mathematician – in a hoodie.
Despite those on the left trying to shout him down, Geraldo has stuck to his guns – and good for him. Because he knows to bring a gun to a hoodie fight.
Trayvon Martin foolishly brought a hoodie to a gun fight.
It was Mark Twain who said “clothes make the man.” That’s really all Geraldo meant by his remarks on Fox News. (There’s more to the Mark Twain quote but it gets us off topic, so there’s no point in discussing it here.)
Geraldo’s insights on this topic were an epiphany for me. I realized that my experience in life could be enhanced through a mere wardrobe change. So, employing the Geraldo principle of “clothes make the man”, I decided to dress like a banker. After all, bankers get a lot of respect from the government. When they lose money, the government graciously gives it back to them. I like that deal. I’ve lost a lot of money over the years – couch cushions, stock market – and it would be fantastic for the government to mint me some in replacement.
For what the government would pay, I could afford to buy a fine new suit with all the trimmings. Donning this attire, I confidently strode into my Congresswoman’s office. I had hoped her staff would figure out I was a banker and simply give me a check. It didn’t work. (I did get a nice glossy brochure on her accomplishments, though, printing paid for with my tax dollars.) After that experience, I figured I needed to highlight the quality of the suit, so I wore it inside out – making sure the labels showed – when I went to visit my Senators’ offices. In both cases, not only was I shown the door, but I was also followed out of the building by armed security.
This wear-a-suit-and-become-a-banker idea didn’t seem to be working. In the end, I realized that the fault wasn’t Geraldo’s logic, it was mine. After all, he never said people will think you are a banker if you wear nice clothes – his remarks were (a) confined to hoodies and (b) confined to race (“black and latino particularly”).
In other words, Geraldo Rivera (and his Fox News friends) stated something quite simple: if you are black or latino, wear nice clothes and no one will feel threatened or nervous.
But, in that case, surely Geraldo Rivera (and his Fox News friends) would understand why the Nation of Islam requires its members to look sharp in public with neatly tailored suits. Surely, Geraldo Rivera (and his Fox News friends) would not feel compelled “to cross the street” when then see a black or latino man in a suit – no hoodie! – coming toward them. Surely, Geraldo Rivera (and his Fox News friends) would be promoting this video of Malcolm X – in a nice, non-threatening suit! – explaining why a “stand-your-ground” law makes sense. Surely.
Update (March 29, 2012): Geraldo issued an apology for his remarks – kind of. After days of doubling down and fighting back, his apology is more reminiscent of the Fonz: “I was wrrrrr….. wrrrr….. wrrrr… ” Wonder what those who supported him at the network think now?
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