Editor's Update: Geraldo Rivera's son is ashamed of his father's comments about Trayvon Martin's hoodie, according to a Tweet by Geraldo earlier today.
Yet Geraldo has not changed his stance:
Cole: I really tried to not write this article. I wanted to let this story play and comment when necessary because this subject hits too close to home.
Then? It happened.
Earlier today, Fox News correspondent, Geraldo Rivera opined on air that the dreaded hooded sweatshirt, "is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin's death as George Zimmerman was." He went onward to say that, “When you see a kid walking down the street, particularly a dark-skinned kid like my son Cruz … What’s the instant association? It’s those crime scene surveillance tapes. Every time you see someone sticking up a 7-Eleven, the kid’s wearing a hoodie.”
To borrow a catchphrase from a wrestler, "Really? Really, Geraldo? Really?"
This logic makes about as much sense as saying dirt is the best cleaning agent for a tile floor! To make the assumption that this 17-year-old male had this coming because he was African-American and wearing a hoodie is absolutely, completely asinine! Can Geraldo really assume that one who's dressed in a suit and tie wouldn't be subject to such a heinous crime?
When I was 23, I was walking down the street wearing a white buttoned-down long sleeve shirt, beige khakis and a brown tie along with a backpack. At that time, I went to school and then work. So, coming home from work, I decide to walk straight to the neighborhood burger joint. About a half-mile from the place, a police officer stopped me and asked questions. I was polite and told him what he needed to know. Off he went, right?
When I got into the establishment, the officer walks into the place and asks me for my ID a second time! The harassment was getting borderline idiotic, the owner of the burger joint told the cop to leave. The explanation I received from the officer? "There's someone who fits your description."
That was an out-and-out boldface lie!
So, for me to hear such inane garbage by a journalist saying what he wore contributed as much to his death as the imbalanced human being who murdered him is a harsh pill for me to swallow! However, that might be right. I mean people like Bernie Madoff robbed hard-working American citizens blind with his mortgage Ponzi scheme, all while at the comfort of his office wearing a suit! Until 2008, no one was the wiser – but he couldn't possibly be a criminal. Yet, a 17-year-old African-American who puts on a hoodie and armed only with a bag of Skittles and an Arizona iced tea, has, "Kill me" written all over him?!
When will Americans get it through their thick heads? We are a people of divergent backgrounds, races, creeds, cultures and understandings. We are to love one another because of those differences - not discriminate by them. Statements like the one Rivera madetear at the fabric of this very country. It should make the Founding Fathers moan and shake their heads. I know it should do the same for all of us, here, today.
Geraldo,let me educate you on a man I'm sure you aspired to cover when you were a collegiate student, "We are to judge people not by the color of one's skin but by the content of their character." Let me extend further on Dr. King's words: We are also not to judge people on the choices of their wardrobe. I agree that we should dress in ways that are respectable. However, there isn't an outfit made on God's green earth or God's blue Heaven that's created to be an invitation for someone else to kill them.