Usually I like to spotlight three “worthy” contestants for my coveted monthly award. And even then, it’s difficult. As a good friend of mine is so fond of saying: “So many stupid people, so little time.”
However this month’s leading moron, like last month’s, was so far out in front that he earned the spotlight all to himself.
So, without further ado:
Geraldo Rivera: It’s hard to believe that at one point in his career, Rivera was actually a respected journalist. His 1972 investigative work on the abuses that were going on at the Willowbrook State School earned him a Peabody Award. From there his career has spiraled downward to the point where now he is below even the likes of Jerry Springer.
But, as embarrassingly bad as his career has turned out, he at least was, if nothing else, innocuous and, for the most part, irrelevant. That is until this past week. Rivera, while on Fox News, had this to say about the Trayvon Martin shooting.
“I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was. What’s the instant association? It’s crime scene surveillance tapes. Every time you see someone stick up a 7-11, the kid is wearing a hoodie. Every time you see a mugging on a surveillance camera or get the old lady in the alcove, it’s a kid with a hoodie.
“Remember Juan Williams, our colleague? He got in trouble with NPR because he said Muslim formal garb at the airport conjured a certain response in him? That’s an automatic reflex. He wasn’t defending it. He was explaining that’s what happened when he sees these particular people in that particular place.
“When you see a Black or Latino youngster, particularly on the street, you walk to the other side of the street. You try to avoid that confrontation. Trayvon Martin, God bless him, an innocent kid, a wonderful kid, a box of Skittles in his hands. He didn’t deserve to die. But I 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.”
Wow, stupid and racist; two for the price of one. Who knew old Geraldo had it in him?
First off, regarding Juan Williams, I don’t know which tape Rivera was watching, but Williams most definitely was defending his feelings toward Muslims who wore their formal garb. That was what got him fired – and deservedly so – from NPR.
Secondly, no attire – formal or otherwise – is a justification for someone to commit murder, which is what George Zimmerman did, pure and simple. It makes no difference what clothing Martin was wearing. Blaming the murder victim for wearing a “threatening” style of dress makes as much sense as blaming a rape victim for being too attractive. It’s offensive and completely irrelevant.
Here’s a question for Rivera and the far-right conservatives who are dragging this poor kid’s life through the mud. If Martin had been white and wearing a hoodie, would he have been shot? Of course he wouldn’t have.
It’s not the hoodie; it was never the hoodie. It was the young man wearing it. This wasn’t just a murder; it was a lynching. And the real crime here – other than Geraldo Rivera’s feeble attempt at journalism and his equally half-assed attempt at an apology – is that the mope who committed this heinous crime still hasn’t been arrested.