“I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was,” Geraldo Rivera told Fox and Friends anchors Brian Kilmeade and Juliet Huddy Friday morning.
The Fox News contributor argued that Martin’s choice of clothing was as responsible for his death as the man who pulled the trigger. He added that parents of black and Latino children should urge them not to wear hooded sweatshirts. The clothing, Rivera contends, has an association with convenience-store robberies and mugging old ladies.
In response to the “Million Hoodie March” held in New York this week, Rivera comments, “You cannot rehabilitate the hoodie.”
The hooded sweatshirt has a bad reputation on both sides of the Atlantic; in the U.K. it is sometimes seen as synonymous with youth crime and hooliganism. In a 2006 speech, current British Prime Minister David Cameron referred to the hoodie as “the uniform of a rebel army of young gangsters.” During the 2011 London riots, images of hoddie-clad looters filled television screens and newspaper front-pages, further linking the fashion with bad behavior. In some parts of the U.K, the hoodie has become highly politicized, a symbol of a generation of lost youth.
Rivera goes on to say he’s willing to bet money that if Martin would not have been wearing a hoodie on the night of his death, he would not have meet such a violent end. Rivera took to Twitter this afternoon to defend his position.
Martin, a 17-year-old Florida teen, was shot and killed by Zimmerman on February 26 as he walked through a subdivision in Sandford, Fla. Zimmerman claims he was acting in self-defense.
Public ire over the circumstances of Martin’s death has spurred millions to sign and online petition and join rallies in protest across the nation. Even President Obama addressed the issue telling reporters, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon Martin.”