We know the story.

On February 26th, 17 year-old Trayvon Martin was killed by George Zimmerman, a self- appointed neighborhood watch captain in Sanford, FL. An unarmed Martin was walking home from the store when Zimmerman began pursuit on the inkling of him looking “suspicious,” and the subsequent ordeal ended in Martin’s murder. And five days ago, talk show host Geraldo Rivera spoke to Fox News and blamed Martin’s hoodie for his death: “It is common sense for minorities to avoid wearing hoodies…the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as Zimmerman was.”

After an onslaught of public outrage (Rivera’s son Gabriel even said he was ashamed of his father regarding the issue), Rivera went on to say he wasn’t “blaming the victim” but only “reminding minority parents of the risk that comes with being a kid of color in America.” He called it “common sense”.

Anyone else give his remarks the biggest side-eye they could muster up?

While Rivera continues to clarify his racially-charged comments, I’d love to know when this became a finger-pointing match? Since when did someone’s attire become justification for un-wanted attacks, either verbally or physically? So if we went by Mr. Rivera’s logic, let’s blame every female rape victim that wore a short skirt or midriff-baring top for their attack, which sadly happens more often than you think. What Rivera (and those narrow-minded people that think just like him) must understand is when you blame Trayvon’s hoodie for his death, you release the animal that committed the violence from the responsibility for what he has done. Instead, you place blame on an intimate item of clothing, and the assumptions ignorant and small-minded people make based on that clothing. More common than not, victim-blaming is most precedent in cases of sexual harassment, battery and you guessed it – racist hate crimes.

As if he couldn’t shove his foot down his throat even further, Rivera advised young minorities to “not be threatening”. What he really meant was if you act or dress in a manner where people will feel threatened, don’t be surprised if something bad happens to you. What he fails to realize is that it’s practically impossible to conform to some neutral, non-threatening way of living because “feeling threatened” is subjective. Our race alone is threatening to some people, whether we’re wearing three-piece suits or A-line dresses and pearls. Sticking to a strict dress code that excludes hoodies or miniskirts won’t keep our sons and daughters safe if our society, and our justice system, won’t do their part to protect them.

How did Geraldo Rivera’s remarks make you feel? Do you agree? Is Trayvon’s hoodie in any way responsible for his death?

-Krystal Franklin

  • LRM

    WOW. you really honed in on the exact depiciton of how mentally disturbing our society views all races but our race particulary. Its unfortunate that we are prejudged based on something we have absolutely no control over……..the color skin we are born with :( 4 thumbs up Krystal!!

  • SS

    Rivera’s comments was utterly ridiculous. Trayvon wasn’t murdered because of his hoodie. He was murdered because of the color of his skin. It’s saddening how the media is trying to place the blame of this malicious murder on everything and anything except for the actual killer, G. Zimmerman.

    Great read Krystal!!

  • Jana Bonds

    I think Krystal hit the nail on the head with this depiction of this story…I was oblivious to the comment Geraldo Rivera made about the hoodie Trayvon was wearing…which absolutely shows how narrowed minded people in this world are. Great Job Krystal!!!

  • Terri A.

    Well put! Based on Rivera’s logic I should ‘Annie Oakley’ every tobacco chewing, denim overalls wearing Bubba, with a confederate flag adorned in the back window of his Ford F150, right? I appreciate you bringing light to such an ignorant school of thought.

    • Dr. Sims

  • Kevin

    This was a really good read. Rivera’s comments were to get a reaction out of people and put himself in the mix of things. I believe that people who agree with Rivera are missing the part that really is common sense: It was night time in February. Who wouldnt be wearing some sort of jacket/hoodie regardless of race? If its chilly outside wear a jacket/hoodie. Thats common sense. He should criticize the warped way of thinking some people have instead of criticizing the people being judged.

  • JK

    What #TeamZimmerman fails to realize is that hoodies are meant for a number of things. It can be worn when it’s cold, it can be worn when it’s hot for individuals who have skin sensitive to sunlight, it can be thrown on quickly to run to the store, and in this case, it was worn because of the rain. Manufacturers of hoodies stay in business for a reason and I’m pretty sure that it’s not because of criminals. This could easily be solved if everyone just STUCK TO THE FACTS!!! Travyon was an unarmed teen that was followed and later murdered by a self-appointed watchman…A watchman that was instructed to stay in his vehicle.

  • Dr. Sims

    John Sanderson, anyone? Mississippi State…

  • B. Moore

    This article sums up everything I could feel. The point is, a beautiful, brown brother was gunned down in error. Not that he was suspended or any other *filler* information that they’re feeding us as of late. He was wearing appropriate attire for the weather and he’s out of order?!? Oh okay. My 15 year old nephew could be Trayvon Martin. This incident and similar acts of injustice take place throughout our country everyday, and it’s getting tiresome. Geraldo’s remarks warranted a major eye roll, and quite frankly, he said what he meant the first time, so the apology isn’t genuine. It just further reminds you of how far we have to go for equality.

  • Kaye Wade

    Very well put. This is such a horrific story and tragedy for our country. It saddens me as a mother of a baby boy that such ignorance, racial inequality, injustice, and incidents like this still occur in Black America hundreds of years after slavery. This child was walking home from the store with Skittles and Tea wearing a hoodie in the RAIN, pursued and shot down like a dog by a racist trigger happy self appointed neighborhood watchman. This man has yet to be held accountable for his unjust actions. As far as Geraldo is concerned his ignorant, classless, and tacky comment doesn’t even deserve a response. This whole story is sickening. Blaming the victim is BS and its sad that Blacks will NEVER be considered equal in a country where we built and invented everything.

    Justice for Trayvon!!!!!
    And justice for all.

    Blaming the victim NEVER SOLVES the problem, it simply creates another.

    Krystal Franklin this was a great read very well put. Keep the articles coming.

    • So Over This Ish

      I agree 100%. I’m still heartbroken by what happened to this young man. Justice for Trayvon Martin!

  • BB

    “the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as Zimmerman was”

    really? really? how could someone possibly say that. that an article of clothing caused his death. Zimmerman was the one who shot him not the hoodie. everyone wears hoodies.

    “risk that comes with being a kid of color in America”

    what the heck is that. everyone is human. everyone has different colors. there would be no risk if everyone accepted everyone else for what they looked like and who they were.

  • Bronze

    as I heard one NY Times columnist say,,,,no one wears clothes that say…come here rape me or please….shot me in the back.

  • Kevin Anthony

    I was unaware of the dreadful comment that Geraldo Rivera had made, but to put blame on an object that has no “Common Sense” for Trayvons death just gives you the notion of the thought process that we as human beings allow ourselves to even think about. George Zimmerman has now corrupted the freedom for an individual to express himself/herself through fashion having the fear of someone taking their life from their own suspicion of that person just because of what that person is wearing. R.I.P. Trayvon.

    Great Job Krystal!!!!
    I’m proud of you, your getting better and better with every article I read from you. Keep up the good work!!!

  • asashii

    well yeah its like 95 degrees outside why would someone wear a hoody, to cover the face not for warmth is what i’ve seen, should have called the cops and then let them take over after that even if you have a gun doesnt mean that someone else doesnt have one or more also, if i saw some tall dude in a hoody walking around in my neighborhood in the puring rain i wouldnt go ask him -What you doing without a gun too…. but if he would just let the cops do the job that they are paid for then possibly none of this would have happened, look at horror movies like every bad guy on the cover is wearing a hoody, i cover my face when its cold not to hide my face!!!!! just saying!!!!!!!!!!!

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