- (Photo: Twitter/Andrew Dallos)
Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera has stirred up a hornet's nest with comments suggesting that by wearing a hoodie, Trayvon Martin was setting himself up for trouble.
"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," Rivera said on Fox and Friends. "I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin's death as George Zimmerman was."
When asked what he meant by his comments, Rivera explained.
"It's those crime scene surveillance tapes. Every time you see someone sticking up a 7-Eleven, the kid's wearing a hoodie," he continued. "Every time you see a mugging on a surveillance camera or they get the old lady in the alcove, it's a kid wearing a hoodie."
"You have to recognize that this whole stylizing yourself as a gangsta- you're going to be a gangsta wannabe? Well, people are going to perceive you as a menace," he said.
Rivera's words come one day after a Million Hoodie March in New York City drew hundreds of protestors. Martin's parents and New York officials were at the march and spoke about the 17-year-old shot by a Neighborhood Watch member.
"I know I'm black," city councilman Jumaane Williams told the crowd. "But I'm not a criminal. I'm a city councilman. Some of us are doctors; some of us are [the] President of the United States of America. Our blood is not cheap," Williams added.
However, Rivera sees things differently.
"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," commented Rivera, who has Puerto Rican ancestry himself.
People have been enraged by Rivera's comments and have brought attention to the fact that Rivera has been photographed wearing a hoodie of his own.
"I can't [deal] with Geraldo Rivera today. Got too much to do. But I will say one thing: Trayvon Martin's hoodie didn't murder him. Zimmerman did," noted Twitter user 5'6" Owl.
"Geraldo Rivera HAD to have said that for attention," suggested Raphael Nelson. "There is no way he is serious."