Geraldo Rivera has been sticking to his talking points that if Trayvon Martin had not been wearing a hoodie, he may not have been shot and killed by George Zimmerman and that "dressing like a wannabe gangster" contributed to his death. On his show this Sunday evening, Rivera was called out for his blame the victim game by Martin's attorney, who chastised Rivera for embarrassing his son again with the hoodie remarks and likened his justification of the Martin shooting to those who would justify rape by blaming the victim for what clothing they were wearing.
As our friends at News Hounds reported, this past Friday, Geraldo went on Bill O'Reilly's show and said this: Geraldo Rivera: It’s Reasonable For George Zimmerman To Have Racially Profiled Trayvon Martin Because Of His Size, Race And Hoodie “Thugwear”.
Here's more from their post on Geraldo being called out by Martin's attorney, Benjamin Crump: Trayvon Martin Attorney Tells Geraldo Rivera: You’re Embarrassing Your Son Again With Your Latest Hoodie Comments:
Tonight, Crump compared Rivera’s comments to a justification for rape based on the victim wearing a short skirt. “You can’t have that in America. You just can’t.”
Rivera said the reason he mentioned the hoodie on O’Reilly was because the surveillance video at the 7-11 where Martin bought his candy and iced tea shortly before he died showed “such a contrast - what – you know, Trayvon really looked like that night, as opposed to the little boy pictures that were released initially. That’s the only reason. If he had taken that damn hood off his head, if he and Zimmerman had only spoken… don’t you think that that could have avoided this awful tragedy?” In other words, Rivera was saying Martin looked dangerous.
Crump got right to what Rivera meant. He said, “Geraldo, two points: First of all, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, one of the richest men in the world, wears a hoodie every day. And so you mean to tell me if Mark Zuckerberg was walking through the gated community, he could be profiled and killed by George Zimmerman? You know, him and Trayvon both wore the same uniform – a hoodie and jeans. What’s the difference between the two?”
Rivera answered, “The difference is in the eye of George Zimmerman… Isn’t that the only subjective, you know, viewpoint? … Isn’t that what counts? I mean, I understand the reference and people can make fun of me all they want.” In fact, Rivera had defended, if not justified, Zimmerman's profiling of Martin:
Trayvon Martin looks just like the people who had been burglarizing and victimizing that neighborhood for the last six months. He was exactly the person that George Zimmerman, the property owner, feared. He looked just like the others. …
Profiling is based on, on a reasonable comparison. It may be profiling, Bill, but if he looks just like everybody else that committed the crimes in my neighborhood, that’s the person I’m going to focus my suspicions on.
As they noted Crump went on to compare Rivera's statements to justifying rape because a woman's skirt is too short and you can't have citizens out there racial profiling and acting on that rather than calling the police and letting them handle it.
Zimmerman's lawyer O'Mara called for waiting for all the evidence to come in before passing judgement on his client and said we should wait to find out who started what and sustained what injuries in the case, which is fair enough and what I'd expect from anyone representing his client. What initially had most people who were infuriated with the case is that there were no charges filed at all and that a jury was never going to have a chance to hear it. I'm happy along with most that this is no longer the case and that Zimmerman was finally charged and it's going to court.
That said, I do not understand how you're ever going to justify the person with the gun stalking the unarmed teenager and killing him no matter what sort of fight followed the confrontation between the two. And I don't know how anyone can conclude that these "stand your ground" laws are not contributing to needless deaths and people being allowed to potentially get away with murder, which sadly is a real possibility in this case depending on how the jury ends up feeling about what happened and how whether Florida's law might end up justifying this shooting in their minds.