“You’re not going to rehabilitate the hoodie…There are some things that are almost inevitable. I’m not saying Trayvon Martin had a weapon or anything, but he wore an outfit that allowed someone to respond in this irrational, overzealous way. If he had been dressed more appropriately… unless it’s raining out, or you’re at a track meet, leave the hoodie at home.”
Lordy, lordy, lordy. “An outfit that allowed someone to respond in an irrational, overzealous way.” Does that sound familiar to anyone else? Is that not the exact logic victim-blamers use when using women’s clothing as an excuse for sexual harassment, assault, and rape? If she hadn’t been wearing…. If she hadn’t been acting so… If she wasn’t the type of girl who….
Outfits do not cause people to do stupid, hateful, bigoted things. To attribute someone’s irrational behavior to an inanimate object is to deny them agency and self-control. George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin’s shooter, should be offended. Geraldo’s allegation here is that Zimmerman is a man with no control over his body or his mind. He sees that hoodie, and he just can’t help himself.
And Trayvon, according to Geraldo’s logic, wanted to be viewed as a gangster. Choosing an item of clothing owned by every teenager in America is clearly a window into his desire to appear thuggish, not an indication that hoodies are the comfiest of comfy clothing. My brother is a sophomore in college. He is also white. A quick perusal of his Facebook is an overwhelming barrage of hoodies. These insidious items are everywhere! In every picture where he’s not wearing a basketball jersey or a prom tux, he’s wearing a hoodie. Do you find him suspicious, George Zimmerman? Would you justify an attack on him, Geraldo?
On a more positive note:
Related Post: A great allegory for victim-blaming, “after-donation regret.”
Related Post: Apparently, “I have friends who are black” is still a defense against racism.