Fox News host Geraldo Rivera thinks he knows who or what is to blame for the slaying of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin: the hoodie did it.
Appearing on Fox News early Friday morning, Rivera conceded that George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch captain who shot Martin, should be investigated, but he urged black and Latino parents to not allow their children to wear hooded sweatshirts.
"I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin's death as George Zimmerman was," the host ranted. "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. That's what happens. It is an instant, reflexive action."
Rivera compared the situation to NPR firing Fox News contributor Juan Williams for saying he was scared of Muslims at the airport because of the way they dressed.
"That's an automatic reflex," Rivera explained. "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. Trayvon Martin, God bless him. He's an innocent kid, a wonderful kid, a box of Skittles in his hand, he didn't deserve to die, but I'll 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."
Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy noted that New Yorkers on Wednesday had held a "Million Hoodie March" in support of Martin.
"You cannot rehabilitate the hoodie," Rivera insisted. "I understand that the reaction might be overzealous or even irrational in some extent. You are not going to rehabilitate the hoodie. Stop wearing it!"
"There are some things that are almost inevitable. I'm not suggesting that Trayvon Martin had any kind of weapon or anything. He wore an outfit that allowed someone to respond in this irrational, overzealous way. And if he had been dressed more appropriately -- I think unless it is raining out or you are at a track meet, leave the hoodie home."
"Perception is reality," guest co-host Juliet Huddy agreed.
In fact, Zimmerman told the 911 dispatcher that it was raining as he was pursuing Martin.
"This guy looks like he's up to no good or he's on drugs or something," the neighborhood watch enthusiast said. "It's raining and he's just walking around, looking about. ... These a**holes always get away."
UPDATE: Even Geraldo's kid is embarrassed by his "blame the victim" anti-hoodie stance:
How bad is the backlash against Geraldo Rivera for blaming Trayvon Martin's shooting death on his choice of clothing? His own son is piling on.
"My own son just wrote to say he's ashamed of my position re hoodies [sic]," Rivera tweeted on Friday. "Still I feel parents must do whatever they can to keep their kids safe." [..] "It's not blaming the victim Its common sense-look like a gangsta&some armed schmuck will take you at your word," he added.