I guess Geraldo Rivera wants to invite some more criticism for his remarks this week on "Fox & Friends," blaming the victim because of his attire in the Trayvon Martin shooting case, because he decided to double down this Friday on Bill O'Reilly's show.
Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera is standing by remarks he made today regarding the killing of 17-year-old black teen Trayvon Martin. On Fox & Friends this morning, Rivera claimed that "the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin's death as George Zimmerman."
Tonight, appearing on Bill O'Reilly's Fox News show to talk about New York's stop-and-frisk practice -- a tactic employed by the New York City Police Department to curb crime that critics say unfairly targets young minority men -- Rivera again highlighted attire, including the "hoodie," as the reason most young men of color are branded as suspicious. He went on to repeat his advice to young minority men, including his own sons, to avoid dressing "like a wannabe gangster," because "some knucklehead is gonna take you at your word and the tragedy is gonna result."
He stressed, however, he was not "blaming the victim for his own demise" in Martin's case, saying that "it is reality" that minorities wearing hoodies "could attract the attention, not only of the cops, but of nutjobs apparently like this George Zimmerman." He added: "And when they see and respond -- it is a stereotype, it is repugnant, it is all the things that offend us, but it is real life."
He concluded by saying: "I care about saving the lives of minority youngsters."
Full transcript below the fold.
O'REILLY: "Fridays with Geraldo" segment tonight. Crime in New York City is down big and police say that's because of aggressive police action. But the stop-and-frisk technique is being criticized by some in the minority community. Last year there were more than 684,000 searches on the streets of New York City; 87 percent of those involve African-American are Latino people.
But the NYPD says 96 percent of shooting victims in the city are people of color and the cops seized more than 8,000 weapons as a result of stop-and-frisk.
With us now Fox News anchor, Geraldo Rivera. Do you support stop-and- frisk?
GERALDO RIVERA, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: Generally I do. I support the Bloomberg administration. I think Michael Bloomberg is the best mayor New York has ever had and he's got the best police commissioner in Ray Kelly. They tell me that they need this to keep the city safe and I believe them. I know it's a damn pain in the neck and worse for minority youngsters.
But interestingly enough, I don't hear a lot of complaints from their parents. I don't hear a lot of black moms in Bushwick in Brooklyn or the south Bronx calling me up and saying this stop-and-frisk is horrible.
What do they say is the city is a lot safer than it used to be. The graffiti is gone, the squeegee men are gone and street crime is down.
But there are lawsuits now. And none have been successful. But there are lawsuits about stop-and-frisk now.
O'REILLY: What do you think is the driving force? Look, the cops can prove that they have dropped crime by aggressive policing. They can prove.
RIVERA: 10 years in a row.
O'REILLY: -- 8,000 guns. That's a lot of guns in a year it's a lot of guns.
RIVERA: Look I think more importantly, murder is half as much now as it was 10 years ago.
O'REILLY: Right. So -- so the bad guys know that if they're walking around with a piece, they've got a good chance of being stopped.
RIVERA: The law as I understand the law is that if there is a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot, the cops can then stop, question and if necessary, frisk the young men involved. It's usually young men. And I'm telling you half of it is the way the young men look.
What is a reasonable suspicion, it's based on a subjective judgment. If a cop looks at three kids on the corner and they've got those hoodies up. And this is where I got in trouble with the Trayvon Martin kid is they've got those hoodies up and they're hanging out on the corner, the cops look at them and say, hoodies, who else wears hoodies? Everybody that ever stuck up a convenience store. D.B. Cooper, the guy that hijacked the plane. Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, who wears these hoodies?
O'REILLY: So what you did on "FOX & FRIENDS" this morning was that you said that your children you would tell them not to wear this hoodies.
RIVERA: And I do, yes.
O'REILLY: Right -- not to wear certain clothing because it attracts attention from not only law enforcement but maybe some other bad guys. And that this Trayvon Martin who we talked about in "Talking Points" had this hood on, right?
O'REILLY: And that you think might have attracted the attention of the shooter, Zimmerman?
RIVERA: My thesis is parents don't let your kids go out wearing these damn hoodies because they could attract the attention not only of the cops but of nut jobs apparently like this George Zimmerman.
O'REILLY: That's what you said. Right.
RIVERA: And when -- when they see and respond, it is a stereotype. It is repugnant. It is all the things that offend us. But it is real life, it is reality.
O'REILLY: So why are people are getting mad at you then?
RIVERA: Because they feel I am blaming the victim for his own demise and I am not.
O'REILLY: Ok this is exactly. You know I hate this because I have so much in common with Geraldo, who is a loon. All right, now this is exactly --
RIVERA: Bet you're going to grow a mustache.
O'REILLY: This is exactly what happened to me when there was a murder -- a girl from Jersey 18 years old. Murdered at 4:00 in the morning when she was wandering around the meat packing district by herself with no shoes on. And I said that's not wise. That is not a good strategy for anyone.
If you're going to come into the city from Jersey or Connecticut or anywhere get blown out of your mind with alcohol and wander around at 4:00 in the morning, you're going to get hurt. And know what they went, they went after me for criticizing her.
And I wasn't doing that. I was doing a cautionary tale which is exactly what you are doing.
RIVERA: I am absolutely and I don't care about the criticism. I can handle an avalanche of tweets and Facebook postings, I don't really care. I have been around forever. And people know I'm the one that punched out the KKK and the neo Nazis. I've stood by this --
O'REILLY: But you can't be (inaudible) by every tweet --
RIVERA: And I don't intend to. But I am -- I am ignoring or I am taking their criticism and putting it aside because I don't care about it because I care about saving the lives of minority youngsters.
O'REILLY: Your advice, my advice was good advice.
RIVERA: You have to dress, people take you at what you look like.
RIVERA: It is unfortunate. But if you dress like a want to be gangster some knuckle head is going to take you at your word and the tragedy is going to result.
O'REILLY: And challenge you.