Friday, March 23, 2012

Don't Bring Your Hoodie to Town

Geraldo Rivera made an ass of himself on TV today.  This is, alas, not news, which would explain why it was on Fox. He misquoted Johnny Cash.  That wasn't even it, but I had to put that out there.  Sometimes the enormity of a thing is so vast and incomprehensible, you have to pick at something small to try to wrap your head around it.

I mean, yes, Rivera.  On what day is he not a fool? Fox "News," yep.  And yet...just when you think there is no possible way people can be more venal, more callous, more epically and outstandingly vile, they outdo themselves. It was an epiphany of sorts.  Rivera has had a long and storied career as a mystifyingly famous idiot. Today he reached an apotheosis, at least I devoutly hope that's what it was.  That he might have worse in him is too terrifying to contemplate.  It's enough to make a person believe in R'lyeh.

"I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trevon Martin's death as George Zimmerman was...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 way."

Yes, my friends and fellow citizens of Earth, he thinks that an adult man chasing a seventeen year old boy down the street after having been told by a 911 dispatcher not to do so and shooting said child is only partially that man's fault.   The wisdom of neighborhood watch carrying a gun in the first place, or the bizarre application of  "stand your ground" to include a public street and an unarmed opponent doesn't even enter into it.  The hoodie made him do it.

He went on to say that when people see a dark-skinned kid in a hoodie, they think that child is a menace and that we should all be aware of that.  You can't rehabilitate the hoodie, he says.

Oh, Lord.  You know what I think is a menace?  White guys with guns.

I mean, really.  Look at history.  The Chinese invented gunpowder and made fireworks.  Europeans invented gunpowder and made muskets, pistols, cannon, rifles, mortars, derringers, Thompson machine guns, howitzers, and 75 mm anti-aircraft guns.  For five hundred years and counting, the spectacle of some white people coming over the hill or sailing into the harbor or showing up on the doorstep in suits has made people the world over think, "Aw, shit.  Here they come. Are they armed?"

And nine times out of ten, when you hear on the news that someone has killed someone else in a completely bizarre whacknut vigilante way, with or without lengthy manifesto, it's a white guy.  With a gun and a lethal sense of entitlement.  I'll bet you money, if George Zimmerman hadn't gone out wearing a gun, he wouldn't have been able to react in that violent way.

So I'm urging all of you...don't let your white guys go out wearing guns.  Tell them people will look at them as a menace.  After five hundred years of history, you can't rehabilitate the white guy with gun look.  I'm just trying to save lives here.

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