One of the key aspects of rape culture is to place the blame for sexual assault on the women who are attacked, and not the actual rapists. Statements like “You shouldn’t have been wearing that,” and questions like “why were you walking alone,” are all variations on “you were asking for it.” If Geraldo Rivera is any indication, it seems that this logic also applies to violence against black boys:
I believe that George Zimmerman, the overzealous neighborhood watch captain should be investigated to the fullest extent of the law and if he is criminally liable, he should be prosecuted. But I am urging the parents of black and Latino youngsters particularly to not let their children go out wearing hoodies. I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was. [Emphasis mine]
On Twitter, he elaborated further, “Trayvon killed by a jerk w[ith] a gun but black & Latino parents have to drill into kids heads: a hoodie is like a sign: shoot or stop & frisk me.”
Normally, I would add a snarky comment to the effect of “Shorter Geraldo.” But there’s no way to exaggerate the ridiculousness of this; Geraldo is actually arguing that because he wore a hoodie—in the rain, it should be said—Martin bears some responsibility for the fact that Zimmerman killed him. That Zimmerman equates black men and criminality, apparently, isn’t as much of a concern.