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Geraldo Rivera’s Justifications for Murder

Geraldo Rivera’s Justifications for Murder

By Linda Rigas (3/27/12)

Geraldo Rivera’s argument that Trayvon Martin would not have been killed if he hadn’t been wearing a hoodie is akin to what women who are raped are told: it's your fault for wearing a short skirt, it's your fault for flirting, it's your fault for drinking in the company of man who you allege raped you, etc. Rivera's logic reeks of the "personal responsibility" rhetoric that comes up all too often when the crimes of the police are given the benefit of the doubt.

Several of the news stories commenting on what happened to Trayvon Martin are saying that they need to know more about what happened. They keep using the language of "in this country, you are innocent until proven guilty" as the news surfaces that people are demanding a citizen's arrest. Yet this standard never applies when it comes to young black youth who are gunned down for simply being in the "wrong place at the wrong time" and whose wallets or bags of candy get "mistaken" for guns.

Supposedly, Zimmerman hasn't even told his lawyer what specifically he found suspicious about Trayvon before he shot him down. This means that the police (and others under the “Stand your ground” law) have unilateral authority to use any amount of force no matter how unreasonable under the circumstances.

Every time another young Black man is killed by the police, the media hypes the idea that there that if these youth were "trying to just make something of themselves" as opposed to being involved in street culture, then they wouldn't have come under fire from the police to begin with. 

Michael Eric Dyson has spoken about being stopped by the police for breathing while Black/ being Black when he was a graduate student at Princeton and when he tried to explain that he was in graduate school to the police they didn't believe him, laughed at him, and continued to hassle him. There is no recourse for this kind of behavior under the so-called criminal justice system.

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