Friday, March 23, 2012

Brain to mouth filters

This is simultaneously hilarious and really, really tragic: Geraldo Rivera believes Trayvon Martin's hoodie contributed to his death.

No, not in the Charlie Brown kind of way (the Herald is at the point in our "Peanuts" rerun in which Linus' blanket is mounting an assault on Lucy) — more that, had a 17-year-old kid not been wearing a bulky shirt that covered up his face, he probably wouldn't have gotten shot.

In all fairness — not that Geraldo deserves it — he calls George Zimmerman a nutcase who pulled the trigger. At least we can agree on that.

I now present to you the case of Geraldo vs. the hoodie. You be the judge.

Argument: Hoodies create an instant negative association; every crime scene surveillance tape shows a teen wearing a hoodie.
I assume by "every" he means "many." However, it is possible that it's not the hoodie that's the problem. Maybe the problem is the teens. Maybe we shouldn't allow teens out in public.
Or, since men are more likely to commit violent crimes, perhaps we should not let men out in public.
Guns also are associated with crime. I think you know where I'm going with this.

Argument:  Where do you think the term "hoodlum" comes from?
I own two hoodies. One is for a soccer team and has a Psalm on the back; one is from a 5K and has a goofy-looking turkey on it. They're warm. Sometimes, frequently in winter, I put the hood on and walk down my street. Sometimes I do all that on other people's streets. Does that make me suspicious? Because if not, it's just the black skin, not the hoodie.

Argument: Hoodies make it seem like you have something to hide.
Sometimes you do. Like when I'm leaving the gym after swimming, I want to hide the fact that I look like a drowned rat. Or I'm going to the store on a Saturday and I don't feel like putting a bra on but have to do something to disguise that fact. Or when it is 20 degrees outside and I'm hiding as much skin as I can from the frigid air. Or when I feel fat and want a bulky sweater to blame it on.

Argument: Teens would look less like thugs if they didn't wear hoodies.
Let's say a teen is wearing jeans and a T-shirt. The shirt has a gang sign on it. Does he look like a thug?
Or pretend that a teen is wearing all the necessary colors to identify with a gang in the right part of town. Still less thuggish than a kid wearing a hoodie?
Or, he's got a gun in his pants and a gang sign tattooed on his neck. Still think the hoodie is the problem?

It's a no-brainer. Arguably, that's why Geraldo doesn't get it.

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