Geraldo Rivera is apologizing for his “hoodie” remarks about Trayvon Martin that touched off a media firestorm last week, saying,
“I have obscured the main point that someone shot and killed an unarmed teenager.”
“I apologize to anyone offended by what one prominent black conservative called my ‘very practical and potentially life-saving campaign urging black and Hispanic parents not to let their children go around wearing hoodies,’” Rivera said in an email to POLITICO Tuesday, citing a piece in the National Review penned by Thomas Sowell.
Rivera said that
“by putting responsibility on what kids wear instead of how people react to them I have obscured the main point that someone shot and killed an unarmed teenager,” and that he was offering a “sincere and heartfelt apology” to anyone he may have offended in his “crusade to warn minority families of the danger to their young sons inherent in gangsta style clothing; like hoodies.”
Rivera’s apology comes days after the Fox News host said on the air last week that Martin – a black teenage boy that was shot and killed by neighborhood watch captain George Zimmerman – died because he had been wearing a hoodie.
“I am urging the parents of black and Latino youngsters particularly to not let their children go out wearing hoodies,” Rivera said on “Fox & Friends” last Friday. “I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.”
Rivera’s comments drew fire from critics that accused the TV and radio personality for suggesting that dark-skinned individuals that sport hoodies are perceived by others as a “gangsta” and a “menace” to society, and that this was the reason Martin was targeted by Zimmerman. After his comments went viral, Rivera admitted that his own son Gabriel was “ashamed” of him.
Since his remarks first aired last week, Rivera said he has been “buried under an avalanche of rage and ridicule” and accused of blaming Martin for his own death – something he vehemently denies as having been his intention.
“I remain absolutely convinced of what I said about asking for trouble. There’s trouble enough for minority boys and young men not to provoke mad responses from paranoid jerk offs,” he said.
Rivera, who also offered an apology on his radio show Tuesday morning, added, “[M]y own family and friends believe [that] I have obscured or diverted attention from the principal fact, which is that an unarmed 17-year old was shot dead by a man who was never seriously investigated by local police. And if that is true, I apologize.”