Target: Geraldo Rivera
Goal: Condemn Geraldo Rivera’s offensive comments suggesting that violence is an acceptable reaction to seeing a minority in your neighborhood
Teenager Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in early 2012 while walking home from a convenience store with a can of iced tea and a bag of Skittles. Fox News host Geraldo Rivera previously made headlines for his controversial comments suggesting that Trayvon shares responsibility for his death with shooter George Zimmerman, because he chose to wear a hoodie as an African-American male. Now Rivera has gone a step further in implying that Trayvon Martin deserved to be killed.
Rivera speculates that anyone who saw Trayvon Martin in the neighborhood that night, including the jury of Zimmerman’s trial, would have killed him as well. “So it’s a dark night, a 6-foot-2-inch hoodie-wearing stranger is in the immediate housing complex. How would the ladies of that jury have reacted? I submit that if they were armed, they would have shot and killed Trayvon Martin a lot sooner than George Zimmerman did,” Rivera said in his comments on Fox News.
These comments are offensive and dangerous, because they imply that shooting is a normal or acceptable reaction to seeing an African-American teenager in your neighborhood. As with his previous comments, Rivera appears to be suggesting that minorities should expect to be attacked if they go outside at a certain time of day or wearing certain clothing because they are inherently suspicious. He presents these arguments not as if he sees a problem with this viewpoint, but as if it is something that minorities should just accept as a fact of life.
Please sign the petition below to let Geraldo Rivera know that it’s not acceptable, and that there is absolutely no justification for racial profiling. No one deserves to be shot because of what they are wearing or the color of their skin.
Dear Geraldo Rivera,
It is a sad result of our nation’s history that many innocent people are victims of violence because of prejudice and profiling. The death of any such victim should be the cause of sadness and, more importantly, a desire to ensure it never happens again. Unfortunately, your recent comments about the Trayvon Martin case seems to normalize racial profiling and violence as an acceptable response to seeing someone of a different race in your neighborhood.
To imply that anyone would have shot an unarmed teen simply because he was African-American and wearing a hoodie is to imply that this is a perfectly rational thing to do. Like your comments last year, it suggests that minorities are inherently suspicious and asking for trouble. This is offensive and wrong. No one deserves to be shot because of the color of their skin or what they are wearing. Please apologize for your recent comments that normalize and justify violence against minorities.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: SRintoul via Wikimedia