Fox's Geraldo Rivera: "If You Dress Like A Wannabe Gangster ... Tragedy Is Gonna Result"

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Fox News contributor Geraldo Rivera is standing by remarks he made today regarding the killing of 17-year-old black teen Trayvon Martin. On Fox & Friends this morning, Rivera claimed that "the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin's death as George Zimmerman."

Tonight, appearing on Bill O'Reilly's Fox News show to talk about New York's stop-and-frisk practice -- a tactic employed by the New York City Police Department to curb crime that critics say unfairly targets young minority men -- Rivera again highlighted attire, including the "hoodie," as the reason most young men of color are branded as suspicious. He went on to repeat his advice to young minority men, including his own sons, to avoid dressing "like a wannabe gangster," because "some knucklehead is gonna take you at your word and the tragedy is gonna result."

He stressed, however, he was not "blaming the victim for his own demise" in Martin's case, saying that "it is reality" that minorities wearing hoodies "could attract the attention, not only of the cops, but of nutjobs apparently like this George Zimmerman." He added: "And when they see and respond -- it is a stereotype, it is repugnant, it is all the things that offend us, but it is real life."

He concluded by saying: "I care about saving the lives of minority youngsters."

On The O'Reilly Factor, addressing the stop-and-frisk practice, Rivera stated: "The law, as I understand the law, is that if there is a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot, the cops can then stop, question, and if necessary, frisk the young men involved -- it's usually young men. And I'm telling you, half of it is the way the young men look."

Rivera continued:

RIVERA: What is a reasonable suspicion? It's based on a subjective judgment. If a cop looks at three kids on the corner and they've got those hoodies up -- and this is where I got in trouble with the Travyon Martin case -- if they've got those hoodies up and they're hanging out on the corner, the cops look at them and say, "Hmm, hoodies. Who else wears hoodies?"

Everybody that ever stuck up a convenience store. DB Cooper, the guy that hijacked the plane. Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber. Who wears these hoodies?

He added:

RIVERA: My thesis is: Parents, don't let your kids go out wearing these damn hoodies because they could attract the attention, not only of the cops, but of nutjobs apparently like this George Zimmerman. And when they see and respond -- it is a stereotype, it is repugnant, it is all the things that offend us, but it is real life. It is reality.

From The O'Reilly Factor:

RIVERA: The law, as I understand the law, is that if there is a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot, the cops can then stop, question, and, if necessary, frisk the young men involved -- it's usually young men. And I'm telling you, half of it is the way the young men look. What is a reasonable suspicion? It's based on a subjective judgment.

If a cop looks at three kids on the corner, and they've got those hoodies up -- and this is where I got in trouble with the Trayvon Martin case -- if they've got those hoodies up, and they're hanging out on the corner, the cops look at them and say, "Hmm, hoodies. Who else wears hoodies?" Everybody that ever stuck-up a convenient store, DB Cooper, the guy that hijacked the plane. Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, who wears these hoodies?

O'REILLY: So what you did on Fox & Friends this morning was that you said that your children, you would tell them not to wear these hoodies, right --

RIVERA: And I do. Yes. I have two sons.

O'REILLY: -- not to wear certain clothing, because it attracts attention from not only law enforcement, but maybe some other bad guys, and that this Trayvon Martin, who we talked about in Talking Points Memo, had this hood on, right?

RIVERA: Right.

O'REILLY: And that's -- you think might have attracted the attention of this shooter, Zimmerman?

RIVERA: My thesis is: Parents, don't let your kids go out wearing these damn hoodies, because they could attract the attention, not only of the cops, but of nutjobs apparently like this George Zimmerman. And when they see and respond -- it is a stereotype, it is repugnant, it is all the things that offend us, but it is real life. It is reality.

O'REILLY: So why are people getting mad at you, then?

RIVERA: Because they feel I am blaming the victim for his own demise and I am not.

O'REILLY: OK. This is exactly -- you know, I hate this, because I have so much in common with Geraldo who's a loon. All right? Now, this is exactly --

RIVERA: Next, you're gonna grow a mustache.

O'REILLY: This is exactly what happened to me when there was a murdered -- a girl from Jersey, 18 years old, murdered at 4 in the morning when she was wondering around the meatpacking district by herself, with no shoes on. And I said: "That's not wise." That's not a good strategy for anyone.

If you're gonna come into the city from Jersey or Connecticut or anywhere, get blown out of your mind with alcohol, and wander around at 4 in the morning, you're gonna get hurt. And know what they went? They went after me for criticizing her. And I wasn't doing that; I was doing a cautionary tale, which is exactly what you're doing.

RIVERA: I am absolutely -- and I don't care about the criticism. I can handle an avalanche of tweets and Facebook postings. I don't really care. I've been around forever, and people know I'm the one that punched out the KKK and the neo-Nazis. I've stood by this --

O'REILLY: But then you can't be punching out every Tweet-user.

RIVERA: Yeah, and I don't intend to. But I am -- I am ignoring or I am taking their criticism and putting it aside because I don't care about it, because I care about saving the lives of minority youngsters.

O'REILLY: Look, your advice is good advice; my advice was good advice.

RIVERA: You have to dress -- people take you at what you look like.

O'REILLY: Right.

RIVERA: It is unfortunate, but if you dress like a wannabe gangster, some knucklehead is gonna take you at your word and the tragedy is gonna result.

O'REILLY: And challenge you.

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