Trayvon Martin's Hoodie Didn't Make Him a Thug

Much to my dismay, Geraldo Rivera remains on television. This is a fact that I am rarely conscious of until he stirs up some sort of controversy. This time, on an episode of Fox & Friends Sunday Rivera renewed his claim that hoodies are "thug" attire. Considering I've never met any millennial that didn't own at least one hoodie, I think we can all have a jolly laugh at the usual hyperbole that manages to keep Rivera somewhat relevant. Now anyone familiar with Rivera's failures as a journalist from Al Capone's vault to Trayvon Martin is not overly shocked by Rivera being out of touch. Trayvon Martin's hoodie didn't lead to his death.

A lot has been made of hoodies since the beginning of the Martin-Zimmerman trial because the narrative has been that Zimmerman was initially drawn to Martin because of the attire. What hasn't been discussed is Martin's history of embracing violence as a method toward solving his problems. We know that Martin had been suspended from school for fighting by his own admission, and had been suspended for the possession of marijuana. Martin was involved in multiple fights, according to cell phone records, and sought further physical retribution against someone he fought because he "didn't bleed enough for him." Martin had a history of violence and a lack of respect for the law. No matter what the punishment was Martin never responded in a manner that changed his ways.

Those same text messages that show Trayvon Martin wielding a firearm, texting about his marijuana use, and violent habits also reveal Martin stating his mother threw him out of the house because of his run-ins with the law. A lot of what the mainstream media "taught" us about Trayvon Martin was not true. They sought ratings over justice, and exploited feelings over following the law.

Geraldo Rivera fell for the same rhetoric that haunted this case from the beginning. He used his own preconceived notions about an article of clothing rather than delving into the evidence of the case. A hoodie didn't make Trayvon Martin jump out of the bushes and begin physically assaulting George Zimmerman. A hoodie didn't make Martin slam Zimmerman's head into the concrete repeatedly. A hoodie didn't get Martin thrown out of his mother's house, use marijuana, or get into fistfights with his classmates. No, a hoodie doesn't get someone into trouble. Having a penchant for getting into trouble gets someone into trouble. That's just what Martin was: a bully who just happened to pick the wrong victim. I'm sorry but I won't blame clothing for the actions of a young man.

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Mike Mulraney

Media Coordinator in New York State. University of Scranton '12. Former campaign advisor. Social media veteran of federal campaigns. Two-time College Republican President, Founding Member Young Americans for Liberty - University of Scranton Chapter, Former Op-Ed writer for The Aquinas and Save Jersey, former host of The Spectrum on 99.5 WUSR FM.

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