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After Fox News commentator Geraldo Rivera was ridiculed for blaming a hoodie for the death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry ran with Rivera’s theory, and came up with a safety tip for black men of her own: dress like Steve Urkel.
Harris-Perry unveiled the “MHP Dress Code for Black Safety,” during her MSNBC morning show, “because clearly, we need one,” she said. She kicked off the segment with a picture of Steve Urkel, the famed nerd from the 1990s sitcom Family Matters.
Harris-Perry took on real-life legislation banning excessively saggy pants, and suggested black men dress like Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. if they wished to be kept safe from undeserved persecution. She then showed a 2009 picture of Gates being arrested for trying to get into his own home.
Harris-Perry noted that in the 1980s, black men were supposed to avoid wearing red and blue, because they were gang colors, and said hoodies were dangerous, because “Geraldo Rivera thinks so.”
The dig at Rivera came hours after he reaffirmed earlier statements speculating that Martin’s hoodie made the teen a target for George Zimmerman, the Florida man who shot him to death.
Friday night on Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor, Rivera advised parents of black and Latino children to stop letting their kids wear “these damn hoodies.”
“They could attract the attention not only of the cops but of nutjobs apparently like this George Zimmerman,” Rivera said “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.”
Rivera received public criticism for his hoodie talk, including from his own son and comedian Aziz Ansari.
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