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The horror of wearing hoodies in America

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POSTED April 16, 2012 6:59 p.m.

I’ve not weighed in on the Trayvon Martin killing, because I really didn’t have anything to add. Until now.

I have two people to thank for my breakthrough. First is Geraldo Rivera, Fox TV’s babbling – and mustachioed ego whose odd journalistic instincts prompted him to say this: “I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.”

Say what? Yes, Geraldo blamed the victim’s clothing – a hooded sweatshirt – for causing him to be gunned down at point blank range. “That hoodie,” explained Geraldo (who apparently is also a psychiatrist and fashion expert), compelled the shooter to respond to Tyayvon in a “violent and aggressive way.” The horror would never have happened, opined the Fox opinionator, if the unarmed teenager “had been dressed more appropriately.”

Good grief – I’ve seen dirt clods more sentient than Geraldo.

Indeed, a lady friend of mine has now clarified how mindlessly-absurd he is by pointing out the wild popularity of hoodies among America’s fashionable and affluent consumers. The Duluth Trading Co., for example, offers a kelly green gardening hoodie for $30, complete with “a hidden zip pocket” – how suspicious is that? J. Jill, the boutique clothier, sells a lovely tie-dyed hoodie for $79, and the Woolrich.com merchandizer has a manly, $129 pullover hoodie with kangaroo pouch pocket and – get this – “a bucet hood with draw cord and lock,” which is available in a threatening, blood-red hue called “flare.” You wouldn’t want to see that coming at you!

Hoodies are so dangerous that Neiman Marcus is peddling them to the one-percenter crowd for $150 each. And here’s something for Geraldo and his credulous followers to ponder: you can even buy a Mitt Romney hoodie from his campaign website. Now that’s truly scary.

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