Geraldo Rivera has added yet another exemplar to a bottomless quasi-apology genre. In an e-mail to Politico, the media star wrote that “by putting responsibility on what kids wear instead of how people react to them I have obscured the main point that someone shot and killed an unarmed teenager.” This “heartfelt apology” went out to those offended by Geraldo’s “crusade to warn minority families of the danger to their young sons inherent in gangsta style clothing; like hoodies.”
For those walking around in a threatening, hoodie-enabled haze, Geraldo last week said this on Fox News:
“I am urging the parents of black and Latino youngsters particularly to not let their children go out wearing hoodies. I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.”
After issuing his little walk-back today, Geraldo should have arranged to high-five Rush Limbaugh, the guy who earlier this month issued a comparable limited-scope apology for attacking Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown University law student.
Then! Just moments ago! On his radio show via KABC, Geraldo pretty much undid his apology, by restating it in its full emptiness.
I apologize for hurting people’s feelings. I don’t back down from my message . . . Don’t be a 9-1-1call waiting to happen.
And another marvel: Callers who got on Geraldo’s show agree with his pre-apology position (which is pretty much his post-apology position). One guest spoke of how her kid came home recently with a really radical haircut that made him look like a racist. She took away his privileges and perks till he got that hair cut right! So she basically agreed with Geraldo’s original hoodie comment.
Another caller said, “If you dress like that, look like that, that’s what people are going to perceive.” Another vote in favor of Geraldo’s pre-non-apology position.
Yet another caller said a bunch of things that were a bit hard to understand. He talked about hoodie use in his own household and appeared to be cracking down on it. “I really agree with you and feel sorry for the parents,” said the caller.
Geraldo seemed pleased with the comments that agreed with the initial position that he nearly apologized for.