In the wake of Geraldo Rivera‘s “hoodie-gate” yesterday, much of the focus in the Trayvon Martin case has gone from the case itself to the grander implications of how much of white America expects “safe” black people to look and dress. On her program this morning, Melissa Harris-Perry addressed the issue in a tongue-in-cheek way: by providing young black men a dress code that guarantees they won’t be killed for no reason.
Harris-Perry’s “dress code for black safety” included a number of preposterous suggestions actually arising from real cases– for one, she recommended abstention from wearing red or blue– “red and blue were big no-nos for black men,” she noted, “wearing the wrong color could get you killed” because of gang affiliations. “Try mauve, turquoise, or even salmon if you’re daring,” she recommended.
As for saggy pants, those have actual legislation banning them in Louisiana and Florida, with potential jail time for wearing an inappropriately loose bottom. “If the government don’t get you, your parents are sure to get mad for money,” she noted. Then there were the hoodies– dangerous “because Geraldo Rivera says so.”
“If you want to play it safe dress like, you know, Skip Gates,” she concluded– showing a photo of the Harvard professor getting arrested for entering his own home.
The segment via MSNBC below:
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