Geraldo Rivera and I have something in common.

We were both trashed all over the internet for commenting on a victim’s choice of clothing.

I got it for questioning Bryan Stow’s decision to wear a Giants jersey to Dodgers Stadium, where there had been many incidents of violence.

I was accused of saying that Stow deserved the beating he took and/or that he was asking for it.

Geraldo suggested that black kids who don’t want to be pre-judged should think twice about wearing hoodies like the one Trayvon Martin was wearing when he was killed.

And he’s finding out that America has a reading and listening comprehension problem.

Leave it to Thomas Sowell to sort it out.

“People have a right to dress any way they want to, but exercising that right is something that requires common sense, and common sense is something that parents should have, even if their children don’t always have it.”

  • Dan

    Thomas Sowell is right on the money when he writes that people have the right to dress any way they want, but how one dresses will create a perception in other people’s minds.

    If you choose to dress like a thug, people will form a negative impression of you, regardless of what type of person you are.

    I knew a woman who dressed very provocatively, and men’s first impression of her was that she was a loose woman, even though she wasn’t. She eventually toned down how she dressed, and men had a very different first impression of her.

    How you dress and present yourself does matter because it forms an impression in other people’s minds.

    • John Steigerwald

      Culture has consequences.

      • Dan

        In one of the best speeches I’ve heard recently, Mayor Michael Nutter, the mayor of Philadelphia who happens to be black, addressed the young black people of Philadelphia this way:

        “If you want folks to stop following you around in stores…if you want somebody to offer you a job or an internship…if you don’t want folks to go in a different direction when they see 2 or 20 of you coming down the street, then stop acting like fools and idiots……

        “And another thing, take those doggone hoodies down, especially in the summer, pull your pants up and buy a belt, because no one wants to see your underwear of the crack of your butt.”

        This speech should be required listening for all young people, even though he was targeting young blacks. What you do and what you wear have a significant impact on how people perceive you.

  • earl

    many black people are killed by black people each day, it’s just a blip on the local news

    one of the few times a non black kills a black person, it’s a national uproar

  • Scarecrow

    John I see you are now a regular poster on Twitter. Seems it wasn’t so long ago that you blasted people for using social media sites like FB and Twitter to post their thoughts.

    That’s why people can’t stand you. You are a blowhard hypocrite.

    • John Steigerwald

      I said I didn’t get it. I didn’t blast them. I still don’t get why people would want to go on twitter to read about their friend’s bowel movments. I also said I didn’t get the need to be tweeting or reading tweets during a game. I will never tweet during a game. Twitter is essential now for anyone in the media. I’m still in the media. You won’t be reading about my bowel movements. And if people like you can’t stand me, what are you and they doing here? You obviously can stand me long enough to observe that I’m not in the twittersphere. I don’t spend a lot of time pursuing people I can’t stand. Maybe you can explain that.
      On twitter, of course.

  • Bunk Moreland

    And to clarify, I am not saying that YOU have suggested the things I mentioned, but many in the media/pop culture are.

  • Bunk Moreland

    John, to compare your statement with Geraldo’s is doing yourself a gigantic disservice.. Apples and oranges. A jersey at a rivalry game is intentionally drawing attention to yourself. It is provocative. It is saying ‘hey look at me.’ Granted, it should warrant, at most, a few smart aleck comments and most certainly not what Mr. Stow received.

    A hoodie, on the other hand, is, well, a HOODIE. My 64 year old old-school white father wears a hooded sweatshirt for God’s sake!?! Enough with the ‘gangsta’ this and ‘thug’ that. 8 year old girls, 17 year old boys, 36 year old women and 64 year old men wear hoodies. To suggest this in any way correlates, let alone, causes a murder is as asinine as anything I have ever heard.

    Your commentary was thought-provoking and motivated cultural introspection, whether one agrees or not. Geraldo’s was shallow, lazy, disrespectful, and ignorant.

    • John Steigerwald

      I think.

  • RKR

    Sowell is, once again, 100% on target (pun intended).

  • Sarcastic Sword

    “People have a right to dress any way they want to, but exercising that right is something that requires common sense, and common sense is something that parents should have, even if their children don’t always have it.”

    Doesnt sound like this kid’s parents were the kind to guide the kid in the right direction – which is a huge problem in the black community and thats an argument for another day…

  • Chuck

    Just about everytime I read or hear of someone shot or killed, robbing a bank, and other such things in high crime areas, the suspect’s description 9 out of 10 times is, you guessed it, he was wearing dark clothes with a hoodie. I guess that’s just about every thug or gangsta’s style of wear. I heard Geraldo’s comments on FOX, and I was amazed he said that because he’s usually a pretty liberal guy.

    • GeeWhiz

      “he was wearing dark clothes with a hoodie”
      You just described half the commuters in Pittsburgh on a cold morning rush hour.

    • earl

      not to mention 70% of prisoners are black

  • Mitch

    “Geraldo suggested that black kids who don’t want to be pre-judged should think twice about wearing hoodies like the one Trayvon Martin was wearing when he was killed.”

    Nice whitewash. Geraldo said, and I quote, “The hoodie is as much to blame for Travon’s death as George Zimmerman.”
    He made an ignorant, stupid statement that made people think he is a bad person.
    Similarly characterizing your statement as, “I was accused of saying that Stow deserved the beating he took and/or that he was asking for it.” is misleading. You wrote, let me look it up,”Maybe someone can ask Stow, if he ever comes out of his coma, why he thought it was a good idea to wear Giants’ gear to a Dodgers’ home opener when there was a history of out-of-control drunkenness and arrests at that event going back several years.”

    That sentence still makes my skin crawl. If you hadn’t written it nobody would have noticed your column. Don’t accuse people of having a reading comprehension problem. The fact that you wrote that sentence, proofread it, published it, and then didn’t apologize profusely for how gross it sounds, indicates to people that you are a bad person.

    • John Steigerwald

      I admitted that I came across as flippant and apologized for my use of words. It wasn’t my best piece of writing. I was actually attempting to be flippant about the two animals who beat Stow up. In the previous paragraph I spoke about how they probably thought they were doing their duty by protecting the Dodgers turf. BY saying, if he ever comes out of his coma, I was making an (a poor) attempt to show the damage that the two “fans” had done — that these two assholes beat this guy so badly over something so stupid and that he may never come out of his coma. It obviously didn’t come across the way I intended. But I still will pay $1,000 to anyone who can produce the sentence in that column where I say Stow deserved what he got or that he was asking for it.

      • Bobzilla

        John: You need not apologize for anything. Both your writing and speaking styles are “flippant.” That’s who you are, who you’ve been, and, hopefully, who you will always be.
        It’s not your responsibility to apologize to outsiders who chose to enter your sarcastic world without knowing who you are. I say: Enter at your own risk.

        • John Steigerwald

          Thanks, dude.

        • RKR


          Not to pile on, but I agree with you 100% on this one.

          He’s not the King of Old School for nothin’!

  • Tim

    John, you QUESTIONED Stow’s choice of attire. Geraldo explicity said he BLAMED the hoodie as much as he did Zimmerman for Martin’s death. That is a HUGE difference and why he is receiving criticism.

    This man Zimmerman had called 911 46 times over the course of a year including once on a 7 to 9 year old black male.

    • Lumpy Rutherford

      Maybe he called 911 forty six times because he HAD TO. There was a reason they had ARMED Neighborhood Watch.

      • Tim

        Apparently he HAD TO call 911 because a kid had his hood up in the RAIN. I guess it couldn’t of been that the kid didn’t want to get wet.

        • John Steigerwald

          Whether he overreacted by calling 911 is irrelevant. The issue is what happened AFTER he called 911.

          • Tim

            What happened AFTER the 911 call is that Zimmerman continued to pursue Martin despite the 911 operator telling him not to, possibly calling him a coon, getting out of his vehicle, and then appearing threatening enough to Martin that he felt his only recourse was to launch a pre-emptive stike ala Bush’s policy in Iraq.

          • John Steigerwald

            Maybe. Maybe not.

    • Matt

      You don’t see any correlation between calling the police and being part of a neighborhood watch progam? I agree he probably should have used the regular police number, but the picture of the sign posted in the article says or 911.

      • Tim

        7 year old are dangerous.

        • Matt

          7 year old + rock = broken window