Barney Stinson, Geraldo Rivera, and Trayvon Martin
Do you watch How I Met Your Mother?
If not, you should. It's hilarious. And awesome. And legen.... wait for it... DARY!
Barney Stinson is one of the main characters and he is played by Neil Patrick Harris (yes, aka: Doogie Howser). In the show he is a womanizing tool of a character, using women just for sex. It's abhorrent, really. But also amazingly funny. (Don't judge me... you probably watch The Bachelor, don't you? Don't YOU!?! Way worse...)
Anyways, one of the things Barney says from time to time is a simple, "or... OR...."
He uses it to transition from one thought (which is probably lame) to another much more interesting thought (which is undoubtedly much more awesome). For instance, in one episode he and his girlfriend at the time Robin had just had an argument. Barney says something to the effect of,
We should probably go somewhere and sit down and talk about this... or... OR... we could go have sex in the elevator?
It's much funnier when he says it. Not so funny to just read it. But picture a slight pause after the first "or," followed by a much louder and more dramatic "OR." As though this second thought that is coming to mind is much more awesome than the first.
Do you watch Fox News?
If not, that's okay. Probably a good thing, even.
Geraldo Rivera is one of the "friends" of Fox & Friends, and the other day he was on the show and shared his thoughts on the current tragedy that is Trayvon Martin. Perhaps you've already heard this, but if not you can go here and see the full interview segment.
In it, he shared his belief that the hoodie that Trayvon was wearing was "just as responsible for Trayvon's death as the shooter, George Zimmerman."
Here is what he said:
“When you see a Black or Latino youngster, particularly on the street, you walk to the other side of the street. You try to avoid that confrontation... Trayvon Martin, god bless him, an innocent kid, a wonderful kid, a box of Skittles in his hands. He didn’t deserve to die. But I bet you money, if he didn’t have that hoodie on that, nutty neighborhood watch guy wouldn’t have responded in that violent and aggressive way.”
"There is some things that are almost inevitable. I’m not suggesting that Trayvon Martin had any kind of weapon, but he wore an outfit that allowed someone to respond in this irrational, overzealous way and if he had been dressed more appropriately… I think unless it’s raining out, or if you’re at a track meet, leave the hoodie home, don’t let your children go out there."
He told parents of Latino and African American kids to not let their kids go out dressed in a hoodie.
Geraldo Meet Barney
What if, instead of "advising" parents to not let their kids wear hoodies, because that will somehow contribute to the idea the they are a criminal or a gang banger and possibly allow people to respond to them in violent ways, he took a page out of Barney's book and quickly followed up with "or... OR..."
Don't let your kids wear hoodies... or... OR... teach your children to not make judgements about people based on how they dress or the color of their skin.
Don't let your kids wear hoodies... or... OR... show your kids what it looks like to pursue peace and avoid violence at all costs.
Don't let your kids wear hoodies... or... OR... teach your kids the dangers of owning and carrying a gun and the damage they can do.
Don't let your kids wear hoodies... or... OR... don't buy in to the prejudices of our society and learn to love and respect all people.
Don't let your kids wear hoodies... or... OR... listen to the advice of people like 9-1-1 dispatchers when they tell you to not pursue people, and don't try and take matters in to your own hands.
Don't let your kids wear hoodies... or... OR... teach your kids how to handle conflict in a healthy way that shows respect and kindness for people.
Don't let your kids wear hoodies... or... OR... live your own life in pursuit of the Peaceable Kingdom of God and invite your kids to participate with you in working towards the healing and redemption of this world.
I feel like I could go on and on.
There are so many "or... ORs...." that I can think of. And yet Geraldo Rivera thought it would be a good idea to suggest that the hoodie was just as responsible in Trayvon's death, and that parents should not let their kids (especially Latino and African American ones) wear them.
That's lazy, Geraldo.
Shame on you.
(Evidently Mr Rivera apologized... sort of... when the backlash against his words became great).