Melissa Harris-Perry didn’t take kindly to Geraldo Rivera’s remarks on the death of Trayvon Martin. On her show Saturday, Harris-Perry’s commentary took a turn toward the sarcastic when she debuted her “MHP Dress Code for Black Safety” in response to Rivera’s assertion that Martin’s hooded sweatshirt was as much to blame for his death as, George Zimmerman, the shooter.
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She began with an image of the sitcom character Steve Urkel then gave advice on what young black men should wear to avoid trouble. The rap song “Colors” by Ice-T dictated her rule to avoid gang-associated red and blue. Harris-Perry’s home state of Louisiana provided another rule: no sagging pants. She detailed laws in La. towns and other places in the American South that have racked up thousands of dollars in fines.
“Last but not least are those pesky hoodies,” said Harris-Perry. “That’s a no-no for MHP’s guide to black safety.”
After showing the clip of Rivera’s statements, Perry sarcastically agreed, saying that if young men want to “play it safe” they should dress like Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates — who was arrested on his own porch in Cambridge, Massachusetts after a neighbor reported a possible break-in to police.
Follow Donovan X. Ramsey on Twitter at @idxr