Geraldo Rivera is known for making controversial statements: In the wake of Trayvon Martin’s death, in 2012, Rivera blamed his death on the hoodie Martin was wearing, and who can forget the major flack he received for saying that the best thing a woman can bring to a marriage is her youth. That’s just two examples of among many statements that have undermined his credibility as a journalist. In the world of journalism, his obvious bias, baseless arguments and unprofessional conduct place him amongst the likes of none other than the trollest of them all – Don Lemon.
Now, the self-described “militant moderate,” Geraldo Rivera, is blaming hip hop for damaging the Black and Brown community more than systemic racism has in the last 10 years. Yes, he actually conflated the two.
In a recent interview about his stint on “The Celebrity Apprentice” with HuffPost Live host Josh Zepps, somehow this dude got into discussing hip hop culture and failed miserably to make a valid point. You can peep his skewed logic in below.
In the interview he says:
“Hip-hop has done more damage to black and brown people than racism in the last 10 years,” Rivera began. The Fox News contributor then challenged anyone to find “a youngster — a Puerto Rican from the South Bronx or a black kid from Harlem who has succeeded in life other than being the one-tenth of one-tenth of one percent that make it in the music business — that’s been a success in life walking around with his pants around his ass and with visible tattoos…”
Rivera added that the most powerful men in hip-hop are responsible for pushing young minorities too far out of the dominant culture. “And I love Russell Simmons,” Rivera continued. “He’s a dear friend of mine. I admire his business acumen. At some point, those guys have to cop to the fact that by encouraging this distinctive culture that is removed from the mainstream, they have encouraged people to be so different from the mainstream that they can’t participate other than, you know, the racks in the garment center and those entry-level jobs, and I lament it. I really do. I think that it has been very destructive culturally.” (via Huffington Post)
Really, Geraldo? There are too many flaws in these statements to even take them serious. But just so it’s understood, you’re comparing over 400 years of racial injustice to the impact of a music genre that’s less than half your age? Okay. So if breaking into the mainstream is so important (as if hip hop isn’t) what has your career and position in mainstream media allowed you to do to empower Black and Latino people? Why are you now, with all your apparent success, at 71, trolling for attention and appearing on a reality TV show?
Russell Simmons responded to Geraldo’s comments by saying: “He never did shit to help nobody, not in a very long time. He used to do something 30, 40 years ago, but he’s not relevant no more.”
If Geraldo’s was truly concerned about empowering his community, he would not waste time pointing fingers at hip hop – a culture he obviously knows nothing about, but instead he would use all the apparent clout that comes with blending into the mainstream to open the doors that hip hop is supposedly keeping young people of color out of.