Bold words! Geraldo Rivera appeared on HuffPost Live on Tuesday, Feb. 17, and raised eyebrows with his statements about racism, hip-hop, and minorities.
The Celebrity Apprentice season 14 runner-up, 71, was discussing his personal politics when he went on a tangent about hip-hop to illustrate his views.
“I’m a militant moderate,” the Fox News host began. “I borrow from both. For instance… immigration reform, gay marriage, abortion are all things… that’s why I voted for Barack Obama… but… for instance, hip-hop.”
“Hip-hop has done more damage to black and brown people than racism in the last 10 years,” Rivera asserted, bringing up the topic unprompted. “When you find the youngster, a Puerto Rican from the South Bronx or 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.”
Lest viewers think he is against all hip-hop and those involved in the industry, Rivera went on to namedrop Def Jam mogul Russell Simmons.
“I love Russell Simmons,” Rivera said. “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.”
The TV personality’s shocking words prompted a swift and negative reaction on Twitter, including a statement from Talib Kweli.
“Damn @GeraldoRivera saying dumb sh*t again,” the performer wrote. “You know nothing about hip hop Gerry. Reel it in son.”
Watch Rivera talk hip-hop in the video above.
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