FNC’s Geraldo Rivera is getting backlash for remarks he made to HuffPost Live about hip-hop.
“Hip-hop has done more damage to black and brown people than racism in the last 10 years,” he told the liberal pub, describing himself as a “militant moderate.”
Enter Bloomberg View‘ columnist Eli Lake, a purported hip-hop aficionado, who went on WMAL’s morning show and dismissed Geraldo’s comments as “absurd.”
“It’s ridiculous,” said Lake. “Hip hop is an art form – some of it is good, some of it is crap, some of it does valorize criminal activity and some of it valorizes drug dealing, but some of it’s just fun. It contains multitudes.”
He went on.
“It’s like saying rock and roll has done damage to our youth — it’s just stupid,” said Lake. “Is Goodfellas damaging the Italian community? It’s absurd.”
Geraldo isn’t the least bit sorry for his comments.
He took to his own website to say more.
“I stand by my comments on Huff Po,” he wrote. “Like lyrics extolling the virtue of guns, drugs and violence, fashion can also be destructive. Drooping pants and perennial hoodies are instruments of self-segregation. They accomplish the same result as the racists who opposed Dr. King’s March from Selma to Montgomery in 1965, segregation. Moreover, I challenge anyone to dispute my basic premise that the heroes of hip hop have been leading black and brown youngsters down the wrong road.”
He called racism “a cancer on the heart of America” and hip-hop a “self-inflicted wound on the soul of Black America.”
The topic is perfect for fueling online rage.
Geraldo, who wore his signature rose-colored glasses for his HuffPost appearance, seemed to be trying to center himself: “Chilling in Edgewater trying to figure why I froze post @CelebApprentice glow with an unrelated Hip Hop controversy?”
Twitter foes jumped on his use of the word “chilling.” A follower named “FleeGod” writes, “Chillin is a word from hip hop culture.”
Watch Geraldo on HuffPost Live here.
Listen to Eli on WMAL here.