Geraldo Rivera doesn’t exactly seem like a pre-eminent authority on rap culture, but he has some very interesting thoughts about hip-hop, which he shared with HuffPost Live on Tuesday.
During a conversation about his stint on “The Celebrity Apprentice,” Rivera got to talking politics with host Josh Zepps, who asked where Rivera falls on the liberal-to-conservative spectrum. Rivera described himself as “militant moderate,” and after pointing out several of his more liberal philosophies, he laid out his problem with rap culture.
“Hip-hop has done more damage to black and brown people than racism in the last 10 years,” Geraldo 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.”