Geraldo Rivera: Hip-Hop's Done 'More Damage to Black & Brown People Than Racism'
“Hip-hop has done more damage to black and brown people than racism in the last 10 years. When you find the 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 makes it in the music business, that’s been a success in life with his pants around his ass and with visible tattoos. It’s this whole ethos,” the 71-year-old television personality said.
“And I love Russell Simmons. 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,” Geraldo continued.
“I don’t want to go down an entire racial hole because there are a lot of potential explanations for why there is alienation in minority communities [outside of] hip-hop,” Josh Zepps, host of the program, said. “Oh, of course, but I think fashion plays a part,” Geraldo responded.