Reporter/entertainer Geraldo Rivera is famous for speaking truth to power, and shifting blame away from racism and onto Black people. Who can forget when he spoke the uncomfortable truth that nobody wanted to say, but that everyone who has ever seen a sweatshirt with a hood knew and felt: “I think the hoodie is as much responsible for Trayvon Martin’s death as George Zimmerman was.” So true.
Well, now, Rivera is back with more cultural critique and reality distortion. Appearing on the Fox News program, The Five, on Monday night, Rivera indicted Hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar’s performance of “Alright” on Sunday night’s BET Awards, in which he rapped, “We hate the po-po, wanna kill us dead in the street fo sho.” Rivera described the performance and song as
not helpful, to say the least. This is why I say that hip-hop has done more damage to young African-Americans than racism in recent years. This is exactly the wrong message.
I think we can all agree that, over the past few years, hip-hop and their lyrics, especially their critique of police brutality, have claimed way more lives than actual police brutality, AND institutionalized racism combined.I’m not sure how, exactly. But I feel it. In my gut. And my gut is never wrong. Except when it’s full and I feel hungry.
Last week, I wrote about some of the inspiring and creative Whitesplaining or Foxplaining of the causes of the so-called Baltimore Riots, which included gay marriage, Obama, Obama, Black people, Black people, single parenthood etc. Well, there are so many to keep track of, I decided to make a video including just a mere sampling of real rightwing explanations for Baltimore, starring Rand Paul, Keith Ablow, Bill O’Reilly, and Rep Bill Flores. Enjoy!
Every time an extremist who is Muslim commits an act of terrorism, people ask where the moderate Muslim voices condemning violence are. (Interestingly, as a Jew, I don’t usually get asked to condemn extremism when it is perpetuated by Jewish fundamentalists like Baruch Goldstein, who shot 29 praying Muslims do death, and injured 125, at the Cave of the Patriarchs, or Yigal Amir, who killed Israeli Prime MinisterYitzhak Rabin.) And the same thing is happening following this week’s deplorable, pathetic, and tragic killing of 12 people at the offices of the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
Not surprisingly, much of the “where is the Muslim outrage” outrage is coming from… Fox News, as Media Matters notes. Fox’s own Monica Crowley, for example, said that Muslims “should be condemning” the attack and that she hadn’t “heard any condemnation… from any groups.” Fox News’ America’s Newsroom guest Steve Emerson complained, “you don’t see denunciations of radical Islam, by name, by mainstream Islamic groups.” Bob Beckel, a host of Fox News’ The Five host said Muslims were “being quiet” about the shooting and accused the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) of keeping “their mouth shut when things happen.”
We strongly condemn this brutal and cowardly attack and reiterate our repudiation of any such assault on freedom of speech, even speech that mocks faiths and religious figures. The proper response to such attacks on the freedoms we hold dear is not to vilify any faith, but instead to marginalize extremists of all backgrounds who seek to stifle freedom and to create or widen societal divisions.
We offer sincere condolences to the families and loved ones of those killed or injured in this attack. We also call for the swift apprehension of the perpetrators, who should be punished to the full extent of the law.
When we study Islam, we see clearly that the Quran condemns this kind of violence categorically. That Prophet Muhammad said that a Muslim is one from whom all others are safe…. This is not about religion. This is about political power, this is about uneducated, ignorant youth who are being manipulated by clerics and extremists. And this is why it’s all the more important for us, as the moderates, regardless of faith, to stay united and combat this.
On Saturday, a lone mentally ill shooter, not from New York City and not part of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest movement, executed two NYPD police officers, before killing himself. In June of this year, a couple who had spent time on Clive Bundy’s ranch executed two Las Vegas police officers, wrapped their bodies in Don’t Tread on Me flags, and then shot themselves. Republicans, right wing media and police officials are blaming the NYPD murders on BLM. But why didn’t they blame the murders of the Las Vegas officers on the Tea Party movement?
Obviously, the way to honor the two police officers murdered on Saturday is by exploiting their tragic murder for political purposes in a way that actually defies logic. To do this, simply blame the actions of a single lone shooter with a history of mental illness and suicide attempts on a non-violent protest movement which outrageously demands that police not kill people for the crime of being Black. Also claim that Mayor Bill de Blasio, Attorney General Eric Holder and President Barack Obama are to blame but don’t bother pretending that there is any evidence for that claim because you won’t find it. But if you’re Ray Kelly, Rudy Giuliani, Patrick Lynch, George Pataki or Fox News, that’s no big deal anyway.