Hip-Hop Has Damaged Blacks More Than Racism, Geraldo Rivera Claims [Video]

The hip-hop ethos has been more culturally destructive to minorities in the last decade than racism, according to Geraldo Rivera.

Rivera weighed in on this and various other issues in an interview yesterday with HuffPost Live, the day after his second-place finish in latest installment of The Celebrity Apprentice.

The selfie-loving Fox News senior correspondent was the runner-up to winner and cast/fan favorite Leeza Gibbons.

Under questioning by HuffPost‘s Josh Zepps, Rivera admitted that he was surprised at the degree of backstabbing and double-crossing he encountered on the just-concluded NBC reality show.

The former ABC and NBC reporter, 71, claimed that the other contestants targeted him and ostracized him right from the beginning, perhaps because of a significant generation gap. If you watched the show, you probably picked up on the fact that many of the cast members felt that Geraldo was an overbearing self-promoter, unwilling to consider the input of the others.

A self-described “militant moderate” who embraces mostly liberal political views and who also sports tattoos, Rivera offered this assessment of the rap culture near the end of the HuffPost interview.

“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 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 Def Jam founder Russell Simmons is a good friend for whom he has high regard, but they disagree.

“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 think that it has been very destructive culturally.”

As far as cultural differences between Fox and what he described as the “squishy, progressive liberals” that typically inhabit the newsrooms at ABC/NBC/CBS and other mainstream media outlets, Rivera acknowledged that most of his Fox colleagues are on a different “side of the street” than him politically.

With that being said, Rivera — who appeared to be literally wearing rose-colored glasses — added that “One of the things about Fox News is that these are the straightest shooting, most supportive, honest, frank people. They just see life, most of them, through a different prism than I do. They don’t wear rose-colored glasses… conservatives aren’t dumber than liberals … liberals have a different life view than conservatives do. And I’ll tell you this — I think conservatives are more open-minded in many ways than liberals are. At least they listen to what the other side has to say.”

Watch the full interview embedded above and draw your conclusions about Geraldo Rivera’s opinion of hip-hop and other issues.

[Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images Entertainment]