Hip-hop has done more to harm black and brown people than racism in the last several years. That’s the controversial message that journalist Geraldo Rivera recently shared with HuffPost Live, and now Fox News personality Juan Williams is throwing in his agreement.
After replaying a clip of Rivera’s comments on the Five, Williams admitted that what hip-hop music has done to black culture “makes me cry.”
“In hop hop culture, you can demean and play to the worst racial stereotypes of black people and say you’re celebrating black culture,” Williams said, adding that the music encouraged young black men to treat women poorly and referred to women as nothing but “a bunch of hoes and b****es.”
He also said that encouraged young black men to become “sexual deviants.”
What disturbed Williams most? That the genre of music played to “young, vulnerable black youths,” and that it didn’t help black culture at all.
Panelist Stacey Dash took issue with the characterization, having come from a hip-hop family herself. She believed that the music was “a way for men to legitimize their lives” through art, adding that “while there are some messages not particularly good towards women, people shouldn’t be focusing on the negatives.”
To recap what Geraldo said to get the controversy started, here are his exact comments.
“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.”
Who do you agree with, readers? Is hip-hop really a bad influence on black culture and is it worse than racism in its current state?