Kendrick Lamar opened Sunday night’s BET Awards with an explosive, politically charged, and all-around awesome performance of “Alright,” rapping “We hate po-po/ Wanna kill us dead in the street fo sho” from atop a vandalized police car while a giant American flag waved in the background. Surprisingly, Fox News didn’t love it. On the panel show The Five last night, Geraldo Rivera criticized Kendrick’s calling out of police brutality, describing his lyrics as “not helpful at all” and making the laughable claim that “this is why I say that hip-hop has done more damage to young African Americans than racism in recent years.” He continued:
This is exactly the wrong message. And then to conflate what happened in the church in Charleston, South Carolina with these tragic incidents involving excessive use of force by cops is to equate that racist killer with these cops, it is so wrong, it is so counterproductive, it gives exactly the wrong the message.
Hm, yeah, it’s almost like there’s a nationwide institutional structure of racism and oppression in this country. How ’bout that? Rivera went on to say that “It doesn’t recognize that a city like Baltimore, where — remember Freddie Gray — they’ve had a homicide a day since Freddie Gray, no one’s protesting that. Baltimore, a tiny city, 7% the size of New York, has just as many murders as New York. You know, we’ve got to wake up at a certain point and understand what’s going on here.”
Yes Geraldo, we really have got to wake up at a certain point and understand what’s going on here. Watch the entire gross segment below via Media Matters For America.
UPDATE: Kendrick has responded to Rivera’s criticisms on TMZ Live: “How can you take a song that’s about hope and turn it into hatred … The overall message is ‘we’re gonna be alright.’ It’s not the message of ‘I wanna kill people.’ … Hip-hop is not the problem. Our reality is the problem of the situation.” Watch his full statement below.