It should come as no surprise that the talking heads at Fox News have used the Baltimore riots to expound on their particular brand of race-bating and fearmongering. Fox is notorious for using examples like this, and Mike Brown, and Eric Garner, and every other time a black man is killed and a protest goes sideways, as a way to condemn black people, to judge their lives, their leaders, their families. And, of course, President Obama.
Because that’s the easy thing to do. Nobody in the national news gave a shit about Baltimore until part of it started to burn. Which basically is the same as standing idly by as people throw lit matches onto the forest floor and then screaming at the trees when they catch fire. Brian Byrd did a terrific job of summing up some of the horrific conditions that Baltimore has faced for decades, and how the city’s politicians and police have managed around the problems instead of solving them.
And Fox News (and mind you, they are NOT the only guilty party here) clearly doesn’t understand — or doesn’t care about — any of that history. They care about making people afraid. They care about ratings. They care about fire and brimstone, but never about the people. Media outlets pay far more attention to a burning building than to unarmed black men being killed and abused by police officers, over and over and over. We ignore the problem and then we’re continually shocked by the results. This is, to borrow the old phrase, the definition of insanity.
I’ll say it again, as I’ve said it before: Are the riots a good thing? No, of course not. Are they condemnable? Yes, of course they are. Despite that, do I understand why they happen? Yes, I do. And most importantly — do I think that they should be the focus of this story? No. No they should fucking not.
Anyway. Geraldo Rivera was in Baltimore this week, because he’s a fucking vulture who is drawn to human tragedy as if it’s three day-old carrion. He was there to do his usual holier-than-though, condescending, chest-puffing bullshit. And he got confronted by some random, as-of-yet unidentified man in the middle of a crowd. And it is magical. It’s beautiful and brilliant and perfect. It’s a guy with a perfect grasp of the situation, and of course, Rivera ignores him when he isn’t outright mocking him by calling him a “vandal” a “fool.”
Take a look:
“I want you and FOX News to get out of Baltimore City. Because you aren’t here to report on the boarded up homes and the homeless people under MLK. You’re not reporting about the poverty up and down North Ave. Two years ago when we had the Three Hundred Man March, we marched to Milton & North [Ave], but you weren’t here! You’re here for the black riots. You’re not here for the death of Freddie Gray! FOX News don’t give a DAMN about black people!”
Of course, shortly thereafter, Rivera went on the air and talked about the young man (because it’s easier to talk about him than to him), and called him “annoying,” “obstructionist,” and, best of all, saying that he showed “exactly that kind of youthful anarchy that led to the destruction and pain in that community.”
Seriously? Drown yourself in a bucket of shit, Rivera.
Oh, and in case you thought that it was only Rivera who was culpable in this nonsense, here’s Sean Hannity’s brilliant take:
“You know there’s a simple solution in terms of for other people going forward is: Don’t be involved in the sale of drugs, don’t think police are your enemies, don’t run at 8:30 in the morning when you see a cop, and certainly that is a part that he plays in this equation.”
Hannity also wisely asked, “What is the mindset of someone, they see a cop and they gotta run?” I dunno, Sean, you mealy-mouthed sack of ignorance. Maybe the mindset is “I don’t want to get killed.”
Get bent, Fox.