During a recent Fox News appearance, correspondent Geraldo Rivera made waves for his suggestion that NBA star LeBron James could have made a more impactful statement on race relations than he did by wearing a T-shirt bearing the phrase ‘I Can’t Breathe’ during warm-up before a game.
The statement, a reference to Eric Garner’s death from a heart attack following an encounter with New York police, has become a rallying cry for protesters in the Empire State and beyond. Rivera, however, brought up a factor he believes has played a destructive role in black American families (yet is rarely discussed by black leaders.)
“I wondered to myself, what if LeBron James instead had a shirt [that read] ‘Be a better father … to your son,’” he said, insisting that the prevalence of fatherlessness in black communities is a conversation largely ignored.
His remarks were largely panned on social media, with criticism ranging from calling his view ill-advised to outright racist.
The irony in Geraldo Rivera telling Lebron James to “be a better father” as if he hadn’t fathered five children with five different women.
— derek mizell (@dis0riginality) December 12, 2014
Undeterred by the backlash, Rivera posted the following defense of his rhetoric, along with his acknowledgment that addressing the issue of absentee fathers is only one step toward repairing the racial divide in America.
This post originally appeared on Western Journalism - Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom