Fox News contributor Leo Terrell tore into Geraldo Rivera when the latter asked him “when was the last time you were in the ghetto?”
The discussion centered on Tishaura Jones, the newly-elected, first black female mayor of St. Louis, who is pushing a transformational social justice agenda that puts a higher premium on social workers than police officers, despite the city’s alarming murder rate.
Rivera was sympathetic to the challenges Jones faces, but suggested her approach was “very idealistic,” if not “unrealistic.”
“You need love, you need kindness, you can always use more compassion,” he said. “The problem in St. Louis, as it is here in Cleveland and many other top ten murder cities, is the drugs, the gangs, the urban violence, the black on black civil war that has been going on that no one talks about — Black Lives Matter only being focused on black lives when cops take them. It’s a bad situation. I wish her the best. She seems very idealistic.”
“Unrealistic in many regards, Rivera added. “The fracture is too deep. The problem’s too tough, too many guns out there and bitter feelings, too many drugs.”
(Video: Fox News)
Terrell was having no part of the bleeding heart approach Rivera laid out,
“Well, I’ll tell you right now I’m disappointed,” Terrell said. “I thought we would have total agreement with this with Geraldo. This whole idea of cutting back police officers and increasing social workers is a failure.”
He pointed to cities like Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York City as examples of this, adding, “Show me where cutting down police officers and increasing social workers is going to help reduce crime in these Democratic cities.”
Panning the newly elected mayor for saying people resort to crime because they have no hope, Terrell said he doesn’t even know what that means.
“The bottom line is this,” he explained. “You want to give them hope? Give them quality education, stop forcing them into the public schools, education is key to the poverty cycle. That’s where you break it.”
“And Geraldo give me a break,” Terrell said. “All this crime is going on in Democratic cities where they basically give the keys of the city to the criminals.”
“I’m agreeing with you, bud,” Rivera responded. “You can’t bring a social worker to a gun fight, I agree with you. But there is always room for kindness and compassion and these families are shattered. Let’s try to rebuild the families. I’m all for that. I just think you have to be realistic about what’s going on here.”
Rivera went on to name a number of predominantly black Democrat-run cities that are the top cities for murders in the country.
Fox News host Bill Hemmer noted that crime is up significantly in a number of cities around the country, before turning the conversation back to St. Louis.
He noted that Jones said she doesn’t believe white allies “have the lived experience to lead a majority minority city.”
“That is the most insulting, racist comment,” Terrell responded. “You know what she is saying? Because you are white, you don’t understand what we as black people go through regarding crime. That makes the assumption then that [President] Joe Biden doesn’t know. To say that she is basically in a better position because she is black is insulting, is racist, and it makes no sense whatever. I reject that argument.”
Rivera chimed in, “Hey Leo, when was the last time you were in the ghetto?”
“How dare you say that, sir!” Terrell shot back. “I was born — I lived right near the Coliseum, that’s where I was born. How dare you say that. You know nothing about me. How dare you say that.”
He further dismissed Rivera with a dramatic brush off with his hand.
Forgetting how long it had been since he was in a ghetto himself, Rivera claimed that knowledge from his background “is helpful,” before saying let Mayor-elect Jones try a kinder more gentler approach.
“Maybe it will work,” he said.
Still furious, Terrell said Rivera was accusing him of not understanding the problem because he lives in a particular area.
“I have been a civil rights attorney for 30 years and I have fought against this for 30 years,” he exclaimed. “How dare you?”
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