After U.S. border agents deployed tear gas against migrants seeking asylum in the United States, Geraldo Rivera went on Fox News on Monday to speak some truth about the propagandistic way in which the network has covered the migrant caravan.
Rivera said the refugee crisis in Central America is not a "media issue" that "goes to my soul."
He spoke passionately, saying:
"Filling my role as the designated pinata on Fox news, I am ashamed," Rivera said, which was followed by someone in the studio saying "that's racist."
"this tear gas choked me. We treat these economic refugees as if they're zombies from The Walking Dead...We have to deal with this problem humanely and with compassion. These are not invaders. Stop using these military analogies. This is absolutely painful to watch. We are a nation of immigrants. These are desperate people. They walked 2,000 miles, why, because they want to rape your daughter or steal your lunch?"
A choked-up Rivera continued:
"No! because they want a job. They want to fill the millions of unfilled jobs we have in the agricultural sector. They want to wash dishes in restaurants, they want to deliver pizzas."
Rivera, shaken, concluded with a dire warning:
"How can we suspend our humanity with this issue?" he asked. "I fear it is because they look different than us."
Watch the clip below:
wow — Geraldo Rivera’s commentary tonight on Fox about the treatment and depiction of migrants is pretty powerful.… https://t.co/8wB92XzPf5— j.d. durkin (@j.d. durkin) 1543273809.0
Rivera's impassioned statement echoed a tweet he posted Monday morning.
"The gassing of
#MigrantCaravan made me nauseous," wrote Rivera. "Those images may play with the base, but they will also be a scar on our nation's reputation. A hungry, frightened family will not stop trying to get to a better life. No, we can't accommodate all, but we can be humane & compassionate."
The gassing of #MigrantCaravan made me nauseous. Those images may play w the base, but they will also be a scar on… https://t.co/a878th16O5— Geraldo Rivera (@Geraldo Rivera) 1543249910.0
The tea — it was scalding.
Holy shit, an unexpected tea serving in the unlikeliest of places https://t.co/03jIR9nnwm— great scott! 🇺🇸 (@great scott! 🇺🇸) 1543300337.0
Twitter cheered in solidarity with Rivera.
@jiveDurkey @juliawb Wow! I must say as someone who refuses to watch Fox, I’m stunned. Thank you @GeraldoRivera for… https://t.co/4HBfxsuuQw— 🌅💙KG💙🌅 (@🌅💙KG💙🌅) 1543274493.0
@jiveDurkey @juliawb It took #teargassing children, but #Geraldo finally turned the corner. See that @TomiLahren ?— Mary Ann Owens (@Mary Ann Owens) 1543274257.0
@jiveDurkey That’s the @GeraldoRivera I used to know and watch in the 80’s. Wondering when he was going to do somet… https://t.co/c4HrPd4CUS— Kelly Blodgett (@Kelly Blodgett) 1543275173.0
@jiveDurkey Best line, “Designated piñata of Fox News.”— Alicia (@Alicia) 1543276776.0
@jiveDurkey @penndragonArt I can’t believe I’m agreeing with Geraldo Rivera.— Ms. Crowley🎵 🇺🇸 (@Ms. Crowley🎵 🇺🇸) 1543301355.0
@jiveDurkey @DemFromCT Wow. Kudos to Geraldo on this one. About time someone spoke up on Fox.— It’s the guns, stupid. (@It’s the guns, stupid.) 1543275039.0
@jiveDurkey @NKingofDC I despise Geraldo for SO many things, but one thing he's been remarkably consistent on and d… https://t.co/Znw59AzCZn— OUFENIX (D) 🦚 (@OUFENIX (D) 🦚) 1543292733.0
@HEAwriter @jiveDurkey @illbedamed @GeraldoRivera You’re right. This was the Geraldo I remembered growing up in NYC… https://t.co/BAEmCE8fUu— Shar Mack (@Shar Mack) 1543306219.0
The "that's racist" quip did not go unnoticed on social media, although Rivera ignored it.
@Alicia1031 @jiveDurkey Yes but did you hear the one commentator yell “that’s racist”. There’s irony for you 😮— Mary (@Mary) 1543280788.0
@marygirvin @Alicia1031 @jiveDurkey And Geraldo just let it go. It was not worthy of a reply.— Joe Spagna (@Joe Spagna) 1543295923.0
President Donald Trump's decision to make it nearly impossible for Central American refugees to seek asylum in the United States was not lost on anyone either.
@NSBarrios @GeraldoRivera Susan, asylum seeking is a law— Ron (@Ron) 1543276471.0
@NSBarrios @AEE_Erazo @GeraldoRivera It's only being done illegally because the Trump admin will not let them enter… https://t.co/DCjzvs8hcQ— Shirley Elbmirt (@Shirley Elbmirt) 1543321976.0
@NSBarrios @Icanbelieveher @AEE_Erazo @GeraldoRivera People are able to claim asylum once they arrive in the US. Ke… https://t.co/zBSrx46uo5— Derek Alan (@Derek Alan) 1543327103.0
@GeraldoRivera It is uncharitable--even immoral--to ignore normal & reasonable (im)migration protocol designed to p… https://t.co/r8Yi9RpCYf— Vince (VJ) Cortese (@Vince (VJ) Cortese) 1543259180.0
We are a nation built on immigration.
Over Thanksgiving weekend, American Border Patrol agents fired canisters of tear gas — a chemical weapon banned in warfare — on migrants seeking asylum in the United States.
“Children screamed and coughed,” the Associated Press wrote as events unfurled in Tijuana, Mexico. “Fumes were carried by the wind toward people who were hundreds of feet away.”
The gas was employed after “around 500” refugees tried to squeeze through border fencing.
On Monday, Trump and Border Patrol defended his decision to use tear gas on unarmed civilians on foreign soil.
The president said agents “had to use (force) because they were being rushed by some very tough people and they used tear gas.”
Trump added: “Here’s the bottom line, nobody’s coming into our country unless they’re coming legally.”
CBP Commissioner Kevin McAleenan also stood by his agency’s actions.
[CBP] effectively managed an extremely dangerous situation involving over 1,000 individuals who sought to enter the US unlawfully in large groups,” said McAleenan. “They did so safely and without any reported serious injuries on either side of the border.”
This statement, however, contradicts reports of people, including children and babies, coughing from exposure to the tear gas.