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WHITE PEOPLE (SIGH)

During protest marches in Baltimore yesterday, Fox News' well-known idiot savant Geraldo Rivera and a CNN reporter named Brian Todd (a correspondent for Wolf Blitzer's "Situation Room") thought they had stumbled upon music biz icon Russell Simmons in the crowd.  The only problem is, they were talking to former Def Jam Records executive (and Baltimore native) Kevin Liles.  "Oh, you look just like him," Rivera said. *cringe* And here's the embarrassing interaction with CNN, which has moved like lightning through social media: 

Liles, who has several philanthropic organizations that actively support the youth of Baltimore, including Make it Happen and The Kevin Liles For A Better Baltimore Foundation, and even has a street named after him in the city, was at the peaceful protest with New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, who also grew up there.  Liles was gracious about the mix-up by both "reporters," and CNN's Todd issued a sheepish apology via Twitter after a national media uproar over his gaffe. Rivera, meanwhile, has said nothing and was forced to reenter his empty vault before daylight. 

This morning, Liles issued an open letter to Baltimore, announcing Operation Rebuild Baltimore, formed to address not just the rebuilding of a city "shattered by the misguided acts of a few," but to better address deep-rooted issues in education, employment, and transparency of the judicial system.  Read his entire statement here.

As our country continues to struggle with complex issues like police brutality, racism, income inequality, access to education and job opportunity, we'd do better to move forward with the same tolerance and leadership that Kevin Liles has demonstrated here.  Salute. 

 

 

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