Larry Elder

 At a meeting of black mayors, Reagan did, indeed, fail to recognize his own HUD secretary, mistakenly referring to him as "Mr. Mayor." Well, send in the bigot patrol.

 Reagan opposed race-based preferences.

 Yes, and so do most Republicans. And, for what it's worth, Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam opposes race-based preferences. Back in 1963, Whitney Young, former head of the Urban League, proposed a sort of Marshall Plan for blacks. But a member of his board objected to what he called "the heart of it -- the business of employing Negroes (because they are Negroes)."

 Reagan supported the apartheid regime of South Africa.

 Reagan pursued a policy of "constructive engagement." According to the Journal of Modern African Studies, Great Britain, "This policy held that quiet diplomacy, contact with oppositionist bodies, application of fair employment practices under the Sullivan Principles by American companies operating in South Africa, assistance programs to train Africans, and public statements endorsing reform would do more to undermine apartheid than would confrontational measures, including sanctions and disinvestment."

 Reagan attempted to fire the black female head of the Civil Rights Commission.

 Reagan did, indeed, attempt to fire Mary Frances Berry. And why not? She supports race-based preferences, set-asides and so-called "disparate impact laws," all of which Reagan opposed. Berry successfully sued to keep her job, and she remains head of the Civil Rights Commission today. (By the way, when President George W. Bush attempted to appoint a black man to the commission, Peter Kirsanow, Mary Frances Berry filed suit to prevent Kirsanow from joining the commission. She unsuccessfully argued that the current occupant on the board still had several years left in her term.)

 So, how did blacks fare under Ronald Reagan?

 From the end of 1982 to 1989, black unemployment dropped 9 percentage points (from 20.4 percent to 11.4 percent), while white unemployment dropped by only 4 percentage points. Black household income went up 84 percent from 1980 to 1990, versus a white household income increase of 68 percent. The number of black-owned businesses increased from 308,000 in 1982 to 424,000 in 1987, a 38 percent rise versus a 14 percent increase in the total number of firms in the United States. Receipts by black-owned firms more than doubled, from $9.6 billion to $19.8 billion.

 If this is "torture," more, please -- and a side of fries.


Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com.