A Black Conservative Lament

Larry Elder
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Posted: Jul 31, 2008 12:00 AM

Oh, no, not another "blacks in America" news special! One of the cable networks recently put together another one of these "specials" on what it's like to be black in America. The network asked a conservative friend of mine to participate. He sent the following letter; and I wrote back.

Dear Larry,

OK, Larry, I grew up a bit last night. Those (unflattering descriptive deleted) at that news network on cable used me like a two-dollar whore! I interviewed with them for almost 10 hours, and all that talk was whittled down into five-second sound bites that put me in a rather negative light. Part of our talk was about the crack epidemic. I spoke about the way we are fighting this drug war, which we should approach as a health issue as opposed to a law enforcement problem. I talked about the impact single parenthood has on crime rates. … I talked and talked. They edited it all down to, "If you don't want to go to jail, don't sell crack." I am really angry.

The "wretched blackness" slant was so clear. I was on live for the half-hour preceding the beginning of the program. They ran a long segment with a black comedian/actor, talking about how he tells his son each and every day about how to talk to the police and how black men must be wary of cops. They cut to me, and I said that I was certainly in agreement that we need to talk to our children about respecting authority, but I also wondered if the comedian/actor talked to his son about the proper color shirt to wear in case some knuckleheads have a dislike of the color red or blue. The truth is that his son has more to fear from other young black men than he does from the police. I then quoted a homicide statistic: 94 percent of black homicide victims are killed by other black people. It was dismissed by the moderator so we could focus instead on how racist the cops are. Unbelievable.

It should not surprise me, then, that producers and editors would give liberal, hypersensitive blacks room to make their points -- even if they were factually untrue. They spoke to a professor from Columbia, who was droning on about how the legacy of slavery is to account for blacks' out-of-wedlock birthrate. Slavery?! This nonsense was seconded by another panelist. When I corrected them and said that the out-of-wedlock rate was lower during Jim Crow … eyes began rolling, and my point was ignored in order to move on. And I was reduced to sound bites.

Had to vent a bit.

--Your friend.

Dear friend,

My sister-in-law, an almost-recovered victicrat (thanks, at least in part, to me) called me during the show. She asked whether I was watching it, and I said no -- I knew what to expect. BMW -- bitching, moaning and whining.

I asked my sister-in-law why they didn't spend four hours on the "experience" of Chinese-Americans? Americans of Chinese heritage are among our country's most successful -- despite being the first ethnic group to be specifically excluded from legal immigration to America, by laws enacted in 1882, and despite mistreatment and discrimination including many anti-Chinese laws passed in places like San Francisco, which were designed to protect the "native" laundry business.

Why doesn't the cable network, I asked her, do a show on the "experience" of Japanese-Americans, also some of the most prosperous of all Americans -- despite the World War II "relocation" camps and California's anti-Japanese laws, once passed to prevent them from owning farmland?

I don't compare this in kind or in degree to slavery, but it's 2008 -- with a black man possibly on the brink of attaining the presidency of the United States. Can we move on? The problems of the "black community" have to do with the welfare-state-induced breakdown (or, more accurately, non-formation) of the family. This causes a disinterest in education, and leads to poor values, reckless and irresponsible breeding, as well as a lack of the job skills necessary in an information-age society. We also have grievance groups -- black "leaders"; the oh-so-sympathetic media; fear- and guilt-laden whites who refuse to say (as they do to their own children) work hard and play by the rules; and many reluctant blacks who refuse to preach the message of "no excuses, hard work" for fear of being labeled "Uncle Toms."

I told my sister-in-law that nearly half of Harvard's black freshman class consists of blacks from the Caribbean or Africa -- areas less prosperous with far less opportunity. Care to explain that?

I told her that I bet many of the "talking heads" live comfortable middle-class lives or better -- some, no doubt several, tenured college professors who, not so deep down, believe that they were smart enough or worked hard enough to have made it, but the other poor SOBs, well, they need a more compassionate government, a less racist society to pull them through.

So, try to relax. Thanks to editing, they can make anyone sound like Elmer Fudd.

--Larry