Talk show superstar and bestselling author Larry Elder, “The Sage of South Central,” spoke on race, reparations, Trump Derangement Syndrome, and more at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s West Coast Retreat, held at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes on April 5-7, 2019.
This guy is amazing. He talks for approximately 45-minutes, apparently without a script or discernible notes. His story about an 8-hour talk he had with his father at age 25 is very revealing and brought tears to my eyes.
When you have some spare time, I suggest you watch the video below as I am sure you will be time well spent.
Thank you so much for having me back. David, I think it’s my second or third time. So apparently, I didn’t screw it up too badly. And I really do appreciate it.
I have been on radio 25 years. My career was almost strangled in the grave. And but for David Horowitz, I might not be standing here.
The cliff notes story about what happened is I got hired on KABC. And of course, the first few weeks I was there, I was called an Uncle Tom, a bootlicking Uncle Tom, a foot-shuffling, bootlicking Uncle Tom; bug-eyed, foot-shuffling, bootlicking Uncle Tom; Oreo, as in brown on the outside, white on the inside; coconut, same concept; the Antichrist. And then I was called the name you really call a black person when you really want to cut him. I was called Republican.
A man could only take so much.
So there was a group called the Talking Drum Community Forum. I later on found out it was no more than four or five people, all writing letters to all of my sponsors saying Larry Elder is a racist, anti-black, the most hateful guy on radio. Many of my sponsors were national. One of them was United, for example. They’re based in Chicago, so they didn’t hear the show. I was just local in those days.
And so little by little, advertisers began dropping my show. We lost millions of dollars, and my show was on the brink of being canceled.
David calls: “What can I do?” I said, “David, I don’t know that you can do anything. The bunch of idiots writing letters to my clients, saying lies about what I say on the air.” The clients aren’t here. In those days, you didn’t have the internet, the social media, so they couldn’t check to verify it. And the average advertiser does not want to get caught between the fire hydrant and the dog. And so they all left. David said, “What if we raise some money, put some commercials on TV, increase your ratings? Then they couldn’t possibly fire you when your ratings are ascending.” So David proceeded to do that.
We ran a number of commercials. I forget how much money you raised, David. It was almost a couple hundred thousand dollars. 300,000? 300,000. And put a bunch of ads, very clever ads, on television, and my ratings skyrocketed.
Eventually, the boycott broke and they went away. But for what David did, I doubt that I would’ve survived. David, again, thank you very much for that.
Who would’ve thought, in the year 2019 — just, what, a few years after the departure of the first black President, who got elected in 2008, reelected in 2012, despite a tepid recovery and unpopular Obamacare — who would’ve thought we’d be having a serious discussion, at least on the Left, of reparations? Who would’ve thought that? Are you kidding me? You’ve got to be kidding. Reparations.
There are a few problems. There are no living slaves. There are no living slave owners. That’s the biggest problem. Reparations is a scheme to extract money from people who were never slave owners and give it to people who were never slaves.
What about the role that Africa played in the slave trade? Without the capture and enslavement of blacks, and the selling of these slaves by black chieftains, African chieftains, the slave trade never could have occurred.
What about the Muslim role in the slave trade? The Muslim slave trade in Africa preceded the European slave trade by hundreds of years, continued well after. And more slaves were taken out of Africa by Arab slavers and transported to the Middle East and to South America and to the Caribbean than were slaves taken out of Africa and sent to North America by European slavers. So how are you going to factor that in?
And of course, if you know anything at all about the history of slavery, slavery, unfortunately, has been all part of human history from the very beginning. Caucasians enslave Caucasians, Africans enslave Africans, Asians enslave Asians, Native Americans enslave Native Americans. We go on and on and on. But for the West’s revulsion, ultimately, against slavery, we might still have it. So how do you factor that in? How do you do that?
What about Kamala Harris? Kamala Harris’s mother is from India. Her father is from Jamaica. Her father concedes that he and his family owned slaves. How does that work?
What about Barack Obama? Barack Obama’s father is from Kenya. There’s no evidence that his family directly owned slaves. But what is now Kenya was directly involved, intimately involved, in the slave trade. And his mother, there’s no question that her family owned slaves on his mom’s side. So how does that work? Does Obama pay more than other blacks for reparations?
What about all the people who are working class and middle class who are black? The premise behind reparations apparently is, but for slavery, but for Jim Crow, you wouldn’t have the kind of poverty that you have in the black community. Blacks are about 20 percent poor. Whites are about 8.7 percent poor. How did white people get poor, given the white privilege that they were supposed to benefit by, the trust fund that every white person gets? So are the white people who are poor exempted from having to pay any of the reparations?
What about the fact that my colleague in Salem, Michael Medved, once said only about five percent of whites have any sort of generational connection to slavery? So the other 95 percent who had nothing to do with it also pay? What about all the people who came over to the country after slavery was over? It’s insane.
And Obama even opposed reparations when he was asked about it. He gave some long, lofty answer about, I understand why people want it. But he also said that it would be divisive, politically untenable. And he’s right. It is divisive and politically untenable. Only about 26 percent of people right now support reparations.
Who would’ve thought? Reparations?
The Trump derangement syndrome is part of the push for this. But the other real part is, now that you have — in 2020, you’ve got Cory Booker who’s running, who’s black; Kamala Harris who’s running, who’s black; others who are running who are not white. So if you’re going to get that 95 percent black vote, without which the Democrats cannot win, how are you going to distinguish yourself from the other people? I know, we’ll offer them reparations.
And so now you have Bernie Sanders suggesting that he’s interested in doing that. You have Beto O’Rourke suggesting he’s interested in doing that. A few days ago at a campaign stop, a black man said to him, “Why should I as a black man vote for you when you don’t support reparations?” And Beto O’Rourke gave this long answer about how poorly off blacks are, unequal, differences in net worth and all that. But he never said, I’m in favor of reparations. Two days later, he came out in favor of a commission to study the issue of reparations, which he didn’t say to that black man then.
He got hammered. He knew he had to distinguish himself from the other Democrats. And now he’s come around to this notion of reparations. Are you kidding me?
My father was born in 1915. The man that — his name is Ta-Nehisi Coates, wrote an article called “The Case for Reparations.” Came out in 2014. It probably is the most important piece ever written about reparations. And a lot of politicians have referred to it. He starts his piece out by talking about a man who was born in 1923 and the series of things that happened to that man. He was in the military. The GI bill discriminated against him, the New Deal discriminated, and all these bad things that happened to this gentleman who was born in 1923.
My father was born in 1915. My father was born in Athens, Georgia. He does not know his biological father. I didn’t find that out until I was 25 years old. We sat down, and we talked for eight hours. We had a big fight when I was 15 years old; we didn’t speak for almost 10 years.
So now I’m 25 years old, sitting down with my dad. I was going to call him an SOB. I figured he’d call me an ungrateful son, we’d have a 10-minute conversation. At least we’d clear the air. We sat there for eight hours. He said — when I complained about how he used to whip us, he said, “Let me tell you about how I grew up. Your last name, Elder?” I said, “Yeah?” He said, “That’s not the name of my biological father.” I’m 25 years old. I said, “Who’s your biological father?” “I don’t know. Never met him.”
His mother was illiterate. Had a series of boyfriends, each one more irresponsible than the one before. My dad said Elder was the man in his life the longest, which is why he took his name. And he was an alcoholic who was physically abusive to his mom, “and physically abusive to me when I would intervene.
“He was a drunk. And when he would come home from work, when he did work, he would give my mother the paycheck,” my dad said. “And then, come Wednesday, he’d want the money. And she would refuse to give it to him, because she knew he would drink it, and he would beat the crap out of her and get the money.” My dad intervened; he beat the crap out of him. That was Elder.
And my dad said, “When I was 13 years old,” he came home and started quarreling with his mom’s then-boyfriend. Elder was long gone. His mother sided with the boyfriend, threw my father out of the house at the age of 13, never to return. You’re talking about a black boy, Jim Crow South, Athens, Georgia, at the beginning of the Great Depression. I defy you to find very many people who had a hand dealt like that.
And I said, “Dad, what did you do?” He said, “I went down the road. I took any job I could get. Ultimately, I became a Pullman porter on the trains.” They were the largest private employer of those days. And my dad went all around the country — very unusual for a black boy — and he came to LA on a stop. And unlike the other stops in the South, he didn’t have to get cans of tuna or crackers, because you could go into a restaurant and actually get served. So my dad thought, hey, maybe someday I’ll relocate to California, I don’t know.
Pearl Harbor. My dad joined the marines. He was a Montford Point marine. They were the first black marines. For some reason, people know about the Tuskegee Airmen, but they don’t know about the Montford Point Marines. There were 20,000 of them at Camp Lejeune, near where Camp Lejeune is right now. And my dad was sent to Guam during World War II, where he became a master cook.
And when the war was over, my dad went back to Chattanooga, where he had met and married my mom. And he wanted to get a job as a short-order cook. He went to restaurant to restaurant to restaurant. And he was told, “I’m sorry, we don’t hire niggers.”
My dad went to an unemployment office. The lady said, “You went through the wrong door.” My dad goes out to the hall, sees “Colored Only,” goes through that door, to the very same lady who sent him out. My dad said, “This is B.S.,” to my mom. “I’m going to LA. I’m going to get me a job as a cook, and I’ll send for you.”
He comes out here. He walks around LA for two or three days, restaurant to restaurant to restaurant. And they tell him, “You have no references.” My father said, “I cooked for the military. What do you mean, I have no references?” “You have no references.” My dad even offered to work for free for two weeks. “Just give me a reference.” They wouldn’t do that. They treated him the same way in LA as he was treated in Chattanooga; they were just a little more polite about it.
My dad went to an unemployment office, this time just one door. Lady said, “We have nothing.” My dad said, “I’ll be sitting in this chair when you open, I’ll be sitting in the chair when you leave. When you find something, I’ll take it.” She calls him up after a day and a half. She says, “I have something. I don’t know that you’ll want it.” My dad said, “Of course I want it. What is it?” She says, “It’s a job at a company called Nabisco Breads. You’ll be cleaning toilets.” My dad did that for 10 years.
Took a second job at another bread company called Barbara Ann Bread, also full time, cleaning toilets. He cooked for a family on the weekend to make additional money. And he went to night school two or three nights a week in order to get his GED. The man never slept, which was why he was cranky all the time.
And as we spoke, my father got bigger and bigger and bigger, and I got smaller and smaller and smaller. And finally, I’m crying. And I said, “Dad, I am just so sorry I judged you so harshly.” My father said, “Don’t be. You didn’t know. But I want you to follow the advice I’ve always given you and your brothers: hard work wins.
“You get out of life what you put into it. And Larry, you cannot control the outcome. But you are 100 percent in control of the effort. And before you complain about what somebody did to you or said to you, go to the nearest mirror, look at it and say, ‘How could I have changed the outcome?’
“And finally, no matter how good you are, how moral you are, how ethical you are, bad things are going to happen. How you respond to those bad things will tell your mother and me whether or not we raised a man.”
My father is not alive any longer. If he were here, and he heard this movement for reparations, he would tear his hair out. The idea that somebody owes you something who did nothing to you would just be unfathomable to him. It’s about what we’re going to do now.
All of us hit the lottery: we were born here. All of us did. You hit the lottery a second time if you had parents who stayed together, worked together and tried to inculcate the right kinds of values in your head. And I had that. It’s a foundation we should be building upon.
What the Left has done has destroyed the [nuclear] intact family, to a greater degree than even slavery did. Right now, a black kid — 70 percent of black kids right now are born outside of wedlock. During slavery, a slave was more likely than today to be born under a roof with his biological mother and biological father. When you’re talking about reparations, how do you factor in the damage done by the welfare state? How do you factor that in?
The election of Donald Trump in 2016, in my opinion, was divine intervention. It was a miracle. He is almost God-sent. My colleague, Dennis Prager, says that a thrice-married man whose relationship probably overlapped each other is now the President of the United States. It shows you God has a sense of humor.
I remember when Trump descended the escalator in Trump Tower, and he gave a speech. And I watched it. I was by myself. And I said, “Boy, that’s pretty un-presidential. This is going to be one of the shortest presidential campaigns you’ve ever seen.”
The next day, I went to a place in LA called Sunland. Sunland is primarily a white, blue-collar city. I had some business there. And I went to a restaurant called Coco’s, which is like a Denny’s. I had a nice, greasy breakfast, sat at the bar. Guy comes up to me. “Are you Larry Elder? What are you doing here?” I said, “I have some business here.” He said, “Did you see that guy that last?” I said, “You mean, Trump?” I said, “Yeah.” He said, “What did you think?” I said, “What did you think?” He said, “He spoke for me.” And he walked away. That’s interesting.
Five minutes later, another guy comes up. “You Larry Elder?” Same exchange. “Did you see Trump?” “Yeah.” “What’d you think?” “What did you think?” “I tell you what, about time somebody stood up for us.”
Over the course of the next 45 minutes, I would say 12 people came up to me. Not all of them were white — one was Hispanic, one was Asian — and said the same thing. This guy is connecting the way, he said, nobody else has connected in a long time.
I went on the air the next night. And I said, “This guy is going to become the nominee for the Republican Party. He’s going to become the next President of the United States. And we ought to get behind him.”
And I campaigned with him and for him. And I remember campaigning with him in a church in Cleveland. And he stood up, and he talked about the importance of choice in school. I went to a school called Crenshaw High School. If you saw the movie “Boyz n the Hood,” that’s my school. Ice-T went there. And the reason he chose that school is because it, by that time, was called a Crip school, which means gangs run that school. He wanted to go to a Crip school.
So President Trump talked about the importance of getting a good education and how parents should be empowered to say, I don’t want to send my kid to an underperforming government school. The school where I went to school — right now, according to a front-page article in the LA Times about three years ago, only three percent of kids can do math at grade level. Three percent, not a typo. Three percent.
What responsible parent would send his or her child to a school that is a Crip school where only three percent of the kids can do math at grade level? And the answer is nobody would. But if you don’t have any money, you don’t have any choice. So the lady across the street, down the street, within the geographical area that Crenshaw covers, has to send their kid to that school whether they like it or not. This is an absolute assault on the future of a child.
There are think tanks on the left and think tanks on the right. The Brookings Institution is on the left; Heritage on the right. They both said the same thing about how one gets to the middle class: finish high school, presumably one where, when you graduate, you can actually read, write and compute at grade level. Finish high school. Number two, don’t have a kid before you’re 20. And number three, get married first. You follow that formula, you will not be poor. It didn’t say, unless you are a descendant of slaves. It didn’t say, unless you were a victim of Jim Crow. Both think tanks said do this; you will not be poor. What is stopping anybody from doing that, other than an assumption that they’re out to get you, they’re out to hold you back?
So these people, especially these white liberals, they’re not doing you any favor by telling you you’re a victim, by telling you you’re oppressed. It’s a lie. All you have to do is invest in yourself. What is stopping you from doing two good, hard hours of homework every night? What’s stopping you? No one’s stopping you, other than a defeatist attitude, an attitude that it won’t do any good, because those guys are out to get me.
So the Left is not doing black people a favor. They think they are. I guess they think they are. But they’re not.
President Trump has been called a racist. Guy called my show: “Larry, you’re always defending this racist in the White House.” “We didn’t start out very well, sir. Let’s go back. You tell me the biggest thing that Donald Trump has ever said or done that makes him a racist.” Guy paused for 10 seconds. He hadn’t thought about it, obviously. He said, “Well, Donald Trump, uh, uh, discriminated against people when he was renting apartments.” I said, “You’re talking about the 1975 consent decree that he entered into, where he admitted no guilt.” He was 26, 27 years old, running his dad’s business. And the government said that you were not renting to blacks and browns. In fact, they had rented to blacks and browns. His father did not want to rent to certain people that were eligible for Section 8 housing. That’s what the alleged discrimination was.
So Trump entered into a consent decree that lasted for two years. Now, I don’t know what the statute of limitations is for that, but that was 44 years ago? But you want to play that game? How about the year before? He said, “What happened the year before?” “Oh, you didn’t know about this?”
1974, a young lawyer, newly minted from Harvard, was running for office. His name is Chuck Schumer. There’s a neighborhood in New York, Flatbush neighborhood. And there were two buildings full of black people in the neighborhood that was largely an ethnic neighborhood. The other people in the neighborhood wanted the blacks out. And a young man named Jay Homnick attended a political rally, political meeting — he was 13 years old — with his father, to meet this new guy, Chuck Schumer.
And Chuck Schumer heard all the complaints and said, Here’s what I’ll do. You guys vote for me. When I get into office, I will have a plan to refurbish those two buildings. The black tenants would have to relocate. But they’ll get right of first refusal. By law, they have to get that. But we’ll refurbish them so nicely, they won’t be able to afford them. Voila, they’ll be gone.
Chuck Schumer got elected and put that plan into motion. It didn’t work. Because, surprise, surprise, the black people were able to raise enough money to move back into the apartments, and they moved back into them.
Now, the young man who called and told me this, Jay Homnick, said, “The blacks weren’t causing any trouble. It wasn’t like they were disruptive or beating anybody up. In fact, we all played basketball together. So they weren’t a problem. It’s just these people in the neighborhood — and I’m sad to say,” he said, “my father — who were racists, who wanted them out.”
I’ve mentioned this story on my show for the last 25 years. I’ve written columns about it. I’ve interviewed Jay Homnick on my program. To this day, I’ve never heard a single reporter ask Chuck Schumer about this. Never. Can you imagine if a 1974 Donald Trump proposed that kind of scheme and could verify it? There were a number of people at the meetings. Not difficult to find it out. They don’t care. They couldn’t care less.
It’s just amazing how the double standards are. And poor Joe Biden. I mean, Joe Biden has always been handsy. Everybody knows that. And you know what he wants to say. He wants to say, okay, I get it, I shouldn’t have been that intimate. But my goodness. 2016, the entire election year, not a single reporter asked Hillary about the allegation made by Juanita Broderick that Juanita Broderick was raped. And two weeks after the alleged rape, Hillary verbally intimidated her to let her know she’d better keep her mouth shut, or else. How do you get on me for kissing somebody in the back of the head, and not ask Hillary one question about whether or not she verbally intimidated an alleged rape survivor? How do you do that?
And the answer is this double standard that we’re up against: Hollywood, academia and media. And they are united against us. Of the top 20 sources of the media, 18 of them lean to the left; only two go to the right: Washington Times and the Fox News Report by Brett Baier. That’s it.
My friend, Tim Groseclose, who wrote a book called “Left Turn,” says that if the media were truly fair and balanced, if people really got their media information from a balanced set of sources, the average voter would vote the way — the average state, rather, would vote the way Texas votes, which is about eight to 10 points in favor of Republican. This is the first book that ever tried to quantify what you and I would call the damage — others would call the effect — of media bias. And this is what we’re up against at every single election.
And Donald Trump, despite all of this, despite nearly 90 percent of the news on ABC, NBC and CBS, his popularity has actually ticked up since the Mueller report came out. It’s now at about 51 percent on Rasmussen. And from what I can tell, his support among blacks is probably twice as much, if not three times as much, as he got when he ran in 2016.
So despite all of this, this guy is still standing strong. The economy is rocking and rolling. Generally speaking, with an economy this good, he should float to reelection. But he’s not. He’s not because of the media bias.
I’ll give you another example of this kind of economic media bias. In October 1992, George Herbert Walker Bush is running for reelection against Bill Clinton. Investor’s Business Daily took a look at major newspapers, their front-page economic news stories, business stories. Ninety percent of the stories of the front pages of major newspapers having to do with the economy, 90 percent of the stories were negative. Even though we were in the 16th consecutive month of positive economic growth, the majority of people thought we were in a recession. We weren’t even close to being in a recession.
The next month, after you-know-who wins the election, only 14 percent of the news of economics and business on these front pages of these newspapers were negative. Just 14 percent. All of a sudden, the very same data was being interpreted very differently, because this guy had just won the election. He hadn’t even taken office yet. He hadn’t implemented a single policy. But all of a sudden now, the very same newspapers were covering the very same news in a much more optimistic way. This is the kind of nonsense that we have to deal with every single day.
And someone said there’s a passion gap. And there is. I’ve interviewed Dick Cheney. I interviewed Donald Rumsfeld. I asked them both this question: What’s your biggest regret? And they said, when people started saying “Bush lied, people died” in opposition to the Iraq war, we didn’t fight back. Because we just knew people were not that stupid, not that gullible. They both said the same thing to me. We wish we had fought back. Because we underestimated how that would resonate and how many people would actually believe that we lied us into the war. Can you believe that?
We had, at the time, 16 defense agencies. All 16 said, at the highest level of certainty, that Saddam Hussein had stockpiles. The only difference was how close he was to getting a nuclear weapon. But all 16 said, at the highest level of certainty, that he had stockpiles of WMD.
Bill Clinton retained the same CIA director, George Tenet, who worked under — George Bush, rather, retained the same CIA director, George Tenet as had worked under Bill Clinton. And Tenet gave him the same intel that the assertion that there were WMDs in Iraq was “a slam-dunk.”
So you rely on the intelligence community. And, fast-forward, you’re called a liar. Donald Trump dismisses the intelligence community’s notion that but for Russia he might not have been elected. And he’s considered to be anti-intelligence community. It’s just incredible double standard.
The New York Times talks about how many lies President Trump has made since he’s been in office. It was 8,000 a few months ago; now they say it’s 10,000. Do you really care that he exaggerated the size of his inaugural? I mean, do these things really matter?
His predecessor, Barack Obama, lied about virtually every major decision that he made. And these are decisions that were transformational. Let’s just take a few of them.
Obamacare. I don’t just mean the big lie, if you like your doctor, you keep your doctor; if you like your healthcare plan, you can keep your healthcare plan. I’m not just talking about that. I’m talking about the other ones. It’s going to bend the cost curve down. The average family would save $2,500 a year. Neither of which happened. Premiums doubled, copays doubled, deductibles went up. None of the things he said happened were going to happen. Because the intention was, all along, for us to take one big stride toward single payer. That was their goal. Why does Obama get immune from criticism about all the promises he made on Obamacare?
The Iran deal that put Iran on a path to getting a nuclear bomb. Ben Rhodes was his Deputy National Security Advisor. And after the Iran deal was done, he had an interview with the New York Times and bragged about the fact that, well, we sold this based upon a narrative. And the narrative is that there’s some hardliner ayatollahs and some moderate ayatollahs. If you want to give strength to the moderate ayatollahs, you need to do this deal. Ha ha ha, he said to the New York Times, there’s no such thing as a moderate ayatollah. He said, and the average reporter — and the reason we were able to get away with this is the average reporting covering foreign policy “is 27 years old, and they literally know nothing.” Look it up. Are you kidding me? He’s bragging about it.
The withdrawal of all the troops out of Iraq. Now, it was a campaign promise. Don’t get me wrong. He fulfilled a campaign promise. But he did so against the unanimous advice of his national security team. Hillary, who was his Secretary of State, said leave between 5,000 and 10,000 troops. The National Security advisor: leave between 5,000 and 10,000 troops. Our U.S. ambassador to Iraq said we need to leave a stay-behind force. The Joint Chief said we need to leave a stay-behind force. His entire National Security team told him to leave a stay-behind force. He ignored it, pulled all the troops out. In comes ISIS. ISIS metastasized. And little by little, we sent back, guess what, 5,000 troops.
Why aren’t the media pounding on him for creating a vacuum that allowed ISIS to come in and fester, causing hundreds of thousands of lives to be lost, no doubt? Because they’re all in bed with him. They agree with everything that he’s done. They took no issue with anything that he’s done.
Only about seven percent of reporters, according to the Pew Research Center, describe themselves as Republicans. Ninety-three percent call themselves something other than that. This is what we are fighting against all the time.
So it’s all up to us to stay strong, to get involved, to stay involved, to send money to candidates that we want, to support websites that we want, to support programs like [Jaime’s]. Otherwise, we’re going to lose this battle.
Because they are minting people like Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. The woman has a degree in economics from BU. Are you kidding me? She supports a $15 minimum wage. Do you know what restaurant closed in New York because of $15 minimum wage? The one where she used to work.
Called the Coffee Shop, Union Square. The co-owner said, the reason we’re shutting it down is because we went to a $15 minimum wage. Hello? And she now wants to impose that for the rest of the country. This is absolutely insane.
The New Green Deal? Are you kidding me? We’re going to wean ourselves off of fossil fuels within a certain period of time, no matter the cost? And the people that will be disproportionately paying more for energy, of course, will be poor people, the people that the Left claim that they care about.
This is what we’re up against. Unless we stand strong and fight back, we are in serious, serious trouble. I think it will be more difficult for Trump to get reelected than for Trump to have gotten elected, as difficult as that was. Because they’re ready this time. He sneaked up on them before. They underestimated him. They’re not going to do that this time.
And in Florida — I’m sure you heard about this — I think this is probably the most important thing that happened in 2016. Not the gubernatorial races everybody was paying attention to, or the Senate races. It’s that in Florida, they passed a referendum to allow 1.5 million convicted felons who previously could not vote to vote. That may be a good thing from a libertarian standpoint. Bad thing — I’m not talking about. We’re talking about the reality. The reality is, the likelihood is, that the lion’s share of them are not going to be Republicans. Trump won Florida by 100,000 votes. There are now 1.5 million people eligible to vote who were not eligible before. What percentage will actually vote? Don’t know. What percentage will vote Republican? Don’t know. But my feeling is, but for the assertion or the assumption that most of them are going to vote Democrat, you wouldn’t find the Democrats in Florida pushing for the referendum.
Why do you suppose they want free college? If you are a humanities major, the more time you spend in college, the more likely you’re going to come out leftwing. If it were the opposite, if the more college you had the more likely it is you were going to come out Republican, do you think they’d be talking about free college tuition? I don’t think so. Which is why they want the borders porous. Eventually, there’ll be pressure to legalize the illegal aliens, to get them a pathway to citizenship. And the lion’s share of them will vote for the Democratic Party.
There’s a union official named Eliseo Medina. And you can Google his name, and you can see it. Shortly after Obama got elected, he gave a speech where he talked about comprehensive immigration reform. If we can get that through, he said, we’ll have a governing progressive coalition for the long haul. Because at least two out of three will vote for us. That’s why they don’t care about the borders being porous. If the likelihood is where people are coming in, and ultimately they become American citizens, and ultimately they become voters which vote Republican, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.
I want to end by saying this. Despite all the stuff that’s going on, all of our challenges, this is the greatest country that’s ever been created. You can go from nothing to something faster in America than anywhere else in all of human history. All you have to do is apply yourself. You can’t control the results, but you can control the effort. And this what we got to be telling people all the time. My mother and my father always taught me never to allow anybody to make you feel inferior. If you allow someone to make you feel inferior, it is on you.
We read a poem when I was in class, written by Countee Cullen. I’d done that the last time I was here, was asked to do it again. And it went like this:
While riding through Old Baltimore, so small and full of glee, I saw a young Baltimorean keep a-looking straight at me. Now I was young and very small, and he was no whit bigger. And so I smiled, but he poked out his tongue and called me “nigger.” I saw the whole of Baltimore from May until September; of all the things that happened there, that’s all that I remember.
The class was furious. Teacher was furious. I was furious. The teacher talked about this being a permanent stain on his psyche, he’ll always think of himself as a second-class citizen and so forth. I knew my mother was going to have a different attitude, but I didn’t quite know what. So I went home that day. She’s in the kitchen, stirring a big pot of greens; I’ll never forget it. I said, “Mom, we read a poem in class by a guy named Countee Cullen. And I want to get your reaction to it.” She said, “Go ahead.” I said, “Goes like this: While riding through Old Baltimore, so small and full of glee, I saw a young Baltimorean keep a-looking straight at me. Now I was young and very small, and he was no whit bigger. And so I smiled, but he poked out his tongue and called me ‘nigger.’ I saw the whole of Baltimore from May until September; of all the things that happened there, that’s all that I remember.” She took the spoon out of the pot, rapped it on the side of the pot, turned to me. And she said, “Larry, what a shame he let something like that spoil his vacation. How many wings do you want?”
Let me just end with this kind of amusing story. I found it amusing. I’m at a gas station a few years ago. And I had just pulled up. I had a black, new Thunderbird one of my clients loaned me. I was wearing a nice suit one of my clients had tailored for me. I get out. I put my credit card in to get a full tank of premium gas. The next bay over, a 1968 Dodge Polara with a busted muffler pulls up. Two people get out. Pale skin, out-of-state license plate, southern state. I won’t say the state. Together, the two of them might’ve had 10, 12 teeth.
Together. I could tell they were related, father and son, because of their resemblance. They got $5 of regular, and they rumble out. And as they’re rumbling away, I said to myself, wow, just think. Those two dudes owe me reparations. Is this a great country, or what?
Thank you so much for having me. God bless you, David. God bless the David Horowitz Center.
Unidentified Participant: We have time for a question or two. Do we have any questions from the audience?
Larry Elder: Good, we solved everything.
Unidentified Participant: Oh, we got one right here.
Unidentified Audience Member: I don’t know what you will say to this. But when Obama brought the FBI into the White House, why did the Republicans let that happen? It had never been done before in the history of the United States.
Larry Elder: It hadn’t. For the same reason that Republicans often get rolled over: they didn’t see it coming.
You know, when Obama got elected, I think a lot of people elected him because they thought that this whole issue of race and racism would be put to bed at that point. In my opinion, Obama made things worse when he said the Cambridge Police acted stupidly. You remember that incident? Skip Gates, his friend from Harvard, had been on vacation. Came home, forgot his door key. So he and the cab driver broke into his house. A neighbor saw this, didn’t recognize Gates, called 911. Don’t you want neighbors like that? Car comes up, very politely asked Mr. Gates to come out of the home and identify himself. And instead of doing that, he was offended by the question and said something like, I’ll come out if yo’ mama tells me to come out.
And instead of — and this is when Obama had a perfect chance to say, this is my friend, Skip Gates. But Skip, you’re a professor from Harvard, a tenured professor from Harvard. You ought to be setting a role model. And when blacks are stopped by the cops, a lot of times it’s this macho thing. And instead of following instructions and avoiding any possible bad outcome, you made it worse. You escalated it. It was childish what you said. This cop was simply doing his job. And for you to have this kind of attitude, and therefore convey to other people that when the police ask them questions, they too should have a chip on their shoulder, makes things worse. Instead, what did he do? The Cambridge Police “acted stupidly.”
Ferguson. Obama was giving a speech before the United Nations. And he said, and now we have our own problems here with a place called Ferguson. Well, as you know, Michael Brown did not have his hands up, did not say don’t shoot. His friend, Dorian Johnson, lied. In comes the DOJ, they do this big study on the Ferguson Police Department. And they call it institutionally racist. Why? Well, Ferguson is 57 percent black, but 85 percent of the traffic stops are of black people, an 18-point gap. Ergo, racism.
What about the NYPD? NYPD is mostly people of color now. Twenty-five percent of the city is black. Fifty-five percent of the traffic stops are of black people, a 30-point gap. Why isn’t NYPD even more institutionally racist than the Ferguson PD? And the answer is you can’t do it by these kinds of stats. You have to do it by people’s behavior.
And in 2013, the DOJ put out a study done by what’s called the National Institutes for Justice on race and traffic stops. Seventy-five percent of black motorists admitted that they had committed an offense. And it turned out, no matter what the offense was, whether it was speeding, driving without a seatbelt, driving with an expired tag; no matter what it was, a black motorist was more likely to commit the offense. And so the DOJ study concluded that the differences in stoppages had to do with differences in offending.
Similarly, years ago, when Christine Todd Whitman was the governor of New Jersey, she was ordered to do a study. Because a bunch of black motorists were complaining that they were being disproportionately pulled over by the New Jersey troopers on the turnpike. She did a study. Study came back and said, no. Because of the reflection of the sun, and because many of the stops are at night, cops can’t even tell what race you are. And it turns out, no matter the speed, a black motorist is more likely to be the speeder. The faster the speed, the more likely the motorist was to be black. They could not find any evidence whatsoever of any kind of systemic racism.
Well, she didn’t like the study, said that it was bad methodology. They hired a new group, do a new study. Came back with the same conclusions. I don’t know what you want to do now.
Washington Post a few years ago looked at the thousand people that were killed by the police that year. Five hundred of them were white, 250 of them were black. There were more unarmed whites killed than unarmed blacks. Now, we all know the names of several unarmed blacks who were killed. Michael Brown was unarmed. Unarmed does not necessarily mean not dangerous. Michael Brown’s DNA was found on the officer’s gun, because he’s trying to get the gun. So just because you’re unarmed doesn’t mean you’re not dangerous. But fair enough. Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Baltimore, the [Sander plan] in Texas, the guy that died because of being choked in New York — all these cases.
I gave a speech before the Ohio State Football team. I was asked to speak before them by Urban Meyer at the time. When he called, and he asked me to do it, I said, “Coach, you need to know something.” Said, “What?” I said, “I went to Michigan.”
The man didn’t say a word for 10 seconds. But he invited me to speak to his class. And I spoke to the class, and I mentioned all these stats. And I said there were 17 unarmed black men killed that year; there were about 25 unarmed white men killed that year. Name one. Room was silent, they couldn’t name anybody. But the ones who were black, we know who they are. Just because the media cares. Meanwhile, any given year, recent years, 6,000 blacks were killed by other blacks. Ninety-five percent of black people who are killed are killed by black people.
Where’s Black Lives Matter? Let a white cop do something; in comes Black Lives Matter. This guy that just died, the rapper, got murdered, Nipsey Hussle. In February, the LA times published a study showing black motorists were disproportionately stopped in South Central. The mayor of LA, Eric Garcetti, ordered the police to cut down traffic stops, reduce the number of black people that you stop. February. March, shootings doubled. April, they’re on track to double again. The area where Nipsey Hussle was murdered was an area where police used to have a much heavier presence. But because of Eric Garcetti, their presence was less. But for Eric Garcetti, who knows, this guy might still be alive.
This is the damage that is being done by these kinds of lies. Lies that turn into policy that turn into hurting the very same people that the Left cares about.
Baltimore, there were six officers, as I recall, tried. Three of them were black. The mayor of Baltimore at the time was black. Still, the mayor is black. The City Council is all Democrats, majority black. The attorney that brought the charges is black. At the time, the AG of America was black, as was the President. Black President, black AG, black state attorney, black major. Most of City Council black, three of the cops black. The judge that found two of the cops not guilty, black. And we’re talking about systemic racism, institutional racism, when blacks, at least in Baltimore, are running the institutions? It’s madness. Absolute madness.
Unidentified Participant: Thank you so much.
Larry Elder: Okay, thank you.