BLACKS ARE MORE RACIST THAN WHITES
Make no mistake about it. The Klan is alive and well in Southern California and there is a good chance that many of the CEOs who sit in powerful positions could either be Klan members or Klan sympathizers.1
--COLUMNIST FOR THE BLACK NEWS WEEKLY LOS ANGELES SENTINEL
Racism Is Racism
"Larry Elder, is there a connection between your beliefs and the house and the white woman you have waiting for you in the hills?"
A black man asked me that during a debate over whether Hollywood conspires to shut out blacks. I called the notion paranoid and was greeted with that rather charming question.
Unfortunately, the questioner was typical. Many American blacks falsely and unfairly accuse whites for black America's "plight." Bad schools? White racism. Crime? White racism. Under-performance on standardized tests? Racist or "culturally biased"tests. Can't get a loan for a home or a new business? Racist lending officers, who would rather reject profit than give a black man a loan. Disproportionately high arrest rates? Racial profiling by racist cops.
To put it more bluntly, many blacks simply despise whites. They assume white bigotry and hostility toward blacks, and feel--against all evidence--that "white racism" remains an intense and formidable obstacle. What nonsense. So convinced that white racism stops black progress, many blacks not only ignore obvious signs of progress, but viciously attack anyone--especially someone black--who dares challenge the "they're-out-to-get-us" point of view. To hold the view--as I do--that racism no longer represents a serious threat to black upward mobility, to feel confident and positive about "race relations" in America--that makes me a "sellout." Thus, the questioner's attack, not on my views, philosophy, or ideology, but on me personally.
I take three positions, earning the wrath of blacks. First, I repudiate the "Johnnie Cochran doctrine." Recall that during the O. J. Simpson trial, defense attorney Cochran voiced the mantra of many "black leaders" when he said, "Race plays a part of everything in America." Second, I oppose race- and gender-based affirmative action. And, third, I believe O. J. Simpson butchered two innocent human beings. For this, "my people" have called me the following:
Oreo. Uncle Tom. Boot-licking Uncle Tom. Straight-up Uncle Tom. Judas. Boy. Bug-eyed. Foot-shuffling. Sugarcane Negro. Handkerchief head. Trojan Horse. Anti-black. Pro-white. Remus. Sambo. Sambo-Tom. The Anti-Christ. Clarence Thomas supporter. Sniveling weasel. Evil. Ass-kisser. Coconut. Wannabe white. Nickering nabob of negativity. And this is just an abbreviated list.
How dare I suggest that the fate of blacks is, well, in the hands of blacks!
Many blacks, encouraged by the so-called "black leadership," view life starkly. Us against them. Black versus white. Rich versuspoor. Key is the following assumption: that whites encourage, endorse, perpetuate, welcome, are happy about, and take pride in the oppression of blacks. Challenge the traditional white-man-done-me-wrong-and-continues-to-do-so mentality, and some blacks go absolutely crazy.
What about black Atlanta mayor Bill Campbell's over-the-top defense of affirmative action? "Everybody who is a person of color in this country has benefited from affirmative action. There's not been anybody who has gotten into college on their own, nobody who's gotten a job on their own, no one who's prospered as a businessman or businesswoman on their own without affirmative action."2
Hysterical. How else to describe how some blacks reacted to the California debate on affirmative action? Students at a local college there, Cal State Northridge, decided to host a debate over Proposition 209, a ballot initiative to exclude race and gender as a consideration in public hiring, public contracting, and admissions into state colleges and universities. For the pro-affirmative-action side, they selected a black veteran civil rights activist in Los Angeles. To defend the anti-affirmative-action position, they invited ... David Duke! That's right. David Duke. See, anyone opposing affirmative action therefore supports racism, Jim Crow, lynchings, hangings, police brutality, and the Klan. Why, if the anti-affirmative-action folks could, they would reenact slavery, take away the women's vote, and deregulate cable. Quick, somebody stop them! Is this not racist?
Influential black congresswoman Maxine Waters, former head of the Black Congressional Caucus, once called President George Bush "racist."3 Why? He differed with her on policy. That's enough. And Waters routinely refers to Republicans as "the enemy." Blatant bigotry against whites, for many blacks, resembles a badge of honor. Many blacks feel they can, with impunity, make utterly racist statements.
Vice President Al Gore's presidential campaign manager, ablack woman named Donna Brazile, once talked about the importance of defeating the Republicans. We must, she said, defeat the "white boys." "White boys," she said, has nothing to do with "gender or race, it's an attitude. A white boy attitude is 'I must exclude, denigrate, and leave behind.' They don't see it or think about it. It's a culture."4 A "white boy attitude"? She also attacked black Republicans General Colin Powell and Oklahoma congressman J. C. Watts: "The Republicans bring out Colin Powell and J. C. Watts because they have no program, no policy. They play that game because they have no other game. They have no love and no joy. They'd rather take pictures with black children than feed them."5
Colin Powell, perhaps the most respected American public figure, would "rather take pictures with black children than feed them"? Colin Powell, who spends considerable time and energy in promoting volunteerism, would "rather take pictures with black children than feed them"? Powell, mind you, supports affirmative action, favors gun control legislation, once called the Newt Gingrich Republican "Contract with America" too harsh, and is pro-choice. But he has "no love and no joy." Hey, a statement like that gets a "white boy" campaign manager canned. But Ms. Brazile remains in charge, with virtually no one making an issue out of her blatantly bigoted statements.
Influential black director Spike Lee made a movie, Jungle Fever, about an interracial black-white romance. Lee, however, publicly stated his contempt for interracial relationships. In an October 1992 Esquire interview, Lee said, "I give interracial couples a look. Daggers. They get uncomfortable when they see me on the street." Charming.
In the Spike Lee movie Malcolm X, Lee depicts an actual incident where a white teenager approaches the angry activist. "Excuse me, Mr. X. Hi, I've read some of your speeches, and I honestly believe that a lot of what you have to say is true, and I'm a good person, in spite of what my ancestors did, and I just, Iwanted to ask you, what can a white person like myself who isn't prejudiced, what can I do to help you ... further your cause?" she asks plaintively. He stares sternly and replies, "Nothing."
When I gave a speech at a local high school, the front row featured several young black men wearing Malcolm X T-shirts. The picture on the T-shirts was that of "Malcolm-as-firebrand," with his finger thrust in the air circa his "white-man-is-the-devil" period.
"Do you know what happened to Malcolm X late in his life?" I asked the students. Two of the three said, "No." But the third said, "Yes. After he visited Mecca, where he saw people of all colors worshiping together, he changed the way he thought."
"Yes," I said. "Malcolm repudiated his 'white man as devil' anger and found that people had more in common than apart."
In Alex Haley's The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Malcolm X later reflects and regrets his response to the white coed.
"Well, I've lived to regret that incident. In many parts of the African continent I saw white students helping black people. Something like this kills a lot of argument. I did many things as a Muslim that I'm sorry for now. I was a zombie then--like all Muslims--I was hypnotized, pointed in a certain direction and told to march. Well, I guess a man's entitled to make a fool of himself if he's ready to pay the cost. It cost me twelve years."6
Yet many blacks prefer to freeze their notion of Malcolm X in time, leaving him at the "white-man-is-devil-and-done-me-wrong-and-he's -gonna-get-his" stage. Never mind that Malcolm later renounced this blanket hatred of whites.
Suppose hypothetically, that director Martin Scorsese, in a television interview, says, "You know, whenever I see a black guy with a white woman, I give 'em a look like someone just expelled gas." Quicker than you can say "Arnold Schwarzenegger," Scorsese's publicist holds a press conference, issues a heartfelt and sincere apology, and explains that someone took the director's remarks out of context. Scorsese then steps up and announces the establishment of a "minority outreach fund" to develop screenwriters,directors, and producers. We all, says a tearful Scorsese, must become more sensitive to the concerns of the downtrodden and the "under-represented." Now Scorsese's back in business.
But what of Spike Lee? Perhaps someone should remind Lee of the 1970 Supreme Court decision that struck down laws against interracial marriage. Does Lee wish to reenact them? Does he agree with Chief Justice Taney, of Dred Scott fame, who deemed blacks to be sub-citizens without full rights, including the right to marry whomever they wish? Lee thus insults NAACP chairman Julian Bond, who married a white woman, as well as millions of other Americans in "interracial relationships." But did anyone, whether a black leader, editorial writer, political pundit, or movie reviewer demand an apology, or at least an explanation, from Spike Lee? Did anyone boycott his movies the way Catholics, blacks, Hispanics, and other groups target "offensive" movies? No, an unbelievably and blatant racist statement made by influential public figure Lee just floated right on by.
South Carolina's Bob Jones University lost its tax exempt status for refusing to admit blacks. While the university today admits blacks, it refused to allow interracial dating until recently. Critics blasted Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush for giving a speech there. "Racism," screamed critics who blasted Bush for his racial insensitivity in daring to give a speech at such a repulsive institution.
But is Bob Jones's anti-interracial dating policy any less offensive than a position taken by the National Association of Black Social Workers? That organization opposes "trans-racial" adoptions. According to that organization, blacks and whites have vast cultural differences. A white couple should not, therefore, adopt a black child.
In 1992, the National Association of Black Social Workers drafted a position paper, calling white adoptions of black children "cultural genocide." The group warned against "transculturation ... when one dominant culture overpowers and forces anotherculture to accept a foreign form of existence."7 A foreign form of existence?
Furthermore, many blacks, like whites, flatly oppose interracial dating and interracial marriage. In 1994, 65 percent of whites approved of interracial dating versus only 43 percent in 1987. Among young whites, 85 percent approved of interracial dating.
The majority of blacks, too, approved of interracial dating, with 88 percent giving approval in 1994. Among blacks, however, approval for mixed marriages fell from 76 percent in 1983 to 68 percent six years later. Among whites, though, those accepting mixed marriages continued to grow.8
Black Racism and Black Myopia
When Julian Bond became NAACP chairman, he declared his intention to wage war on the number one problem facing blacks: "the new racists."
The new racists? Care to name names, Mr. Bond?
Examine Bond's mind-set. America is a battlefield. Good versus evil. Us versus them.
During the Second World War, Japanese fighters in Burma continued fighting long after the warring parties negotiated peace. Their remote location prevented them from learning the news, so they continued fighting. Similarly, many blacks continue "fighting the struggle" long after the declaration of peace. By nearly any measure--the right to vote, to use public accommodations, to attend a state college or university if qualified--the "civil rights" struggle, thank God, is over. The black leadership should stick the pole in the ground, raise the flag, salute, and convert the troops to civilian duty. Instead, they continue fighting a war long since won while ignoring far more pressing issues. The black leadership is in Burma.
In 1977, I accepted a job as an associate attorney with an old-line,silk-stocking Cleveland law firm. The firm, now more than a hundred years old, had, in its history, hired just a handful of blacks. My uncle, a thirty-year auto machinist with General Motors, sat me down to "caution" me about white treachery. "Larry, let me tell you something. You know I grew up on a farm in Alabama. My brothers and sisters and neighbors and I would walk, barefoot, five miles to the nearby schoolhouse. The white kids got bused to a school three miles away. And, as the bus drove by us black kids walking in single file, the white kids would curse at us, call us niggers, spit at us, and throw eggs and tomatoes. And this is how white folks can be, and I want you to--"
I cut him off. "Thurman," I said, "you know I love you. But, what happened to you has never happened to me. Nor will it. Today is today."
The real danger lies with the NAACP, not the KKK. Racism exists, and treachery always lurks. But the vision my uncle painted--however burnished in his own mind--bears little resemblance to contemporary America.
Hard memories. Tough, quite understandable, hard memories. In Florida, the public school system, with the support of the NAACP, seeks to end decades-long court-ordered desegregation. But one of the original litigants, Charles Rutledge, now 75 years old, denounces the proposed end to forced desegregation. Never mind that the lifting of the court order is supported by the NAACP, an organization whose chairman declared as his number one agenda to go after "the new racist." Say what you will about the NAACP, they are not soft on racism.
But Rutledge says, "If the court order is rescinded, they'll do what they want. America is still a racist nation. Hearts of men haven't changed that much."9
Hard memories. But these memories do not reflect the memories of today's America. No one says forget, but we should recognize obvious progress, and maintain perspective.
My mother also grew up in the South, on a farm near Huntsville,Alabama. When my grandfather took my mom and her sister to the department store downtown, they entered through a separate door. And when my mom put on a dress, once the garment touched her skin, she owned it. The store made my grandfather purchase the item, no matter how ill fitting or unattractive. Black skin tainted the garments.
When my mom finished that story, I turned to my father. "Dad, was it like that with you, too?" My father, a man of few words, simply said, "Hats, too."
In the early 1950s, my mom took a plane ride. While pregnant with me, she carried my infant brother in her arms. Few blacks, in those days, traveled by air. So, no separate facilities--waiting rooms, bathrooms--yet existed in airports for blacks. So where was my mother to sit in the airport?
My mom said a sheepish airport worker asked her to stand to the side, and he brought her coffee. My mom said she felt almost sorry for this young white man, who saw the absurdity in forcing a paying customer to stand apart because of her skin color.
My parents told us these stories to show how far America has come, not to create anger, to divide, or to poison us. That America, my mom and dad told my brothers and me, no longer exists. So work hard, they said, and success follows.
We need historical perspective. Yes, slavery is America's horror and shame. But slavery, unfortunately, appears throughout the whole of human history. Europeans enslaved Europeans. Asians enslaved Asians. Those we refer to as Native Americans enslaved other Native Americans. Black Africans enslaved other black Africans. Slave traders brought more African slaves to the Middle East and to South America than to Colonial America. Yet this country fought a civil war that resulted in the eradication of slavery. No other nation can say that.
But the black leadership in the United States remains dreary and pessimistic. Members of the Black Congressional Caucus introduced legislation for reparations for slavery.
Do wealthy blacks get a check? Should descendants of those who came to America after slavery pay up? Should descendants of those who fought and died on the Union side pay up? Should we make deductions for the trillions of dollars spent by the government on social programs from which blacks have benefited? What about people of mixed race? Should the payment correspond only to the percentage of a given citizen's "black blood"? Should we get a contribution from the African nations? After all, some black Africans assisted in the slave trade. And what about another question? Suppose the slave trade never happened, and today's thirty million American blacks instead live in Africa. Would they be better off?
Reparations, indeed! What a waste of time and energy. For all a country can be is just in its own time.
Illegitimacy, poor schools, drug abuse, crime--you name it--get blamed on white racism. This insults generations of black men and women who worked, survived, and thrived under unimaginably inhumane conditions. Today, many blacks ignore the meteoric progress of blacks, a success under way well before anyone heard of the expression "affirmative action."
In high school, my class read a poem:
While riding through old Baltimore, so small and full of glee, I saw a young Baltimorean keep a-lookin' 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 teacher talked about the permanent damage done to this little boy's psyche. The permanent stain of racism. The denial of the little boy's dignity. The boy, said the teacher, will never be the same. By the time the bell sounded, everybody left angry.
I went home and repeated the poem to my mom. When Icame to the last stanza: "Of all the things that happened there, that's all that I remember," she took a spoon out of the pot she was stirring, rapped it on the side, turned to me and said, "Larry, it's too bad he let that spoil his vacation."
Pre-affirmative action, pre-Civil Rights Act of 1964, pre-Voting Rights Act of 1965, pre-Open Housing Act of 1968, Supreme Court justice Robert Jackson wrote in an unpublished 1954 Brown vs. Board of Education draft concurrence, "Negro progress under segregation has been spectacular and, tested by the pace of history, his rise is one of the swiftest and most dramatic advances in the annals of man."10 Hear, hear!
And today, taxpayers provide state-funded education. Blacks can rely, for the most part, on the police to do their jobs without violating human rights. The unemployment rate stands at a thirty-year low, with black unemployment falling faster than white joblessness. A black with the same years of experience and quality of education can expect to earn what a white man earns. America's computer age rapidly increases productivity, and our nation's standard of living rises at a pace unknown in all of human history.
Midtown Los Angeles is an area largely populated with Hispanics and Asians. At the corner of Olympic and Vermont there once stood a small dingy, library.
"Larry," said my friend, Frank, who lives in midtown, "I want to show you something." About 3:30 P.M., I met Frank in front of the library. "Look at this," Frank said.
In front of the building, which stood on a slight incline, a halfdozen Hispanic kids rode skateboards. They did impressive tricks, including spins, flips, and other almost gravity-defying, Michael Jordan-esque moves.
"Now," Frank said, "come on inside."
We entered the library. Standing room only. Every chair and desk was occupied ... by Korean-American kids and their mothers. Not a single Hispanic in the building.
Now, fast-forward ten or twenty years later. Which group will likely generate the senior vice president of sales and marketing at Merck, and which group will likely spawn lesser achievers?
Politicians can scream all they want about the "digital divide," the allegation that the computer era leaves many behind through no fault of their own. But the bottom line, ground zero, remains the little library at the corner of Olympic and Vermont. The library shows that affirmative action remains alive and well in our country. Only some call it homework.
So, today's challenge is not black versus white. It is prepared versus unprepared. This means making schools work, holding parents and students to high standards, and shaming those who irresponsibly breed and then abandon their children. The "black leaders'" almost pathological search for the Great White Bigot does not address these problems.
Black Harvard sociologist Orlando Patterson said, "The sociological truths are that America, while still flawed in its race relations ... is now the least racist white-majority society in the world; has a better record of legal protection of minorities than any other society, white or black; offers more opportunities to a greater number of black persons than any other society, including all those of Africa ... ."
The editor of the National Review, John O. Sullivan, put it this way, "White racism exists. But its social power is weak, the social power against it overwhelming."
Would the Last Black Republican/Conservative Please Turn Out the Light?
Blacks hate Republicans.
Bill Maxwell, black editorial writer and columnist for the St. Petersburg Times, wrote a column called "Black Republicans: Self-Loathers." 11 Some choice excerpts:
• Some creatures are just plain strange, making us do double takes because their compositions or habits or appearances defy our sense of logic and our way of viewing reality.
• Take the wildebeest, warthog, hyena, brown pelican, the Shar-Pei. These animals, seemingly wrought by committee make us laugh. Another such creature, of the human kind--and perhaps the strangest of all--is the black Republican.
• Black Republicans fail to understand that few white Republicans will accept them as equals. Although they will not acknowledge the truth, most white Republicans, like most other whites, view black Republicans as strange creatures.
• White Republicans feign consternation that most blacks find them contemptible, arguing that those mean old Democrats have been black people's real enemy all along. Keyes and others, such as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Oklahoma Rep. J. C. Watts and California businessman Ward Connerly, also spout this nonsense.
• Some blacks like [Colin] Powell become Republicans because they see clear political advantage or because they work for Republicans.
Most others, however, are mean-spirited self-loathers who rarely find anything positive to say about fellow blacks.
They out-nasty the worst white racist, calling the likes of Jesse Jackson, the NAACP's Kweisi Mfume, and the Urban League's Hugh Price evil men hell-bent on destroying America.
White Republicans love this kind of stuff. They wink and nod each time black Republicans claim that racism is a thing of the past, that whites and blacks are free to compete equally. Black Republicans have fooled themselves into believing that white Republicans are their brethren.
And, of course, black Republicans delude themselves into believing that they alone are responsible for their success.
Other than that, Mr. Maxwell, how do you really feel?
New York congressman Charles Rangel said of the 1994 Republican Congress, "It's not 'spic' or 'nigger' any more. They say 'let's cut taxes.'"12 How bad is it? Well, nearly everybody loves Colin Powell. Except blacks. According to a 1995 poll,13 Powell enjoyed a 73 percent popularity rating among whites. Among blacks, however, he registered only 57 percent. Think about that. A Newt Gingrich clone, he ain't. As mentioned earlier, Powell is a social moderate, perhaps truly more comfortable in the Democratic Party than in the Republican. And he made the country proud by kicking Saddam Hussein's butt.
So for a black voter, what's not to like? Yeah, blacks say, but he's ... a Republican.
To many black people, Republicans don't simply represent a different point of view. They represent "racism," "back-of-the-busism," and, if they could get away with it, a reversal in fundamental civil rights. When congresswoman Maxine Waters calls the Republicans "the enemy," this suits most blacks just fine. Obviously, Republicans want blacks at the back of the bus and, if possible, back on the plantation.
How warranted is this black hatred of Republicans? Abraham Lincoln became the first nationally elected candidate from the newly formed Republican Party. The party platform that year sought to prevent the spread of slavery.
Because "Lincoln freed the slaves," black voters supported the Republican Party for years. Even as late as the 1956 race between Dwight Eisenhower and Adlai Stevenson, blacks gave Republicans nearly 35 percent of the vote.
This allegiance switched in the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon presidential race, when a southern sheriff arrested Dr. Martin Luther King. King's aides sent identically worded letters to both John F.Kennedy and Richard Nixon. Kennedy responded. Nixon did not. Because of Kennedy's intervention and the public light it shed, the Southern jailers quickly released King. For this important symbolic and meaningful gesture, blacks rewarded John F. Kennedy in the voting booth, putting him over the top in this extremely close election with 70 percent of their vote.
But it was southern Democrats who formed the line to defend Jim Crow. Georgia governor Lester Maddox famously brandished ax handles to prevent blacks from patronizing his restaurant. He was a Democrat. Alabama governor George Wallace stood in front of the Alabama schoolhouse in 1963 and thundered, "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever." He was a Democrat. Birmingham Public Safety commissioner Eugene "Bull" Connor sicced dogs and turned fire hoses on black civil rights demonstrators. He was a Democrat. In 1954, Arkansas governor Orville Faubus tried to prevent the desegregation of a Little Rock public high school. He was a Democrat. President Eisenhower, a Republican, sent in federal troops to prevent violence and enforce a court order desegregating the school.
As a percentage of their respective parties, more Republicans voted for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 than did Democrats!
A Republican president, Richard Nixon, not John F. Kennedy or Lyndon B. Johnson, instituted the first affirmative action program with goals and timetables.
On the mantels of black homes, you often find pictures of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the slain Kennedy brothers. But, near the end of the Kennedy presidency, black leaders seethed over his failure to push for major civil rights legislation. Kennedy, ever the pragmatist, wanted to wait until after the 1964 election, fearing a civil rights push could alienate the important southern vote. Not exactly the credentials of a civil rights warrior.
And, it was during the Kennedy administration that FBI head J. Edgar Hoover sought and received permission to wiretap MartinLuther King. The person granting him permission? Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy.
Want to start a fight? Walk into a black barbershop and praise Ronald Reagan.
Blacks simply do not know that blacks prospered greatly under Reagan. But black adult unemployment fell faster during his presidency than did white adult unemployment. Black teenage unemployment fell faster than did white teenage unemployment.
But Reagan, according to Black Entertainment Television commentator Tavis Smiley, "tortured" blacks. Tortured? Yet, despite popular misconception, Reagan did not shut down any significant poverty program. In fact social spending under Ronald Reagan actually grew! Reagan did not "roll back the social safety net." He preserved it, and, in many cases, expanded it.
Still, no pictures of Ronald Reagan on the mantel of blacks.
Earlier we discussed Proposition 209, California's initiative to remove race- and gender-based affirmative action. Ward Connerly, a successful black contractor, led California's grassroots effort to repeal race- and gender-based preferences. Connerly felt demeaned that the state assumed he needed a boost and believed that the affirmative action mentality creates a dependent mind-set that robs people of self-sufficiency and the willingness to assume personal responsibility.
Even affirmative action supporter Arthur Ashe, in Days of Grace, spoke of affirmative action's entitlement mentality: "Affirmative action tends to undermine the spirit of individual initiative. Such is human nature; why struggle to succeed when you can have something for nothing?"14
But Connerly clashed with black leaders, who accused him of selling out. Black California State senator Diane Watson, a staunch proponent of affirmative action, viciously attacked Connerly, "He's married a white woman. He wants to be white. He wants a colorless society. He has no ethnic pride. He doesn't want to be black."15 What? Yet another attack from a black person about the race ofanother black person's spouse! Afterward, a heartfelt apology? Not on your life. When reporters later asked Senator Watson about the remark, she defiantly stated, "That's right. I said that." Spike Lee would be proud.
Suppose, during the 1996 race for the Republican nomination for the presidency, Senator Bob Dole attacked rival Senator Phil Gramm because Gramm married a Korean-American. Are you kidding? The Dole campaign goes supernova. Lights out. Case closed.
But Senator Diane Watson? Well, Clinton later nominated her as U.S. ambassador to Micronesia.
USA Today columnist Julianne Malveaux said that she hoped conservative black Supreme Court justice Thomas's wife would feed him "lots of eggs and butter and he dies early ... of heart disease."16
Justice Thomas serves as poster boy for the wrath of the black left. And many blacks simply cannot rationally discuss Clarence Thomas. Equally conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia--no problem. Many blacks can rationally discuss the politics of John Wayne, Newt Gingrich, Pat Buchanan, and even Ronald Reagan. But Clarence Thomas?
The black monthly magazine Emerge, with a circulation of 162,000, featured a cover on Justice Thomas. The magazine depicted a cartoonish Thomas dressed as a lawn jockey, holding a lantern and sporting a broad grin. The cover caption? "Uncle Thomas, Lawn Jockey to the Far Right." And, inside the cover, we see another cartoon picture, this time of Clarence Thomas, on his knees, shining the shoes of fellow Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, another despicable "conservative."
Emerge magazine calls itself a "black news monthly." News monthly? Imagine a Time magazine cover story showing an obese Ted Kennedy stuffed into a jockey suit and holding a lantern with the headline reading, "Uncle Ted, Lawn Jockey to the Far Left." Recall the infamous Time magazine's O.J. Simpson cover. For whatit thought of as dramatic effect, Time darkened Simpson's features. "Racism," hollered black leaders. Time quickly apologized. But a "news monthly" like Emerge can caricature a black Supreme Court justice as a shoeshine boy without fear of criticism.
Black publisher Emanuel McLittle produced a now-defunct monthly publication called Destiny. Destiny's message: work hard, stop blaming "the White Man," and let's have a little perspective. Prominent writers such as Walter Williams sat on Destiny's board and contributed columns. But Destiny folded, citing an inability to attract mainstream, national advertisers. The shrill, angry Emerge magazine faces no such problem. Chrysler, G.E., and AT&T all advertise in this magazine despite its constant attack on "racist" corporate America. What is that all about?
Diversity of thought simply does not exist, especially not in the black media.
Several black conservatives syndicate their columns all across the country. Professor Walter Williams's column appears in 400 newspapers, and conservative economist Thomas Sowell's appears in 150. And there are other gifted conservative black columnists in local newspapers all around the country. Donald Adderton of the Sun Herald, in Gulfport, Mississippi. Michael Meyers of the New York Post. Joe Stewart of the San Diego Tribune. Deroy Murdock, who has written for the Washington Times, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, the Orange County Register, the San Francisco Examiner, the Miami Herald, and others. Yet, the typical black weekly newspaper, the ones screaming for multiculturalism, inclusion, and diversity, completely shut these minds and thinkers out. Even most big city liberal mainstream newspapers give black conservatives more respect, carrying the occasional column by a conservative and even setting aside some space for a conservative point of view. Not so with black newspapers.
When It Comes to Shameless Demagoguery, Overheated Rhetoric, and Outright Lies, Black Leaders Shine
Many black leaders and other prominent public figures say the dumbest, damndest, and most insulting things. For example, the venerable Bill Cosby once suggested that AIDS was a plot against blacks. The entertainer said he believed AIDS was developed "to get after certain people." Admitting he had no proof, he said, "I just have a feeling."17
Similarly, Will Smith, in an interview with Barbara Walters, suggested that scientists conceived AIDS to retaliate against blacks.
"Ethnic cleansing," cried Jesse Jackson, following a Supreme Court decision striking down Southern Congressional districts drawn up to create minority congresspersons.18 Along with Jackson, Elaine Jones of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund denounced the decision, saying, "The noose is tightening."19 Her colleague, Theodore Shaw, warned that once this decision goes through, the Black Congressional Caucus "could meet in the back seat of a taxicab."20 Well, the blacks who decided to run for reelection in now-majority-white southern districts all won! Did Jackson, who once called Jews "Hymies" and New York City "Hymie Town," apologize for his unfair and pessimistic expectations of white voters? David Duke will join the Harlem Globetrotters before that happens.
Some of the most successful, wealthiest blacks nevertheless whine about the racism. Whoopi Goldberg, the comedian-actress, complained about Hollywood, even though, at the time, she earned more money than any actress. "The one thing I've learned is that you're black forever in Hollywood. Your color never dissipates. It never becomes about: you're this actor. You're always: this actor who is this ... And so I suspect that somewhat begrudgingly I sit atop that little miniskyscraper. But it's a very precarious situation always because people don't want to pay you that money."21Meaning what? That studios willingly open their pocketbooks for white actresses but hold their nose when doing it for black ones?
Black baseball player Gary Sheffield, who in 1998 earned a record $14.9 million, complained about racism, noting, "You see racism [in baseball] every single minute of every day."22 Jeez. Even during the National Anthem?
Nearly all mainstream newspapers have the obligatory angry black leftist columnist, and Julianne Malveaux serves this function for USA Today. When Malveaux and I appeared on a national television show, I accused her of obsessing over "the great white bigot." To this, she incredibly fired back, "There is no one 'great white bigot.' There are about 200 million little white ones!" That pretty much covers every white man, woman, and child in America and, perhaps, even a few of the unborn.
Denzel Washington reportedly refused to kiss his white female costar in the movie Virtuosity because he feared the reaction from the targeted white male audience. However, Kelly Lynch, his female costar, wanted to kiss Washington. But Washington, despite a green light from the filmmakers, said no. Lynch explained, "He felt very strongly about it. I felt there is no problem with interracial romance. But Denzel felt strongly that the white males, who were the target audience of this movie, would not want to see him kiss a white woman."23 Think about this. Doesn't Washington's white female, costar know a thing or two about white males? Presumably, her parents are white. She likely has lots of white friends. She probably, therefore, knows something about the "white male mind-set." But, Washington, obviously the expert here, knows far more about the inner bigotry of white men than his white costar. His pessimism trumps her optimism. Another victory for race relations!
How crazy does it get? Real crazy. Some black leaders even create racial incidents. In Beverly Hills, on June 3, 1998, the police pulled over black California State senator Kevin Murray. Police later said they had run his plates, getting back a "no access"response. Officers thought this odd, and asked Murray to pull over.
Well, the "fit hit the shan." Murray screamed "racism." Another victim of "DWB--driving while black." Had it not been a black man in Beverly Hills, claimed Murray, you guys would not have stopped me.
But a reporter for New Times, a Los Angeles alternative weekly newspaper, wrote that Murray intentionally blew up the incident. Murray, the reporter wrote, bragged to his neighbors that he intended to "milk this thing for as far as I can go." His neighbor claimed that Murray laughed at the incident and admitted that it had little, if anything, to do with race. "Kevin has really been enjoying the publicity from being pulled over, and I mean really been enjoying it," said the neighbor. "He's going for big mileage on it, and he's loving it. Don't you just love that? When it's just talk between friends, he never says it's about race. He says it's because this woman cop had a snotty tone with him, and nobody can treat [him] with disrespect."24
"No justice, no peace," bellowed Congresswoman Maxine Waters during the 1992 Los Angeles riots.25 Following the "not guilty" verdict against four cops who beat black motorist Rodney King, rioters set fire to more than two thousand businesses, causing billions of dollars in damage. Koreans owned most of the businesses that were torched.
Yet, black leaders like Waters described the riots as a "rebellion" 26 or an "uprising." A rebellion or uprising against Korean store owners? No one calls for reparations for the Korean shopkeepers who saw their life savings and means of income wiped out in a matter of a few hours. Indeed, for allegedly failing to keep dollars within the black community, Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan calls these hardworking Los Angeles Korean store owners "bloodsuckers."
A "victicrat" blames all ills, problems, concerns, and unhappiness on others. This black victicrat mentality emerges in strange, unpredictable, confusing, and frequently inconsistent ways.
One summer during high school, I applied for a job with the County of Los Angeles. To qualify for the job, hundreds of students gathered downtown to take an aptitude test. If you scored below a certain level, the county deemed you unqualified, and you had to leave. After the three- or four-hour exam, we waited in the hall as the instructors graded the exams. Gilbert, a fellow student, approached me.
"Watch out, Larry, they're gonna get us."
"Who's gonna get us, Gilbert?"
Gilbert sighed and rolled his eyes knowingly. "You know, the white people, that's who."
"But, Gilbert, you think they're gonna 'punish' the blacks by flunking us?"
"Larry, you got a lot to learn."
Well, they announced the results of the exam. I passed, as did many other minorities. But Gilbert did not. He got up to leave, looked me in the eyes as he walked by, and said, "What did I tell you?"
The Washington Post, in 1995, wrote about black, white, Hispanic, and Asian views on race. Pollsters asked middle-income blacks whether "past and present discrimination" is responsible for your group's problems, and 84 percent of blacks answered yes. When middle-income whites were asked whether "past and present discrimination" holds blacks back, only 30 percent said yes.27 This is no surprise. It mirrors the attitudes of blacks and whites during the O. J. Simpson case, where a majority of blacks felt Simpson innocent, while the overwhelming majority of whites felt the opposite.
Here's where things get interesting. The pollster28 asked Hispanics whether they find "past and present discrimination" to be responsible for holding them back and 43 percent said yes. But when blacks were asked whether "past or present discrimination" holds Hispanics back, 58 percent said yes. In other words, 30 percent more blacks perceived discrimination against Hispanics than did Hispanics themselves.
Similarly, Asians were asked whether "past or present discrimination" holds Asians back. Thirty-one percent said yes. But when pollsters asked blacks if "past or present discrimination" holds Asians back, 41 percent said yes.29 Again, 30 percent more blacks perceived racism against Asians, than did Asians themselves.
On my Los Angeles radio show, I asked people to explain why blacks saw more racism against Hispanics and Asians than did Hispanics and Asians themselves. A black caller said, "We're experts in perceiving racism." Oh. Astute and hardworking Japanese-Americans and Chinese-Americans manage to earn more money, per capita, than virtually any other group in America. Yet the very same people are too stupid to realize the white race continues to hold them back.
Despite little evidence, nearly one-third of blacks believe the CIA played a major role in the inner-city drug epidemic, and nearly that many believe, as entertainers Bill Cosby and Will Smith once suggested, that scientists concocted AIDS to further black genocide.
Many blacks blame substandard urban schools' performance on racism, claiming that urban districts get less money for schools than suburban and rural districts. So, then, it's about the money? But, in districts like Washington, D.C., New York, and Los Angeles, districts spend upwards of $9,000 per child, far more than the average tuition for private and parochial schools.
Furthermore, black superintendents run many urban districts, often with substantial black membership. Many of these troubled districts reside in cities run by black mayors and where the citycouncil is substantially, if not majority, black. Despite the money, despite black management, all too often, the results are lousy.
Journalist David Beard, writing for the Sun-Sentinel South Florida noted that a Barbadian SAT score of 1345 was "about average for the students of ... secondary school in this Caribbean nation." The teachers in Barbados earn less money than their U.S. counterparts. A substantial number, over 50%, of the students come from single-parent households. Yet, said former Boston University chancellor John Silber, "They defy all of the expectations and all of the clichés passed off as excuses for the poor quality of primary and secondary education in the United States."30
Why do black students in Barbados perform so well on the "culturally biased" SAT? And, if the SAT is "culturally biased," wouldn't the test handicap students from the "Barbadian culture" more than students from the "black American experience"? An educator working for a pre-university school in Barbados said, "The parents expect the kids to do well. Barbados parents as a whole hold education to be Number One."31
The teachers in Barbados are not applying rocket science. Hard work, lots of homework, rote, grammar skills, high teacher expectations, and high parental expectations, accompanied by parental involvement. Computers are few, and the classes are dramatically sub-high-tech. Said U.S. educator Charles Glenn of the Barbadian education system, "In Barbados, there's no culture saying, 'The schools are racist. The tests are racist. I'm a victim.' In Britain or the United States, many kids are convinced there is nothing they can do to succeed.'"32
Yet when an American black kid graduates from high school and underperforms on standardized tests, black leaders urge the student's acceptance into competitive universities, anyway. Because of poorly managed schools, black kids get shafted in grades K through 12, but the civil rights establishment resists reforms. Angry black parents demand vouchers, so they can place theirchildren in better schools. But the Democratic Party, the NAACP, and Jesse Jackson all oppose vouchers, arguing they stand to destroy public schools--the very public schools depriving urban parents of a decent education for their children!
John Stossel, commentator for ABC News, hosted a special on myths widely believed by blacks. Some blacks, he found, accuse Church's Fried Chicken of putting something in the meat to render black men impotent. And some accuse Snapple natural beverages of being manufactured by the Ku Klux Klan. Why? Well, the label featured a ship that many blacks called a "slave ship." (Actually, the bottle shows a replica of the Boston Tea Party ship.) The upper left-hand corner of the Snapple label, said many blacks, depicts a "K"--a clear-cut reference to the Klan. In actuality, Snapple was founded by a Jewish family, and the "K" on their label stands for "Kosher." But then, why let the truth get in the way of a good victicrat story?
The chairman of the African-American studies department at Harvard University, Henry Louis Gates, complains about racism by giving a personal example. He says that even though he is a learned man who has published many books, whites nevertheless see him first and foremost as a black man. He said, "When I walk into a room, people still see my blackness, more than my Gates-ness, or my literary-ness."33 It insults him that people see his race. (How does he know what they see or think? Doesn't this "racial profiling" actually insult whites?)
Karen Russell, the daughter of black basketball great Bill Russell, writes, too, of her anger. In a New York Times Magazine cover story, she complains of racism. She says her white friends say things like, "Karen, we don't understand the problem [with racism]. We don't think of you as black." How dare they, writes Russell, accept me only after "denying my ethnicity." This insults her, the fact that people don't see her race.
So, whites piss Gates off because they see him as a black person.And whites piss Karen Russell off because they don't. Scotty, beam me up.
Remember the black man dragged by white racists in Jasper, Texas? Justifiably, this became an international story. Three white men in Jasper saw a black man, James Byrd, walking down the road. They offered him a ride, then assaulted him, chained him to the truck, and drove him several miles, scattering his body parts all over the countryside. Black victicrats, citing horrific crimes like this, call for enhanced "hate crime" legislation. The FBI recently recorded about eight thousand annual hate crimes. Of those, nearly half involved race, a substantial percentage of which consisted merely of verbal intimidation. This leaves only a handful of alleged serious "hate crimes."
But, look deeper. Americans commit nearly nine million violent crimes each year, and an additional thirty million nonviolent crimes. Thus, the several thousand "hate crimes" per year represent a tiny fraction of 1 percent.
Are blacks more likely to be victims of "hate crimes" than whites? No. Americans commit around 1.7 million interracial crimes each year, of which about 1.2 million involve blacks and whites. Nearly 90 percent of these involve a black perpetrator and a white victim. Ninety percent. Thus, assuming blacks commit a small percentage of these racial crimes because of the victim's race, then hate crime legislation, if applied evenly, would ensnare more blacks than whites!
The media seem to think blacks incapable of committing hate crime. In 1989, several young black teenagers raped and assaulted a Central Park jogger. The crime made headlines, but no one suggested a racial motive. Tell me, if a black woman jogged through Central Park only to be grabbed, raped, and beaten by several white youths, wouldn't someone wonder aloud whether race might have prompted this act of violence and vulgarity? Under the definition of a race-based "hate crime," a perpetrator need act only in part out of racial animus.
Black youths stoned and nearly killed white truck driver Reginald Denny during the 1992 riots in South Central L.A. Hate crime? Apparently not. And in 1997, three white teens from northern Michigan hopped a train that landed them in a predominantly black area of Flint, Michigan. Several black youths brutally attacked them, beating, then shooting the two white boys in the head, killing one. The white girl was forced to perform oral sex, after which she was pistol-whipped, robbed of ten dollars, shot in the face, and left for dead.34 "Hate crime"? Apparently not.
Many newspapers and magazines wrote about the Flint crime, but no one raised the question of whether the perpetrators might have been motivated because they found some white kids in a black neighborhood. No one called it a "hate crime."
In March 2000 a black man shot five whites, killing three in a Pittsburgh suburb. A black neighbor quoted the suspect, Ronald Taylor, as saying, "I'm gonna kill all the white people." A white maintenance man, who worked at Taylor's apartment building, complained, "Whenever he saw me, he called me a racist pig, or white trash. Or he'd make a point of walking past and brushing up against me. He just didn't like me."35
Yet, television news anchors tiptoed around whether to accuse the suspect of a "hate crime"! Suddenly, anchors advised that we don't know whether Taylor's alleged hate crime against whites was the "primary" or "sole" reason for the shootings. Pardon me? Suddenly, somehow a new requirement got added. When did they make that change?
Even the local police avoided any appearance of a rush to judgment. "There's a lot of hostility in this individual," said Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania's police chief Gerald Brewer, "so I think it's a little premature to simply define this as a racist event." A little premature?
In August 1999, white supremacist Buford Furrow gunned down several people at a Jewish Community Center in Los Angeles. He later shot and killed a Filipino letter carrier. During thefirst three days of the shooting, how many newspapers carried the story? Over 150. They wrote nearly 200 articles.
But, in November 1999, an Ethiopian man in Kansas City shot and killed two coworkers. The shooter, who shot and killed himself, left a letter referring to "blood sucker" whites. Over the next full year, how many newspapers carried the story of this hideous, apparently race-based shooting? Eleven.
In April 1999, teenagers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot and killed several classmates, before killing themselves. The shooters had written about their hatred for blacks, athletes, and others. What do you tell the parents of a slain, white male teenager? Well, the state provides a lesser punishment for your child's killers, since your child is white. Never mind that the white teenager's body lay only feet from a slain black teenager's body, for whose killers the government provides stronger punishment. What nonsense.
And, in any case, why do we need "hate crime legislation"? Didn't Clinton supporter James Carville assert that he "hated" independent counsel Ken Starr? This is America, thundered Carville, and you don't have to like somebody if you don't want to. And isn't it racist to place one victim ahead of another, based on ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability? Aren't all crimes really hate crimes in the sense that the bad guy wanted to do harm to the innocent? Hate crime legislation forces us to place greater value on some victims because of race. By all means, we should prosecute bad conduct. But if I'm standing at an ATM machine and a Ku Klux Klansman hits me in the back of the head with a brick, the operative word is not "Klansman." It is "brick."
For a 1997 PBS special, Redefining Racism, I interviewed George Curry, editor of the aforementioned Emerge magazine. I consistently challenged his facts, conclusions, and overall pessimism. He got angrier and angrier. No doubt, he disagreed with much of what I said. But, his anger, I think, comes from another place. The Emerge victicrat mind-set says this: "The Man rigged the game. He's stacked the odds. But, subscribe to my magazine, and we willshow you the way. We show how to navigate the treacherous waters of racism and discrimination." Racism sells.
Publisher Curry's victicrat worldview requires enemies, and this makes truth tellers and falsehood shredders so dangerous. Take away "us versus them," and you remove a huge incentive to buy his magazine. A recent and typical Emerge article asked, "Has the Economic Boom Bypassed Black America?" Open the magazine. A woman and a man are sitting in a Jaguar, in Mitchellville, Maryland, a predominantly black Washington, D.C., suburb of sumptuous houses, lush, manicured green lawns, colorful flowerbeds, huge picture windows, and Mercedes and BMWs parked in driveways. The article tells us that "68 percent, or more than 8,000 of Mitchellville's 12,593 residents, are black. Initially, their affluence stemmed from high-paying government jobs. College degrees and entrepreneurships later fueled the movement of blacks to the suburbs."36
But even here, says the article, the system screws blacks. "And for all that a Mitchellville has to offer, it is equally striking for what's missing. The Starbucks coffee shops, Barnes & Noble bookstores and even bagel shops that are ubiquitous in most trendy neighborhoods are nowhere to be found. Much like poor inner-city areas, Prince George's County has more liquor stores than jewelry stores, more used merchandise stores than department stores. There are similar issues in wealthy black communities in areas such as Atlanta, Chicago, and suburban Los Angeles."37
Hold the phone. Assuming these neighborhoods lack these desirable businesses, how about, like, starting them? After all, didn't "entrepreneurship" fuel the suburban boom? Don't entrepreneurs recognize entrepreneurial opportunities?
Hollywood also finds itself in the crosshairs. According to the NAACP, the industry excludes blacks. But, as mentioned earlier, didn't Al Gore's campaign manager claim that Republicans "exclude" blacks? Name an industry more identifiably liberal than Hollywood. Marlon Brando talked about the heavy Jewish influence in Hollywood. Few groups retain their Democratic affiliationmore fervently than Jews. For the most part, Jews, like blacks, do not abandon the Democratic Party for the Republican Party as they grow wealthier. Outside of Rupert Murdoch of the News Corporation (which also owns Twentieth Century Fox) one would be hard-pressed to name a Republican force in Hollywood.
Blacks watch television at least as often as do whites. Among young blacks, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, nearly half of black fourth-graders, in a 1994 survey, watched at least six hours of television a day. This is three times the rate at which white fourth-graders watched television."38
Washington Post writer Jon Jeter interviewed Sherri Parks, who teaches American studies at the University of Maryland. Parks, according to Jeter, says, "Marketing studies have shown that although middle-class black families typically watch less television than poorer black families, they still watch more than their white neighbors."39
If the industry's alleged black exclusion produces such an unappealing product, why do blacks so enthusiastically patronize the fare created by Hollywood?
Victicrats protested that NBC, CBS, ABC, and Fox discriminated against blacks by failing to include more of them in the fall 1999 new-show lineup. A black author, Dr. Earl Ofari Hutchinson, wrote a book called The Assassination of the Black Male Image,40 arguing that the media intentionally depict blacks demeaningly in order to further their racist agenda.
NAACP president Kweisi Mfume blasted the networks for failing to include more minority characters. A "whiteout!" critics charged. "Ethnic cleansing," said others. Mfume threatened a boycott. But a study41 by Linda and S. Robert Lichter of the Center for Media and Public Affairs in Washington, D.C., paints a very different picture. After studying hundreds of hours of television, the Lichters showed that prime time television depicted blacks as doctors, lawyers, dentists, or other professionals far more thantheir numbers in real life. And TV depicts blacks as criminals far less frequently than in real life.
It's nearly impossible to turn on your television set without seeing blacks, whether in commercials, dramas, comedies, or anchoring the news, participating in sports, hosting religious programs, on shopping networks and infomercials, or "TV-courtroom" shows. Former heavyweight champion George Foreman pushes his "George Foreman Grill" in front of predominantly white studio audiences to the tune of nearly $40 million a year. Black television fitness guru Billy Blanks, the "Elvis of Exercise," sold more than five million copies of his Tae Bo video in the first year of its release. 42
Consider the plight of the hapless network executive: In the last few years, executives have green-lighted The PJs, an animated series cocreated by Eddie Murphy, and The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer, a spoof on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War, with a black character in the lead. Yet some blacks protested both shows. The PJs, black activists screamed, "demeans" blacks through using "stereotypical characters," including a recovering crack addict. And, said the activists, The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer makes light of slavery, even though the show revolves around a central black character who happens to be the only sane, rational, and intelligent person in the show.
And, some years before, Fox canceled a black action show called M.A.N.T.I.S. Protesters considered the canceling racist, even though Fox programming featured more shows with primary black characters than network rivals.
Just how racist is television? Jesse Jackson, as mentioned, angered many by referring to Jews as "Hymies" and New York as "Hymie Town." Yet, Jackson has a television show, Both Sides with Jesse Jackson, on CNN, a subsidiary of Time-Warner. Time-Warner's CEO is Gerald Levin, a Jew. And, during the O.J. Simpson trial, defense attorney Johnnie Cochran likened Mark Fuhrman toAdolf Hitler, angering many Jews. Yet, Cochran, too, has a television show on Court TV, which was founded by Steve Brill, a Jew, and is now part of Time-Warner. According to an Anti-Defamation League study, anti-Semitism in America is at an all-time low, except in the black community, where anti-Semitism is three times the national average.
The Screen Actors Guild, in 1996, reported that 12 percent of all film and TV jobs went to blacks. This happened to be the same percentage of the population of blacks in America in 1996. The Screen Directors Guild, in 1995, said 3.9 percent of all jobs went to black directors. By 1996, the figure rose to 5.2 percent. As for commercials, the Screen Actors Guild 1996 report showed that Hispanics, Asians, Native Americans, and blacks perform 21 percent of all commercial jobs, with blacks landing nearly 12 percent of the total.
"Minority Markets Alert," a New York City-based newsletter, reported that in 1995, blacks appeared in nearly 40 percent of commercials in New York, where blacks comprise about 16 percent of the state's population. Black hiring is up at the actor, director, and producer levels. A recent cover of Ebony magazine, a black entertainment monthly, featured "A Year of Black Women Producers," discussing the growing success of black female producers.
So, no, Hollywood is not racist. Hollywood is rough, perhaps one of the purest examples of "no holds barred," "grab 'em by the throat until they holler" capitalism.
A friend, an Asian woman, graduated from USC film school. Her class consisted of thirty students. After a couple of years of hustle, she raised financing for a film.
"Of the thirty grads in your class," I asked, "how many of them wanted to make a movie?" She said, "Why, everybody."
"How many did?" I said.
"One," she said. "Me."
Many of her classmates knew people and had relatives in Hollywood.The class consisted of mostly white males. Yet, only one managed to make a film. The point? Entertainment success is a difficult process, even when you know people. And if you're not prepared to borrow, steal, and sacrifice to make a film, it ain't gonna happen. No matter your race or gender. No matter your talent. Victicrats need not apply.
Victicrats Should Take Economics 101
David Duke starts a company. Duke Enterprises manufactures widgets. A bigot who prefers his own race, Duke hires five hundred white male workers at $5.00 an hour.
Along comes Harry Headhunter, who offers CEO Duke five hundred black workers at $4.75 an hour. Headhunter tells Duke that 25 cents per hour times the number of hours worked, times five hundred workers, nets Duke Enterprises an additional quarter of a million dollars in annual profits. It takes a lot of bigotry to leave a quarter of a million dollars on the table. But David Duke, being David Duke, tells the recruiter to get lost.
So that night, Mr. Duke goes home, and as Mrs. Duke serves dinner, she says, "Honey, how did it go today?" Duke tells her the story of how he protected the white race from the scourge of would-be black workers by refusing Headhunter's deal. His wife says, "You left a quarter of a million dollars on the table?" David Duke sleeps on the couch that night.
So David Duke does not take the offer, but Randy Redneck, who operates a similar widget factory down the road, does. And, if Randy Redneck does not, Consolidated Confederates, across the river, seeking to cut costs and boost profit margins, will. David Duke Enterprises then faces some financial problems and has two options, neither one pleasant. Black workers or Chapter 11. This hypothetical, conceived by Pepperdine University economist George Reisman,43 shows how the marketplace punishes racismbecause racism is against the economic interests of the practitioner.
Marge Schott formerly owned the Cincinnati Reds. She is an avowed racist who collects Nazi memorabilia. She makes racist remarks, and referred to Dave Parker and Eric Davis as her "million-dollar niggers."44 Yet, pick up the sports page and take a look at the Cincinnati Reds box score. Chock-full of black and Latino ballplayers. Why? Certainly not because Schott invites them in for high tea. Black and Latino ballplayers exist in her lineup because she has no choice. Schott's motivation for her integrated lineup was the same as that motivating Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey when he hired Jackie Robinson. Winning. And, to put booties in the seats in order to make money, she'd better have people who can play.
In the early seventies, USC faced the University of Alabama's still lily-white squad. USC coach John McKay's team soundly beat Bear Bryant's squad. At the end of the game, Bryant, in his trademark rumbly southern drawl, said to Coach McKay, "Where do y'all get such wonderful guards and tackles?" Said McKay, "We get them from Alabama."
Jesse Jackson frequently attacks banks for denying blacks "access to capital." But blacks collectively have a gross domestic product of $500 billion annually, enough to make blacks among the fifteenth wealthiest nations were they an independent state. Still, bankers stand accused of refusing profit earned from the interest in granting a black a loan. Does this make any sense? Think about it. "Redlining" means banks leave profits on the table. But banks make money by lending to borrowers at a higher rate than the banks' cost. Thus, to survive, thrive, and profit, banks must push its product--lending money to credit-worthy borrowers. Similarly, fast food places like Burger King, Wendy's, and McDonalds, with outlets all over the inner city, must push their products to their customers--those with the money to pay for a burger, fries, and a shake. Entrepreneurs are somehow attracted to the profits madeby selling hamburgers, but profits to be made by selling money somehow repel. Sorry, you just flunked Economics 101.
Asians enjoy an even higher loan acceptance rate than whites. So the "black leaders" who say, "Banks refuse to lend to blacks" must, therefore, conclude that white lenders tilt toward Asians. This makes lenders anti-black, neutral toward their own race, but pro-Asian. Really. A white suburban friend recently complained about the "excessively competitive" nature of Asian kids who dominate the top academic spots, that, complained my friend, "crowds-out" admission slots for their kids at elite schools. So, how likely is it that their banker spouses would then favor Asians in lending, while the children of these Asian borrowers out-compete the children of the white lenders.
Similarly, insurance companies stand accused of refusing to insure black urban businesses. But, when black leaders such as Congresswoman Maxine Waters minimize and dismiss riots as "rebellions," 45 what should an insurance company do?
For all the justified black anger against Jim Crow laws, private bus companies initially refused to enforce them. They wanted black trade and for their black customers to be comfortable. Only after authorities boarded buses and began arresting bus drivers did private carriers start enforcing racist Jim Crow laws.
In 1930, when willing workers faced a scarcity of jobs, Congress passed the Davis-Bacon Act, precisely because white workers felt threatened by skillful black labor! The Davis-Bacon Act prevented private contractors with government contracts from hiring the best at the least cost. It required payment of "prevailing union wages." The law, thus, effectively shut out hiring most skilled blacks.
Many economically illiterate black leaders push for things like minimum wage laws. But, as Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman writes, before the imposition of minimum wage laws, black teens were more likely to be employed than white teens. After the imposition of minimum wage laws, an employment gap emerged between white and black teens, with black teens becomingincreasingly less employed. Friedman finds "the minimum wage law to be one of the most, if not the most anti-black law on the statute books." The government says to someone willing to hire a teen, "You must pay at this level, no matter the willingness of the worker to work for less." This insidious law hurts the very people supporters purport to help--blacks, teens, and secondary wage earners. During the civil unrest of the fifties and sixties, southern businesspeople frequently served as voices of reason. Why? Money, baby.
Writing in the Virginia Law Review, Michael J. Klarman discusses the efforts of businesspeople to defuse the 1957 Little Rock school desegregation crisis. Businesspeople feared catastrophe if Little Rock became known as a place of intolerance. They were correct. Klarman writes, "The city, having attracted eight new industrial plants in 1957 and an average of five major new plants a year between ,1950 and 1957, failed to secure a single new industrial relocation in the four years following the school desegregation crisis. New investment in Arkansas between 1956 and 1958 declined from $131 million to $25.4 million."46 Racism is bad for business.
In 1901, Booker T. Washington, a former slave, said this: "When a Negro girl learns to cook, to wash dishes, to sew, to write a book, or a Negro boy learns to groom horses, or to grow sweet potatoes, or to produce butter, or to build a house, or to be able to practise [sic] medicine, as well or better than someone else, they will be rewarded regardless of race or colour [sic]. In the long run, the world is going to have the best, and any difference in race, religion, or previous history will not long keep the world from what it wants.
"I think that the whole future of my race hinges on the question as to whether or not it can make itself of such indispensable value that the people in the town and the state where we reside will feel that our presence is necessary to the happiness and well-being of the community. No man who continues to add somethingto the material, intellectual, and moral well-being of the place in which he lives is long left without proper reward. This is a great human law which cannot be permanently nullified."47
Washington wrote that book in 1901. Think about it. Slavery ended in 1865, a mere thirty-six years earlier. It is as though slavery ended in 1964, and Washington published Up from Slavery today. Interesting how Washington's 1901 enthusiasm shines brighter than the "black leadership's" 2000 pessimism.
A few years ago, black Secret Service agents accused Denny's of racism for failing to seat them in a timely fashion. The "fit hit the shan." To stem the loss of goodwill and market share, Denny's offered cash to any black customer complaining of discrimination. Denny's then aggressively pursued awarding franchise opportunities for minorities. They did not do this to win the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award. They recognize that racism, even its appearance, is bad for business.
Some Texaco executives, caught on tape, demeaned fellow black employees. Texaco's CEO appeared on ABC's Nightline, to apologize to black workers, in particular, and to blacks, in general. He offered automatic raises to many black employees and publicly promised to settle the lawsuit. Why? Texaco lost $1 billion in shareholder value in two days, with many irate customers--black and non-black--preparing to cut up their credit cards unless and until Texaco did something. They did. Fast. Real fast.
Blacks and O. J. Simpson
In the O. J. Simpson case, defense attorney Johnnie Cochran accused the cops of racism. But Willie Williams, the black LAPD chief, conducted an extensive internal investigation to determine whether cops planted evidence in this case. His conclusion? No evidence was planted. Williams called the accusation of racism against O. J. Simpson preposterous. No matter that Williams isblack. No matter that the criminologist who came under a great deal of heat, Dennis Fung, is Asian. No matter that Marcia Clark is a Jew, a group that remains one of the most liberal and "problack" in the country. Never mind that O. J. Simpson had police officer friends, and that he frequently allowed cops to use his mansion for fun and frolic. His close friend and former cop, Ron Shipp, says, "Man, the cops loved O. J."
Simpson did everything but leave his business card at the scene of the crime. Why would cops want to "get" Simpson? He posed about as great a threat to the "white power structure" as Urkel from Family Matters.
Former prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi said that he has "never seen a case where guilt is more obvious." Yet a rich man's clever lawyers turned a double murder trial into a referendum on race. Defense lawyers accused decent, hardworking men and women in blue of stupidity, conspiracy, racism, and evil.
After the O. J. Simpson acquittal, prosecutor Marcia Clark accused the predominantly black jury of refusing to engage in critical thinking. She's right.
Take the New Republic article48 written by Mark Gerson, a white inner-city New Jersey high school teacher, during the O. J. Simpson case. Of his 110 students, mostly black, nearly all refused to believe O. J. could have killed his wife and Ron Goldman. He describes their thought processes.
One student suggested that Ron Goldman killed Nicole before killing himself and then throwing away the knife. Another believes the dog did it. Shenia suggested that Al Cowlings, Simpson's best buddy, did it. Bryant believes the killer is O.J.'s son. Philip blames "that fag dude who wants to marry O.J."; that would be Kato Kaelin, Simpson's houseguest. Even the smartest students are willing to give more credence to the most outlandish theories than to the prosecution's.
Jon, a bright student, had his own scenario: O. J. was shaving and cut himself. Kato took the blood from the shaving cut, brought it to the crime scene and dumped it. Why, I asked, did O. J. collect his blood after he cut himself shaving? Jon called me a racist, and that was that ... .
Eunicia said that Nicole got what she deserved as a result of messing with a black man. Wait, I said, if you think that it is wrong for O. J. to marry a white woman, doesn't he deserve some of the fault? No, Eunicia added. Women control these types of situations, and Nicole roped O.J. in to get his money. If it weren't for Nicole, O. J. would have stayed with his first wife, Marguerite, who, of course, was black ... .
Sholanda: "Nicole was a slut. She gave some other guy oral sex in O. J.'s house. She had many lovers--even before she and O. J. married! It is only right that he became very jealous and took out his jealousy in some way."
Scary, isn't it?
The "race card" attack against the police does not go without consequences. The national acquittal rate in criminal trials stands at approximately 15 percent. But certain minority areas--the Bronx, downtown Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Wayne County (Detroit, Michigan)--see acquittal rates of nearly two to three times the national average.
George Washington University black law professor Paul Butler takes the criminal justice system's racist argument one huge step further. He urges black jurors to acquit black defendants, even when they know they are guilty, if accused of nonviolent crime! He feels this protects the black community against the war declared on it by the racist criminal justice system. Never mind that the victims of black criminals are likely to be black, and that by cutting these black suspects loose, they are now free to continue preying on other blacks.
Of all the comments, columns, and commentary about theO. J. Simpson case, a short letter to the editor49 written by Craig Darian, CEO of Tricor Entertainment, put it best:
I watched with interest a CBS report and interview with O. J. Simpson which aired recently. I would like to offer Simpson a point of view which I believe to be shared by a majority of us so-called "white folks" who believe this case has nothing to do with racism.
When I watched you play football for USC, and later, with the Buffalo Bills, I didn't see a black man, I saw a great athlete. And I admired you.
When I watched you broadcast football games with great personality and a player's zest for the game, I didn't see a black man, I saw a competent sportscaster. And I liked you.
When I watched you run and jump for cars in Hertz commercials, and play various bit movie parts, I didn't see a black man, I saw a funny actor. And I laughed with you.
When I watched your trial for the murders of your ex-wife, Nicole Brown, and another innocent victim, Ronald Goldman, I didn't see a black man, I saw a remorseless murderer. And I despised you.
When I listened to you speak about your hitting Nicole, and she hitting you, and then rationalizing that the public's condemnation was simply a matter of "a black man being ridiculed while a white woman is revered," I didn't see a black man, I saw a violent and incessant excuse-maker. And I wanted to tell you that the issue isn't about a black person hitting a white person, it's about a man hitting a woman.
And when I saw you stand in church with an apparently loving and sincere black congregation, one to which you had been a stranger until your recent acquittal, and I heard you preach before God, I didn't see a black man, I saw a phony. And I pitied you.
This isn't about black or white, Mr. Simpson, it's about right and wrong.
To blacks, O. J. Simpson represented one thing: payback. Simple, pure, unadulterated payback. Many blacks, for reasons explained here, simply believe the criminal justice system racist. In 1965, we called what happened in Watts a street riot. Call the black reaction to O. J. Simpson an emotional riot.
For many blacks, the O. J. Simpson acquittal represents a payback for all the real and perceived slights, irritations, indignities, and put-downs experienced by blacks at the hands of whites. O. J. Simpson was about every black guy who felt passed up by cabdrivers; about the couple who feel they get the worst table in the best restaurants; about the college kid who feels less accepted by classmates; about the motorist gruffly spoken to by a cop who never explains why he stopped him. It is about every black salesman who feels shut out by racist or hostile secretaries, assistants, purchasers, human resource personnel, and about every young black kid you see on television being led away in handcuffs, and above all, it is about the enduring legacy of a people subjugated by a majority class and a country made great by the slave efforts of others. That's what the O. J. Simpson case was all about. The evidence was secondary.
Defense attorney Johnnie Cochran tells us, "Race plays a part of everything in America." Whites, guilty. Blacks, innocent. Whites, bad. Blacks, good. A white woman clutches her purse when a black guy gets on an elevator. Racism! As a black lawyer enters a courtroom, someone mistakes him for a defendant. Racism! Cochran tells blacks, "Remain hyper-sensitive. Turn these slights into assaults."
Cochran, of all people, should know that blacks commit half of all street crime in America. Twenty-five percent of young black men are in jail, on parole, or on probation. A black man is ten times more likely to rape a white woman than a white man is to rape a black woman. Blacks account for 50 percent of the nation's prisoners. Gang-bangers are almost inevitably black or Latino. Hurts the image, you know.
Don't think the young white woman in that elevator is oblivious. Don't think that a white woman living in a city hasn't seen, experienced, or had friends who experienced crime at the hands of black thugs ... If Jesse Jackson himself says he's relieved when the late-night footsteps on the street behind him belong to white rather than black feet, all bets are off.50
But whites who think O. J. guilty? Racists. Defenders of the corrupt system. Blacks who think so? Uncle Toms. Traitors carrying the white man's water. Black attorneys who defend black criminals? Civil rights warriors. Black prosecutors? Lackeys. Sugar cane Negroes. Pass the Advil, please.
Prosecutor Christopher Darden said the Simpson case had "shaken his faith in the system." Meanwhile, in a near-empty courtroom, another mother cries because a thug cut short her son's life. Somebody has to put his arm around that mother. Someone must tell her that, no, we cannot bring your child back, but we can nail the S.O.B. who killed him. That someone is someone like Christopher Darden.
Racial Profiling, "Poverty Causing Crime," and Other Myths
The governor of New Jersey recently fired her state police superintendent because, according to the Newark Star-Ledger, he had said that certain crimes were associated with certain ethnic groups and that it would be naive to think that race was not an issue in drug trafficking. "Two weeks ago," he allegedly said, "the president ... went to Mexico to talk ... about drugs. He didn't go to Ireland. He didn't go to England."51 Civil rights leaders accuse the New Jersey cops of engaging in a form of harassment called DWB (Driving While Black) because cops stop a disproportionately high number of motorists allegedly just because they are black.
But as to the percentage of those stopped versus those arrested, whites have more to complain about. Why? True, the police stop more cars driven by black motorists. But when the police stop whites, they are less likely than black motorists to have drugs in the car. And so, as a percentage, whites actually have more to complain about than do blacks. After all, when a white is stopped, he or she is more likely to be innocent than when a black is stopped! Where are the "white leaders" screaming about DWW--Driving While White"!
New Jersey just announced it intends to stop "racial profiling" and to record each stop by race. If, as likely, cops still continue to stop a "disproportionate" number of blacks, how will "black leaders" explain this? Stay tuned.
Here are the ugly facts. Blacks, usually young black men, commit nearly half of all street crime, and most of certain other categories of crime such as robbery.
How do we know victims do not falsely accuse blacks? The FBI keeps annual victims-of-crime surveys. They ask victims of crime, whether solved or unsolved, to describe the race of the assailant. Nearly 40 percent of victims describe their assailant as black. This is the identical percentage of blacks arrested. Did those who accused blacks lie? Only if you assume that a white victim, particularly of an unsolved crime, does not care whether the police ever apprehend the actual suspect. In other words, to practice a racist agenda, white victims must lie to incarcerate a black man, while allowing the white attacker to go free! That's some racism.
Urban residents do not have burglar bars on every other home to keep out Mark Fuhrman. Rather, they place these bars there to keep out that punk or thug who lives down the street. The fact remains that nearly 40 percent of violent crimes--murder, attempted murder, nonnegligent manslaughter, and aggravated assault--are committed by young black men, who account for no more than 3 percent of the nation's population. The police would be foolish, and applying limited resources inefficiently, if they ignore race as avariable. Note that the police do not racially profile elderly black men, nor do the civil rights activists accuse the police of racially profiling black women.
The first rule of duck hunting is: go where the ducks are.
During the Million Man March in Washington, civil rights activist Al Sharpton thundered, "O. J. is home, but Mumia Abu Jamal ain't home. And we won't stop till all our people that need a chance in an awkward and unbalanced criminal justice system can come home."
The NAACP and the ACLU demand that the police record the race of any stopped motorists. This, presumably, would document the unfair and disproportionate stops. But many departments already do this. Fine. As taxpayers, and as the police's bosses, we may demand greater record keeping. A recent study of Miami Dade County police showed black cops more likely to shoot a black suspect than a white cop. And the reverse was true. A white cop was more likely than a black cop to shoot a white suspect.52 And black judges sentence black criminal defendants to the same, if not longer, sentences than meted out by white judges.53
In 1998, over 26 percent of blacks lived below the federally defined level of poverty, as opposed to about 10 percent of whites.54 This disparity allows some black leaders to blame crime on poverty, or even better, "root causes" of poverty, stemming, of course, from racism. While superficially appealing, it is quite wrong.
Poverty causes crime? According to James Q. Wilson and Richard Herrnstein, "During the 1960s, one neighborhood in San Francisco had the lowest income, the highest unemployment rate, the highest proportion of families with incomes under four thousand dollars a year, the least educational attainment, the highest tuberculosis rate, and the highest proportion of substandard housing ... . That neighborhood was called Chinatown. Yet, in 1965, there were only five persons of Chinese ancestry committed to prison in the entire [emphasis added] state of California."55
Roxbury, Massachusetts, a predominantly black and impoverished area, sits next to South Boston, a predominantly white and impoverished area. Both contain the same percentage of single parent households, and public housing accounts for the same percentage of the population. Yet, the violent crime rate in Roxbury, the black area, is four times the rate of that in South Boston. If poverty caused crime, one would expect the numbers to be closer to equal.
No, the formula is more likely the other way around: crime causes poverty. The more crime, the less incentive for businesspeople to locate businesses in that area. Store owners must charge consumers more to offset losses caused by theft and higher insurance premiums. Homeowners, apartment dwellers, and businesspeople pay increased security costs to combat the ever-present threat of theft or violent crime. This impoverishes neighborhoods.
Blacks and Affirmative Action
"Our problem with you, Larry, is that you've benefited from affirmative action. Now you want to change the rules for everybody else."
I'm in a flower shop, and a black guy recognizes me and hits me with that.
"I went to Loyola Law School under a special minority program," he said, "and if it hadn't been for that, I wouldn't be here."
"No," I said, "you act as if your choices were Loyola Law School under affirmative action, or welding courses at Trade Tech. What nonsense."
If it hadn't been for affirmative action, this guy would likely have gone to some other law school (there are over 170) many with admissions standards consistent with his test scores, grade point average, and other criteria. This "but-for-affirmative-action-I'd-be-driving-a-truck" mentality is yet another unintended consequenceof preferences. The "beneficiary" demeans and cheapens his own achievement by overestimating the impact of affirmative action on his own life. Without drive, study, and sense of purpose, all the preferential programs in the world wouldn't have helped this guy.
An affirmative action beneficiary is not the same thing as an affirmative action recipient. The credentials of affirmative action recipients are always suspect, always subject to second-guessing. Would he have made it "on his own"? Could he have "measured up" without a boost?
Why can't black recipients question affirmative action? Look at the "you got yours, so why can't I get mine" argument. Following a shipwreck, you're bobbing up and down in the sea, nearly dead from exhaustion and exposure. Someone pulls you into a life raft. Fifteen minutes later, they pull another guy in, then another, then another. One more guy and the life raft capsizes. Are you, as a "beneficiary" of your rescuers' generosity, now and forever foreclosed from saying, "Excuse me, fellows, I think you'd better think this through." Does that make you a hypocrite? Does that make you someone who benefited and now wishes to "close the door" on everybody else?
Besides, the unspoken assumption is that an affirmative action-driven education, one that puts the student in a more "elite" category of school, is simply a better education. Getting in to College A versus College A-minus, or B-plus versus B, clearly means that the graduate from the better school will, necessarily, have a better life.
But, as economist Robert J. Samuelson writes, "The trouble is that what everyone knows isn't true. Going to Harvard or Duke won't automatically produce a better job and higher pay. Graduates of these schools generally do well. But they do well because they're talented. Had they chosen colleges with lesser nameplates, they would (on average) have done just as well. The conclusion is that the Ivy League--a metaphor for all elite schools--has little comparative advantage."56
Researchers at Princeton and at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, writes Samuelson, looked at students with credentials to enter "elite schools" versus students with credentials to enter the same caliber of school but who chose not to. The results, researchers concluded, are "that students who attend more elite colleges may have greater earnings capacity regardless of where they attend school." Samuelson explains their findings: "Suppose that Princeton and Podunk accept you and me; but you go to Princeton and I go to Podunk. On average, we will still make the same. (The result held for blacks and whites, further weakening the case for race-based admission preferences.)"57
"Beneficiaries" of affirmative action like to point out that they were "qualified." No doubt. Beneficiaries of affirmative action still met a standard, even if that standard varied from the traditional one. This means that affirmative action "beneficiaries" were good candidates to begin with. I would like to ask affirmative action proponents and beneficiaries this question. Assume your life without affirmative action. What would have happened? How would it have turned out? Would you have been happier? Would you have been less happy? Would you have made less money? Would you have developed fewer social and business contacts, becoming, therefore, less successful?
Just a few stories from my own life. When in law school, my roommate and I got into a dispute with the landlord over deductions from our security deposit. The landlord claimed damages that exceeded what we felt we had caused. So I took the landlord to mediation. He and I screamed at each other, and I won nearly every point, substantially reducing his deduction from our security deposit. The landlord owned several buildings in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He walked up to me after the mediation, and calmly offered me a job. "You were something," he said. "How would you like to work for me?" The man later became quite wealthy. A road not taken?
While still in high school, I urged my mother to purchase amulti-unit apartment building as an investment. This was nearly thirty years ago, well before the phenomenal California real estate boom, when nearly all real estate properties increased substantially in value. My mother resisted, primarily because of the huge college tuition costs we were about to face even with a financial aid package that included some grant money. Suppose I had deferred college, or attended a much less expensive one, and used the savings to buy that building. What kind of life then?
My dad started a restaurant in the Pico-Union district of Los Angeles. He ran it successfully for nearly thirty years, building a large, loyal clientele. When the father of Ted Turner, a major shareholder of Time Warner, committed suicide, he left Ted a tiny, near-bankrupt small outdoor billboard company, probably not much more valuable than my dad's café. Suppose I had stayed in my dad's business, where I did work for several years during high school?
Shortly after I left the practice of law and started a business recruiting lawyers, a major executive recruiting firm approached me and offered me a position leading to partnership. They came calling not because of my resume, but because of the two years of good will I built during the start-up phase of my company.
The great jazz pianist Thelonius Monk put it this way: "There's no such thing as a bad note," he said. "If a note starts out bad, I figure out a way of turning it into something good."
And so, I told my flower shop friend, forgive me for my "insensitivity" for failing to see the negative consequences of ending affirmative action. But the evidence does not support this "Big Bang Theory of the Black Middle Class," with affirmative action serving as the catalyst.
How do you think it feels to have worked hard, and studied long hours, only to have someone say, "Hey, if it weren't for affirmative action, you wouldn't have your job." I'm a talk show host. Let's compare my credentials to other talk show hosts. Where did Rush Limbaugh go to school? Howard Stern? Dr. Laura Schlessinger?Few know, or care. What about network anchors? Where did Tom Brokaw go to college? How about Dan Rather? What about ABC's Peter Jennings? (Hint: He didn't.)
And what of all the Internet millionaires today? Many never attended college or, if so, dropped out, as Bill Gates did.
A talk show host's job is ratings. A summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa degree from Harvard does not guarantee a four share. A successful salesperson must generate revenues. A teacher's job is to motivate and educate students.
"Once you're in the job market," said Samuelson, "where you went to college may matter for a few years, early in your career. Companies don't know much about young employment candidates. A shiny credential (an Ivy League degree) may impress. But after that, what people can or can't do counts for more. Skills grow. Reputations emerge. Companies prefer the competent from Podunk to the incompetent from Princeton."58
"No affirmative action, no job"? No thanks.
Yet many blacks, like Atlanta mayor Bill Campbell, subscribe to the "Big Bang Theory of the Black Middle Class." If no affirmative action, then no black progress, no black businesses, no black income growth, no black middle class.
But the black middle class began long before Martin Luther King marched. And many contemporary leaders, as well as leaders before King, never wanted--let alone demanded--affirmative action.
Whitney Young, the founder of the Urban League, was one of the first blacks to push for an affirmative action plan. In Ending Affirmative Action,59 writer Terry Eastland says that Young called for a "compensatory, preferential Marshall Plan for black America." In 1963, Young urged a "decade" of preferences to level the playing field. A decade! That would have ended affirmative action back in 1973! Young's board of directors, however, revolted. The president of the Urban League in Pittsburgh said the demand for affirmative action would cause the public to quite properly ask, "What in blazes are these guys up to? They tell us for years thatwe must buy [non-discrimination] and then they say, 'It isn't what we want.'" A member of the Urban League in New York objected to what he called "the heart of it--the business of employing Negroes [because they are Negroes]." Famed civil rights leader Bayard Rustin, the deputy director of the 1963 Washington, D.C., Jobs and Freedom March, also opposed affirmative action.
In 1963, Ebony magazine ran a series called "If I Were Young Today." The magazine asked prominent black achievers to give advice to the black youth of the day. What did they say? The "Architect for the Stars," Paul R. Williams, who, in addition to luxury homes, also designed the Los Angeles International Airport Theme Building said, "Whatever one does as a profession or livelihood, he should endeavor to read the current magazines pertaining to his work. One must keep pace with progress and what the other fellow is thinking and doing. In order to do this he must read--read--read!!! He should strive to become a specialist and not just another architect, engineer, or salesman."60 Anything missing?
The magazine asked federal district judge Herman C. Moore to comment. He said, "Broader opportunities are opening today for Negro youth in fields which have been previously closed to them such as engineering and science. There are also wider opportunities to be lawyers, diplomats, judges, economists, organization leaders. Negroes have greater chances at apprenticeships in the skilled trades as well. At the same time, the young Negro must prepare himself to be part of an expanding world and by accomplishment to lead in its expanding progress. Performance is the key."61 Anything missing?
Union leader A. Philip Randolph, who founded the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, said, "Negro youth must offer the future the same things that white youth offer and they must have the faith that there is no basic racial difference in potential for achievement--moral, intellectual, or spiritual. The future holds great opportunity for those who are prepared to meet and facethe challenge of this age of science, technology, and industrialism, and social, economic, and political change."62 Anything missing?
None of these leaders, all high achievers in their fields, suggested, called for, urged or even mentioned anything resembling affirmative action. Their message: Work hard, stay focused, no gain without pain.
President John F. Kennedy, revered by blacks, expressed skepticism about preferential treatment. In a 1963 interview in U.S. News & World Report,63 Kennedy expected blacks themselves to resist a call for preferential treatment.
"The Negro community," Kennedy said, "did not want job quotas to compensate for past discrimination. What I think they would like is to see their children well educated, so that they could hold jobs ... and have themselves accepted as equal members of the community." But what about, call it, compensatory preferential treatment? "No," said Kennedy. "I don't think we can undo the past. In fact, the past is going to be with us for a good many years in uneducated men and women who missed their chance for a decent education. We have to do the best we can now. That is what we are trying to do."
Kennedy objected to quotas: "I don't think quotas are a good idea. I think it is a mistake to begin to assign quotas on the basis of religion or race--color--nationality ... . On the other hand, I do think that we ought to make an effort to give a fair chance to everyone who is qualified--not through a quota--but just look over our employment rolls, look over our areas where we are hiring people and at least make sure we are giving everyone a fair chance.
"But not hard and fast quotas ... . We are too mixed, this society of ours, to begin to divide ourselves on the basis of race or color."
Even Democrat Hubert Humphrey, who helped spearhead the passage of the Civil Rights Act, said the bill did not endorse racial preferences. Humphrey pledged that if critics of the Civil RightsAct could find any language permitting racial preferences, "I will start eating the pages one after another, because it is not in there."64
Nelson Mandela, imprisoned in South Africa for nearly thirty years, expressed reservations about affirmative action, warning that his government did not possess "a big bag full of money" to meet the needs of the poor. And he spoke out against what he called a "culture of entitlement." "It is important," Mandela said, "that we rid ourselves of the 'culture of entitlement,' which leads to the expectation that government must promptly deliver whatever it is that we demand."
In their important book, America in Black and White, Stephen and Abigail Thernstrom show that the black middle class grew well before affirmative action. Moreover, they demonstrate that affirmative action did not accelerate the pace of the black middle class and may even have contributed to a slowdown! The Thernstroms said, "the growth of the black middle class long predates the adoption of race-conscious social policies. In some ways, indeed, the black middle class was expanding more rapidly before 1970 than after ... . Many of the advances black Americans have made since the Great Depression occurred before anything that can be termed 'affirmative action' existed ... . In the years since affirmative action [the black middle class] has continued to grow, but not at a more rapid pace than in the preceding three decades, despite a common impression to the contrary."65
Black economist and former Federal Reserve Board member Arthur Brimmer studied the effect of affirmative action on black unemployment and concluded, "I would say that most blacks I know did not get [their jobs] because of affirmative action, but it's impossible [to determine the exact number]." Similarly, black professor Ella Edmondson Bell, who taught organizational studies at the MIT business school, says that most blacks get hired through "determination [and] perseverance."
The Industrial Revolution, and the aftermath of the the SecondWorld War, created a huge need for workers to run northern factories. This created the largest voluntary migration in the history of the world. Nearly one million blacks moved from the South to the North in just a few years.
Northern blacks grew increasingly more prosperous and, therefore, more politically powerful. Blacks formed fraternal organizations. In cities like Chicago and Philadelphia, black families, because of these lodges, were more likely than white families to have someone in the household with medical insurance! And black segregated schools competed academically against whites of the same economic level.
Well before affirmative action, black women out-earned white women. Black females were in the job market longer, acquired more skills, and, therefore, saw increased earning power. By the 1950s, the overall black-white wage gap narrowed considerably, even in the South. And although the South lagged behind, it, too, eventually caught up.
But things are changing. For the "no affirmative action-no peace" crowd, Rene Redwood represents a major threat. Who is Rene Redwood? She formerly served as executive director of President George Bush's Glass Ceiling Commission. But she recently resigned her latest post as executive director of an organization called Americans for a Fair Chance, a group fighting for the retention of affirmative action.
Redwood quit because she grew to see the folly of blaming "racist institutions" for the inadequacies of the K-12 inner city education, a substandard education that created the need for lowering standards in the first place.
She said, "Some time in the 1980s, a sense of entitlement began to replace blacks' sense of doing things for ourselves. We started getting away from the values I was raised with--you should not bring a child into the world unless you are prepared to care for it; you had to be twice as good as whites; nothing less than an'A' was good enough. I believe that you should not expect anyone to help you until you've done everything you can to help yourself." 66
The Wall Street Journal recently published a story about the astonishing pace at which blacks, Hispanics, Asians, and other minorities now own homes, enter college, and begin businesses. If the pace continues, according to a minority marketing and demographic research company, the percentage of minority college students, homeowners, and owners of businesses will, by 2007, equal that of whites! "In terms of absolute numbers," said the head of the study, "ethnic Americans have not reached overall parity yet, but the speed at which growth rates have advanced, almost doubling over the last ten years, is phenomenal."67 Salute affirmative action? Remember the Thernstroms' admonition: Before affirmative action, the middle class grew, a process that continues, but "not at a more rapid pace" than pre-affirmative action. So, salute the drive, energy, and work ethic of millions of black men and women--hard workers who pulled it off without affirmative action.
Victicrat Mentality and the Quest for a Level Playing Field
Affirmative action proponents insist that preferences must remain "until the playing field is level."
Pray tell, when in human history did we have a "level playing field"? In what country? Among what peoples? During the 2000 election year, Al Gore, Jr., and George W. Bush campaigned for their party's nomination. Let's see. Do you think that George W. Bush received an assist from the fact that his dad, George Herbert Walker Bush, used to be president? And that George Herbert Walker's father, Prescott, used to be a senator from Connecticut? Do you think that Al Gore, Jr., became Senator Al Gore, Jr., withoutsome assistance from the fact that his father, Al Gore, Sr., also used to be a senator from Tennessee? Who are we kidding?
A just government attempts to ensure equal rights. But how can we possibly pretend that people are born with equal abilities, resources, quality of parenting, aptitude, drive, work ethic, etc.? And how can government "level the playing field"--beyond equal protection of the law--without creating still more unfairness? Is it fair to take from descendents of the "oppressor group," as the reparations-for-slavery crowd insist, and give to descendents of the aggrieved group?
Besides, "good circumstances" do not guarantee success, any more than the poor are destined to remain eternally poor. And wealth does not guarantee success. Billionaire Steve Forbes competed twice for the presidency, spending nearly seventy million dollars of his own money. He lost both times, quite soundly.
In politics, money helps, but it certainly doesn't guarantee victory. Just ask failed presidential aspirants like former senator Ed Muskie (D-Maine), Senator Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), Senator Phil Gramm (R-Texas)--the list is endless.
Most wealthy people did not start out that way. For the most part, people of wealth didn't marry it, or win it in the lottery, or steal it, or inherit it. They earned it.
The question comes down to this: Do we live in a society where the rule of law, economic freedom, and limited government interference produce conditions allowing one to apply one's self and get somewhere? That's all a society can hope for, and that is quite good enough.
Level playing field? In presidential contests, the taller candidate usually wins. Fair? The average male CEO is taller than the average male non-CEO. Apparently, something about large physical stature--think of John Wayne--gives people the feeling of an authority figure confidently in control. Fair?
Attractive people have more options than non-attractive people.Heavy people are less likely to be hired than thin ones. But, in a free society, the single greatest variable, the single biggest factor in realizing goals and dreams is: hard work!
Former Los Angeles Rams and Washington Redskins coach George Allen once said, "I used to call the opposing coach's office at one o'clock on Wednesday night. If nobody answered, I knew we would win the game."
In his book, The Millionaire Mind,68 Thomas Stanley discovered that the average millionaire made mediocre grades, did not attend an Ivy League college, and did not consider himself or herself to be particularly smart or visionary. They found something they enjoyed doing, and spent long hours doing it. They discovered a passion out of which they built a career or business. The goal, therefore, is a society that allows effort, drive, and energy to flourish. This means a government that stays out of the way. This means a government that does not impose minimum wage laws, that does not excessively tax, that does not excessively regulate, that does not mandate or dictate.
Reverend Jesse Jackson points out that, while blacks comprise 12 percent of the population, they own but a fraction of the country's wealth. Blacks also enjoy a lower rate of suicide than whites. Why doesn't the "white advantage" translate into a lower rate of suicide?
On standardized tests, Japanese outperform whites. Yet, in Japan, the Japanese rate of suicide exceeds that of America. If the results of an IQ test dictate happiness, why doesn't Japan have a lower rate of suicide?
Is the playing field level? My dad taught me about the counterproductive nature of whining about conditions over which you have no control. "Ninety percent of people don't want to hear about your problems," he said, "and the other ten percent are glad it's you."
Why It Is Important to Fight the Victicrat Mentality
Optimism. It's not just a mind-set, it is behavior.
A few years ago, Time magazine did a cover story called the "E.Q. Factor," meaning the emotional quotient.69
Among other things, the article discussed University of Pennsylvania Professor Martin Seligman's work on the importance of optimism and emotional intelligence. He defines it as a kind of self-awareness, an ability to adjust to one's circumstances, and a belief that one has the power to make one's own life better.
Intrigued by Professor Seligman's work, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company contacted him. Help us, Metropolitan Life said, to more successfully identify good salespeople. For years, Metropolitan Life gave prospective hires a kind of intelligence test. Still, many new hires failed. We wonder, said Metropolitan Life, whether the professor might design a test to identify "optimists," since Seligman argues optimists do better in life than pessimists.
So Seligman designed a test to measure the level of the applicant's optimism. The test further identified "super-optimists." And Metropolitan Life hired these super-optimists, irrespective of how badly they did on the general aptitude tests. After one year, the optimists outsold the pessimists. But the super-optimists outperformed everybody. After one year, the sales by the super-optimists exceeded those of the pessimists--who were hired by the traditional screening exam--by 21 percent, and after two years the super-optimists outsold the pessimists by 57 percent!
When optimists fail, Seligman found, they attribute their failure to something they did or did not do. In short, they faced failure with an "I can correct this" attitude.
How does this apply to black victicrat mentality? Imagine an inner-city child raised in a home without a father, or possibly a father who plays no role in his life whatsoever. He attends a bad school; sees drug dealing around him; listens to gangsta rap, with the artist's obsession with sex, drugs, and money. Like all kids, heresists doing homework, preferring to spend time dribbling a basketball or just hangin' out.
After all, he reasons, why work hard? "Black leaders" tell him the white man intends to bring him down; that a credit-worthy black can't get a loan; that a man as prominent as Danny Glover can't get a taxicab in New York; that standardized tests like the SATs are culturally biased; that the police persecuted the innocent O.J. Simpson; that the CIA introduced crack cocaine to South Central L.A.; that some scientists invented the AIDS virus to kill blacks; that he can't get into college without affirmative action; that if you get suspended from school, it is due to a racist administration seeking to persecute black children; and that you can't get a table at Denny's. At some point, this kid says to himself, "Why bother?"
He then begins to pay less attention to academics, which after all--according to the defeatist view of the world he has been taught--leads nowhere. He stops trying, stops working, adopts negative attitudes, and begins to engage in counterproductive behavior. Sure enough, his life turns out badly. "They were right," this now cynical and self-destructive young adult says. "The system screwed me." Obviously, most young minorities escape crime and lead responsible lives. But a large number do not.
I started my executive search business in 1980. Several insurance agents dropped by, unannounced, to pitch their products. One day, a bright young black man dropped by and I gave him a few minutes. Impressed, I agreed to have lunch with him.
He told me that his business was struggling. This surprised me because he seemed so efficient, thorough, and personable. "But," he said, "blacks don't have that much money, so my potential is limited."
"Blacks?" I said. "Your clients are all black?"
He answered, "Yes."
"Did your company tell you to concentrate on a black market?" I asked.
"No," he said.
"Did your company imply they wanted you to target a black market?"
"No," he replied.
Turns out he simply felt more comfortable with black clients and thought that prospective white clients would somehow not respond to him, no matter how sound his presentation.
"But why?" I said. "Out of all the insurance agents who called on me, you were the only black one. Do you think the white ones ran away after seeing me, a black man, running this company? Why have you engaged in this self-limiting behavior?"
He had no answer.
Another true story. I worked out at an athletic club in downtown Cleveland. One day, a black man and I began speaking while changing in the locker room. "What do you do for a living?" I asked.
He said he was a computer consultant, but complained about his client base. He said he worked for cities with black mayors. "But," he said, "the shelf life of a mayor is short and unpredictable. And when the mayor decides not to run for office or gets defeated, I have to try and start a new relationship." He further complained about the government's below-private-industry fees, and that government industries seldom pay on time.
"What do you do for a living?" he asked.
I told him that I placed lawyers with law firms and corporations.
"Oh," he said, "I didn't know there was an agency specializing in placing minority lawyers."
"Who said minority lawyers?" I said. "In fact," I told him, "my client base consists primarily of Fortune 1000 companies and major law firms--all 'mainstream' businesses."
"Wow," he said. "It's amazing that you were able to make that leap."
"'That leap' ?" I said. "What do you mean, 'that leap'? I havea service, and I simply market my service to whomever I think should use me. Period. End of statement."
Again I asked, "Why do you self-limit to a market that, by your own admission, is shaky?"
Again, no answer. Just an assumption that whites would not be hospitable. His attitude, therefore, was "why try?"
Black victicrat leaders do a great deal of damage. People like Johnnie Cochran don't preach what they practice. WriterJonathan Wilcox calls it the "Willie Brown paradox." Willie Brown, currently the mayor of San Francisco, the black son of a sharecropper, dominated California politics for nearly fifteen years as a powerful state assembly speaker. Yet, during a press conference where he defended affirmative action, Brown said to a group of white reporters, "I'm telling you; you've got no clue what it is like ... every day in your life to know that this is the system you are in ... it gnaws at you day in and day out."70
So, why didn't this "gnawing" stop Brown? Brown is a shrewd, cunning, street smart, charismatic politician. Willie Brown would have been Willie Brown, brown (pardon the pun) or not.
What Cochran preaches is that "race plays a part of everything in America." What he practices, however, is something very different. By all accounts, he rises early, works hard, and stays late. A driven man, Cochran stayed focused and is now one of America's most prominent criminal defense lawyers. This cannot happen with a negative, pessimistic attitude. Cochran does not preach what he practices.
What he preaches is "they're out to get you, cops want to brutalize you, the system hates you." Like Teflon, this nonsense slides right off the skin of a child brought up in a home with strong parental role models, where dad gets up and goes to work even when he doesn't feel like it. No, the victicrat mentality hurts the child with little or no guidance, who puts on the television and hears leader after leader blame slavery, the dastardly white man, the great white pumpkin, for our "plight."
UCLA psychologist Shelley Taylor calls optimism an "underrated resource. It gives you," she said, "much more than people imagine it does."71 Or, as a baseball coach once said, "A negative attitude doesn't affect a team. It infects it."
Let's Replace Affirmative Action with Affirmative Attitude
A poll in the Los Angeles Times asked whether, in America, "everyone has the power to succeed." Low-income whites were more likely to say yes to that statement than blacks earning $50,000 or more!72
At American dinner tables all across the country, most parents urge their children to work hard, study hard, and prepare. But in black households, how much dinner table talk revolves around "the white man done me wrong," rather than focuses on grit, hard work, and preparation?
The formula for success is simple. Implementation is hard. As a high school friend put it, "Anybody can talk the talk. But it takes a whole other set of nuts to walk the walk."
So regardless of your race, gender, or circumstance, get ahead and stay ahead by following these thirty-two things--my Personal Pledge 32.
Personal Pledge 32
1. There is no excuse for lack of effort.
2. Although I may be unhappy with my circumstances, and although racism and sexism and other "isms" exist, I know that things are better now than ever, and the future is even brighter.
3. While I may be unhappy with my circumstances, I have the power to change and improve my life. I refuse to be a victim.
4. Others may have been blessed with more money, better connections, a better home environment, and even better looks, but I can succeed through hard work, perseverance, and education.
5. I may be a product of a single- or no-parent household, but I will not hold anyone responsible for my present or allow anyone to interfere with my future. Others succeed under conditions far worse than mine.
6. Some schools and teachers are better than others, but my level of effort, dedication, curiosity, and willingness to grow determine what I learn.
7. Ambition is the key to growth.
8. I will set apart some time each day to think about where I want to go and how I intend to get there. A goal without a plan is just a wish.
9. "Luck" is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
10. If suitable role models are not nearby, I will seek them out.
11. A role model is someone who, through hard work and a positive outlook, has achieved.
12. A role model may be a parent, relative, friend, church member, judge, doctor, attorney, businessperson, or someone I've read about in the newspaper or seen on the local news.
13. I will contact role models and seek their advice, guidance, and counsel. People remember when they were my age and are eager to help.
14. I will seek out recommended magazines, articles, books, biographies, videos, and motivational and how-to books, and use them for education and motivation.
15. The light is always green. You cannot go full speed with one foot on the brake.
16. I am always "in school," and I will not waste my summer by failing to read about and speak to people who can inspire me.
17. I will avoid friendship with people who do not share my goals and commitments. Nonsupportive relationships waste time and energy.
18. I will not seek immediate results, as I understand life is a journey and not a destination.
19. I will read a newspaper each day.
20. I will entertain myself in ways that challenge and expand my mind. As someone said, a mind once expanded never returns to its original size.
21. I will pay attention to my diet and overall fitness, as they are the keys to a healthy and productive body and an enthusiastic mind.
22. Drugs are stupid. People who believe in drugs don't believe in themselves.
23. I understand that jobs of the future require more preparation and training than ever, and I am determined to obtain the necessary background.
24. A well-rounded, competent student studies math and science.
25. People are not born "deficient in mathematical ability." Through hard work and dedication, the subject can be mastered.
26. It is essential that I learn to speak and write standard English. This is not "acting white," but acting smart.
27. A strong vocabulary is the key to communication, and I will read books on vocabulary enrichment.
28. I expect sometimes to be teased, even ridiculed. This will not stop me; it will only make me stronger and more determined.
29. I control my body and will not create a child until I am spiritually, psychologically, educationally, and financially capable of assuming this awesome responsibility.
30. Life is difficult. I expect setbacks and will learn from them. Struggle creates strength.
31. Every day is precious, and one without growth is squandered.
32. There is only one me, and I'm it!
Call to the Black Leadership
The black leadership must stop focusing on nonsense.
It is nonsense to spend time and energy accusing the networks of racism for failing to have more black comic characters in their prime-time lineup. If people don't want to watch, stop watching. If people stop watching, the studios scramble around trying to figure out why their current stuff ain't selling.
We live in an era where, through the Internet, "our images" can be readily accessed. Niche programming creates networks like BET, UPN, or WB, that "cater to minorities." It is simply silly to suggest that network businesspeople have an agenda beyond making money, securing their jobs, and maintaining their lifestyles. It is not in their best interest to be racist. And, believe me, one thing people in Hollywood are good at is pursuing their self-interest.
In the mid-sixties, the Los Angeles Dodgers played their arch rival, the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers accused Giants pitcher Juan Marichal, a native of the Dominican Republic, of intentionally intimidating batters. During one of Marichal's atbats,black Dodger catcher Johnny Roseboro, in throwing the ball back to the mound, intentionally threw the ball extremely close to Marichal's head. Wrong move. Marichal, bat in hand, turned and clubbed Roseboro on the head. Medics took Roseboro to the hospital, and he required stitches.
The incident jeopardized both players' careers.
My uncle and I discussed this, and he said, "Larry, look at these two brothers, almost throwing away their careers for their two white owners. The owners [Horace Stoneham and Walter O'Malley] were probably sittin' in an owners' box, sippin'wine." (The Dodger owner, Walter O'Malley, did encourage the former New York Giants to move to the Bay Area to continue their heated and extremely lucrative rivalry. "Bad blood" between the Dodgers and the Giants means good money.) My uncle was right. Roseboro and Marichal forgot the big picture. The healthier they stay, the more money they make. If they injure themselves or get arrested and convicted0 of assault, what will O'Malley and Stoneham do? Get new players, dummies!
I urge the black leadership to focus on the big picture. How can our people be safer, healthier, and more productive? Answer: parental choice of schools; moral and legal discouragement of the young, irresponsible, and unwed from having children; the repeal of the war on drugs; the privatization of Social Security; guarantees of adequate police presence and protection; laws allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons; the repeal of business regulations that strangle the formation of inner-city and urban businesses; the repeal of the requirement of licenses for cabdrivers or beauticians; and the repeal of minimum wage laws.
As Aristotle, in The Nicomachean Ethics, once put it, "Anyone can become angry--that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way--this is not easy."73
Who Are You Calling an Uncle Tom?
In 1997, Morley Safer interviewed me on 60 Minutes. Safer asked how it felt to be called an "Uncle Tom" by fellow blacks, to be accused of betraying them. We had the following exchange:
LARRY ELDER: You're white. If a white person said of you, because of his perception of your affection for blacks, "You're a nigger-lover," you would quite properly call this person a racist. If a black person says to another black person, because of that person's perceived affection for whites, "You are an Uncle Tom," I don't see the difference.
MORLEY SAFER: Racism is racism.
ELDER: [nodding] Racism is racism.
Oh, and how did I respond to the black man referred to in the beginning of the chapter, the one who attacked me personally because of my views? The exchange went this way:
Q.: Larry Elder, is there a connection between your beliefs and the house and the white woman you have waiting for you in the hills?
ELDER: I appreciate that you are so concerned about my personal life. I happen to be single, but if I did have a white woman waiting for me in my house in the hills, I don't suppose you'd be satisfied until I murdered her and then blamed it on the white man.
THE TEN THINGS YOU CAN'T SAY IN AMERICA. Copyright © 2000 by Larry Elder.