*The Road to Now: As a young person trying to figure out what I believed in, and who was also a fan of journalism decades before actually becoming one, Larry Elder was someone who I looked to as a balancing voice twenty years ago. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never imagined myself as being conservative or Republican.
Before the proliferation and popularity of the 24-hour cable news network, most of American got their news from Tom Brokaw, Dan Rather or Peter Jennings.
While occasionally spying the familiar diminutive afro and bushy mustache of Max Robinson out the corner of my eye as I was being hurried to bed by mother, it was still a rarity to see anyone who looked like me running down the top news stories of the day in the late 80s.
Hell, there were even a dearth of Black newspaper columnists at the big-time publications as well. But, if you were lucky, you may have had access to a big city publication that featured at least one or two Black columnists way back when.
It was during these times, from the late 80s until 2000, I would read anything I could find that was written by a Black journalist, and I’d watch any late-night news shows that frequently featured a Black face-even if it was in a minor or backup role.
The Great Worldview News Review
It was the late 90s-early 2000s that I came across Larry Elder when he would appear on PBS’ National Desk alongside Laura Ingraham and Fred Barnes.
Though it was difficult for me to relate to many of his assertions even as a teenager, I still felt comfortable enough to give Elder the benefit of the doubt. After all, I was but a young man trying to conjure a worldview independent of my mother and grandfather. Larry Elder, an articulate, Ivy League educated Black man, appeared as if he were the perfect example for a young Black man to aspire to, even if only superficially so.
But the truth is always much deeper than initial appearances would lead us to believe. While it is impossible to discern the heart of an individual based upon the things they do or say, behaviors and actions do act as a guidepost to the heart and mind.
Let’s rundown a list of Elder’s greatest social “hits,” shall we?
He’s anti-abortion, anti-teacher, pro-Trump to the point of being a sycophant, calling his presidency “almost god-sent,” opposes “entitlements” (welfare, SSI and other things that can provide an economic lifeline), is against a federal minimum wage and is anti-union.
But that’s only the gist of it.
As can be attested to by the likes of Jason Whitlock and Candace Owens, Black conservatives are a hot commodity these days. So much so that some Republicans candidates hired Black people to appear at their rallies in 2016 and 2020.
The appearance of a united conservative front that spans this nation’s demographics is one that the right will pay big money to uphold.
Stupid Is As Stupid Says
However, against logic, against democracy and inclusion, Elder continues to ply his wares of insecure bullsh*t to a Republican voting bloc that has him among the leaders to be the next governor of California.
Pulling from the playbook of his idol Donald Trump, Elder has repeated statements that are widely known as false or misleading to a fanbase that gobbles it up like pigs to swill.
Most recently, Elder and Candace Owens had a conversation in which both agreed that former slave masters should have been compensated for the loss of their “property” following the Civil War.
On paper, my education doesn’t come close to that of Elder. But I’m a researcher. It’s in my blood. And only a cursory Google search reveals the truth.
On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the District of Columbia Emancipation Act, which paid those loyal to the Union up to $300 for each enslaved person who was set free. Additionally, it was common practice for slaveowners to be compensated when a slave ran away to join a revolt, was compensated for a crime or died when leased out to perform hard work.
Everybody got paid off Black backs, but when their descendants want to get paid here come Uncle Tom and Auntie Mae telling us WE don’t deserve compensation while most institutions and American families with old money can trace their come up to slavery.
So why, pray tell you, would two individuals who are descendants of those who were treated as farm animals balk at the idea of reparations?
Well, because they’re already getting their “reparations” by speaking out against and naysaying ANY measure aimed at the mass upliftment of the working poor in America, especially Black folks and women.
An Enemy of the Working Class Family
To top it off, Elder also believes that, if anything, the descendants of slaveholders should be compensated for “Loss of property.” The language used leads this writer to believe that perhaps Elder and the like still believe that Americans of African descent are property. Indeed, a bunch of ungrateful runaways who should be satisfied with what little they have.
The “Sage of South Central” is a ridiculous moniker meant to “blacken” a man who viewpoints are even more conservative than former President George W. Bush and former President Donald J. Trump.
The “Charlatan of South Central” is more apropos, in my opinion. This isn’t about politics or really about race. It’s about money and, sad thing is, the conservative right greatly rewards its lackeys.
Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if he won. Currently, it is estimated that Larry Elder holds 16 percent of voter support while Gov. Gavin Newsom holds 48 percent. However, if Newsom is recalled, analysts believe Elder could win.
Guideposts aren’t disconcerting in and of themselves. But they do paint a picture.
Aside from name calling and political rabble rousing, Larry Elder is a dangerous man. Especially for Black Californians. Indeed, every brother ain’t a brother.
Ricardo Hazell (aka EurWebWriter) is an NYC-based writer. Contact him via: [email protected].