By Ella Kietlinska and Joshua Phillipp
Race politics in the United States, which are based on “critical race theory,” are unfounded, according to author, filmmaker, and radio host Larry Elder.
Elder, the host of “The Larry Elder Show,” said in an interview with The Epoch Times’ “Crossroads” program that in his perception, critical race theory can be summed up as the notion that black people today are still victims in America of systemic racism and white people need to recognize how they victimized black people.
“Race relations has come down to, in my opinion, how black people feel about white people, and how white people feel about how black people feel about white people,” Elder said, adding that critical race theory doesn’t deal with the relations of Asians or Hispanics with other races.
Elder said that when Barack Obama decided to run for president, media published an article where his three advisers, David Plouffe, David Axelrod, and Valerie Jarrett, discussed the pros and cons of his decision to run but none of them brought up the issue of race. He added that even Jarret, who is black, did not bring up this issue because it was not a significant factor at that point in America.
In 2007, “60Minutes” program’s host Steve Croft asked Obama in an interview whether being black could hold him back from winning the race. Obama answered “No. I think if I do not win this race it would be because of other factors. It’s going to be because I have not shown the American people a vision of where the country needs to go that they can embrace.”
Elder said he commented on Obama’s response at the time that “this guy will improve race relations, given that attitude, and most Americans, I’m sure, felt the same way I felt.”
“We’ve crossed a bridge here, and the bridge is: anybody, no matter his race, no matter his or her color, creed, can become president of the United States,” Elder commented on Obama’s victory.
However, race relations soured under Obama’s presidency. Elder noted that when George W. Bush was the president, race relations in America were pretty good, with 75 percent of white people and 71 percent of black people considering them good or pretty good at that time. By the time Obama left office, both percentages were in the 40s.
Elder said about people in the streets who were protesting after George Floyd’s death in police custody and after Jacob Blake was shot by a police officer after resisting arrest, “they sincerely believe that there is a problem with the police.”
“The reason people are in the streets and reason people buy this narrative … is because for all their lives they’ve been bombarded by this notion—whether it’s Hollywood, whether it’s media, whether it’s academia—that you as a black person are a victim, I as a white person victimize you, and I as a white person should feel guilty about that, and I as a white person should make amends for it,” Elder said.
“This is a mentality that’s been drilled into these kids from the time that they were in grade school and if they went to college they’ve had another four-year indoctrination of this. So the country has been conditioned to believe that racism remains a major problem in America, Elder said adding that “the media reinforces this narrative every time something racial happens.”
Studies on Racism
A study on police engaging in systemic racism against blacks conducted by Roland Fryer, an accomplished professor of economics at Harvard University, shows that “the police not only were not engaging in this kind of systemic racism against black people but they were more hesitant, more reluctant to pull the trigger on a black suspect than on a white suspect,” Elder said.
“The same results have been shown in a series of studies done by professors at Washington State University” where simulator machines were used, Elder said.
The Department of Justice has conducted a survey every three years since 1996 where 60,000 Americans who have had some contact with police are interviewed about their experiences and perspectives related to that interaction, and no pattern of systematic racism was found, Elder said.
Another study conducted by the National Institute of Justice during the Obama administration had indeed shown that “black motorists were disproportionately stopped compared to white motorists” but the reasons for the disproportionate stops were legitimate, Elder said.
Elder summarized the idea of systemic racism as “a lie, and it’s doing a great deal of damage to the country.”
Elder co-produced and hosted a documentary about black conservatives called “Uncle Tom” that was released in June. He said that upon seeing the movie, many liberals have changed their view of America, especially about black America, and “they changed their view about the promise of America, because this is the land of the free. Honestly—there are people who are willing to brave shark-infested waters to get over here from Cuba.”
“We ought to knock it off, and knock off the division, and recognize we have far more in common than we have apart and let’s get on with the business of being American and making America great.”
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