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Larry Elder Confronts Race and the Fatherhood Crisis in America
Posted By Frontpagemag.com On February 28, 2013 @ 12:23 am In Daily Mailer,FrontPage | 5 Comments
Editor’s note: Below is the video of keynote speaker Larry Elder’s speech at the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s 2013 West Coast Retreat. The event was held February 22nd-24th at the Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes, California. A transcript of the speech follows.
Larry Elder: I was not an aficionado of talk radio and I want to tell you briefly how I got into it before I get into the book. I was living and working in Cleveland, Ohio, at the time, and I wrote an op-ed piece for the “Cleveland Plain Dealer,” my normal libertarian screed that government was too big, we are taxed too much, there’s too much regulation, and oh, by the way, racism is no longer a major problem in America. Well, all anybody cared about was my saying that racism was no longer a major problem in America. So I get a call from a radio host in Cleveland who asked me to come on his show and talk about the column. I didn’t listen to talk radio; I knew Howard Stern, I knew who Rush Limbaugh was. I didn’t listen to them regularly. I lived downtown and I worked downtown, so I walked to work. I was never in my car so I never listened to talk radio.
So this guy was named Merle Pollis. He had been on the air for something like 30 years in Cleveland. I lived in Cleveland 17 years and never heard of him, and I went on the show, and Cleveland is about 50% black. LA is 9% black. Even though Cleveland is smaller, there are probably more black people living there than here, and every other call was from a black person who called me an Uncle Tom or a boot-licking Uncle Tom or a racist, Sambo, Sambo Tom. I was called “coconut,” as in brown on the outside, white on the inside; Oreo, the same concept, and one person even called me the anti-Christ if and one really tried to hurt, to wound, to scold. He called me a Republican. (Laughter).
So I get home and I said to myself “I’ll never do that again.” I get a phone call from the programming director. He said “You were amazing.” I said “I was?” “You were funny, you have a very good voice. You took difficult positions, you defended them effectively. Have you ever thought about doing talk radio?” And I said “No.” He said “My guy is going on vacation next week and I was going to get a pro to sit in for him, but I’d like you to do it. Will you do it?” And I said “No” and he said “Why?” I said “Talk radio just reminds me of yelling at my little brother Dennis and being yelled back at and I’m not interested.” He said “I’ve been doing this 25 years. I’ve never seen the like of you. Are you married?” I said “I am.” He said “Do me a favor, go home to your wife, tell her about the opportunity I’m extending to you and see what she says. Call me back tomorrow.” I said “I will, but I assure you, I’m not going to do it.” (Laughter). So I went on to my then-wife, Cindy, and I told her about the opportunity. She said “What do you think?” I said “Well, I don’t know that much about talk radio. What little I know about it, it seems shallow, glib and stupid.” She said “It is. You’d be good at it.” (Laughter). Gives you some idea of what happened to that marriage, Dwight? (Laughter).
I wanted to write a book about the importance of fathers and I started to write something analytical, maybe a study from the Heritage Foundation showing the link between not having a dad in the house and unemployment and welfare, dependency, and dropping out of school and, yes, homicides. I could have talked about the book written by Charles Murray, “Losing Ground,” arguably one of the most important books in the last 50 years about the damage done to our society because of the welfare state, but I thought I would do something more personal and so I started thinking about my own father. And I couldn’t stand the SOB growing up.
My father is what I call a junkyard-dog dad. You’ve heard the term “tiger mom.” My dad was a Montford Point Marine; these were the first black Marines. They were the equivalent of the Tuskegee Airmen. So my dad was just a rough, tough guy who seemed to get irritable at the slightest little provocation. I thought he whipped us too long; I thought he whipped us too hard, and when I say “us,” I have two brothers, my older brother Kirk, my little brother Dennis, and none of us could stand the SOB. So I felt it was him, not us. I didn’t feel like there was something wrong with me; I thought there was something wrong with them.
And the only reason I didn’t think he was a criminal is that he was married to my mom, and my mom would not have married him if he was that abusive. So I sort of felt that there must be some sort of line that he couldn’t cross because of my mother, but I could count the days when I was going to get physically strong enough to beat the crap out of my father, and I’m not talking about the kind of thing where you’re mad at your dad for five minutes or a day or something like that. I couldn’t stand him every single day, week, month, year, year, year.
My father was a janitor; he worked two full-time jobs as a janitor. He cooked for a family on the weekend and went to night school three nights a week to get his GED. He probably averaged about four and a half of sleep. I had a vague notion that he worked hard quit; I had a vague notion that he didn’t get much sleep, but not much — and my father would come home and my mother would give him the laundry list of bad things that we did, and my father would pull out a belt. In those days, people from the South used the belt and my father would whip us with the belt. I thought it was excessive; I thought it was harsh.
So my dad starts a café after he saves up his nickels and dimes. I’m 15 years old and my father, during rush hour, would just, in my opinion, go ballistic. He would get intense, he would get angry, he would get distraught, he would start cursing. We’re talking about a little diner. There’s a picture of it on the cover of the book, so anything that is said to me, anybody in the building could hear it. So my father would often curse and I told myself the next time my father cursed, I was going to confront him.
So I’m 15, my father cursed at me four times that day. I’d like to say that I went up to him and I said “Now, see here, pal.” I took off the robe I left out the back door. My dad is in the restaurant full of people all by himself. He gets home, he is pissed. He says “Why did you leave?” I said “I got tired of the way you spoke to me.” My dad paid me $10.00 a day plus tips. He balled up the $10; he threw it at me. I was sitting on the bed. He walked out of the room. My father and I did not have a conversation for 10 years, and I mean no conversation, not even “How about those Rams?” — not for 10 years.
I’m now living in Ohio. I met a man who knew my dad before my dad met my mother. Now my dad — in my house we had a no-fly zone over talking about his background. Nobody ever talked about his background. I knew that my father probably had a mother and a father because most people do. (Laughter). So I meet my uncle in Ohio and he said “I knew your dad before your dad met your mother.” I knew no one who knew my father, let alone somebody who knew him before my mom, and it turned out that my uncle roomed with my dad for a whole year. And I told my uncle how I felt about my father; he was shocked. He said “I think I probably know him better than you know him and either something has happened to change him, which I doubt, or you are misreading him. I think you ought to rethink that.”
I can’t say that I had an epiphany and I then hopped on a plane and went to LA and apologized to my father and everything was wonderful, but my uncle did make me want to at least sit down with the SOB and tell him off, and I figured I would tell him off five minutes, 10 minutes, and he would tell me off, and at least, we would clarify our respective positions. So I get on the plane to LA. I didn’t tell my mother or my father I was even coming. I walk into the restaurant; it’s 1:30. The restaurant closes at 2:30. My father was kind of surprised. I said “I want to talk to you” and he said “Fine, wait until we close.” We closed in about an hour. We sat on two stools. We talked — except for bathroom breaks, we did not get up for eight hours and in eight hours, the man morphed from this mean, uncaring SOB to this sensitive, kind, caring man who was there all along.
I found out that the name Elder is not the name of his biological father; it’s the name of the boyfriend who was in his mom’s life the longest. He never met his biological father. My father is 13 years old, comes home from school, makes too much noise for the mother’s then-boyfriend — not Elder, a different guy. They start fighting, quarreling. The mother sides with the boyfriend, throws my dad out of the house at 13 years old, never to return. We’re talking about a black kid, Jim Crow South, Athens, Georgia, a year or two before the start of the Great Depression.
My father literally goes door-to-door to find something to do and finds some family that will take him in and let him clean the yard. He is then promoted to cook. He then joins the Pullman Porters. They are the largest private employer of blacks in the country and he travels all around and comes to California on a couple of stops and kind of makes a mental note that maybe, because people seem more friendly, things seem sunnier, things seem racist, “Maybe I’ll come here someday.” And so my dad made a kind of mental note of that.
World War II breaks out and my father joins the Marines. I asked why he joined the Marines. He said “I liked the uniforms and they went where the action is.” They made my father a cook stationed on the island of Guam. The bombs fell, the war was over. My father goes back down to the South and now, he’s an experienced cook with the military. He goes from restaurant to restaurant to restaurant to get a job. “Sorry, sir, we don’t hire any N-words,” right to his face. He goes to an unemployment office. He walks through the door, the woman says “Sorry, you went through the wrong door.” He goes back out, sees the “Colored-only door,” goes through that door, back to the very same woman who sent him out. My father comes home to my mother, whom he just married and said “This is BS. I’m going to California and get a job as a cook.”
He comes out to California, walks around for two days. “I’m sorry, sir, you have no references.” This is in the ’40s now. “You have no references.” They didn’t call him an N-word. The same thing, my father would tell them that “I cooked for the military. It was a staff sergeant.” “Sorry, sir, you have no references.” My father went to an unemployment office — this time, only one door. They had no openings. My father said “What time do you open?” She says “8:30.” “What time do you close?” They said “5:30.” My dad said “I will be here in the morning, I’ll be here until you close. I’ll be here until I get a job.” My father sat on a stool for a day and a half.
They called him up and said “We have something; we don’t know if you want it.” “What is it?” She said “It’s a job cleaning toilets.” He said “Of course, I want it.” My dad worked for Nabisco cleaning toilets for 10 years, for Barbara Ann Bread cleaning toilets for 10 years, and as I mentioned, went to night school three nights a week to get his GED and cooked for a family on the weekends. So you add how hard he worked with his upbringing. Okay, he wasn’t Ward Cleaver. He wasn’t touchy, feely, relatey. He was part of that generation that Tom Brokaw called “the greatest generation.” They did not carry their emotions on their sleeves.
So my book is a 247-page apology to a man whose upbringing, whose attitude towards punishment was not one that I agree with then, nor one I agree with now, but that’s what he had to work with. Those were his tools, and to assume that because he judged me harshly, that he didn’t love me, was insane, and almost an assault to everything he had done. So it’s a 274-page apology to the man. I also wrote it because so many kids today are born in homes without a father. 75% of black kids today are born in homes without a father; 85% of black kids, at some point, will be in a home without a dad.
When I was in college in 1970, Daniel Patrick Moynihan had just written a book called “The Negro Family: A Case for National Action.” At the time, 25% of black kids were born outside of wedlock, a number that Moynihan thought was alarming, and as you know, Moynihan later on became a senator to New York, a Democratic senator. Fast forward, the number now is 75%. It is 35% in the white community; it is 50% in the Hispanic community. Now, if in 1965, 25% out-of-wedlock birth for blacks was a national scandal, what do you call 75% and 50% in the Hispanic community and between 30% and 35% in the white community? Would do you call that? How can we ignore that?
As I was telling Mr. Piers Morgan the other day when I was on his show — (Laughter) — if you really want to talk about the face of gun violence in America, the face of gun violence in America is not some suburban kid in Newtown, as horrific as that was. A kid is more likely to be struck by lightning than to be killed in a school shooting. The face of gun violence in America is that 15-year-old teenager who performed at Obama’s inaugural, who was later on shot and killed by one of those “To whom it may concern” gang-related bullets. It’s the face of that six-year-old Latina girl who was on a porch one March night in Chicago, one of five people killed in one hour in that city because of gang violence. It’s the man in Pasadena recently who was killed out here, late 40s, father of two, had founded a youth league in Pasadena, one of those “To whom it may concern” errant gang-related bullets killing him.
In Chicago, Obama’s adopted hometown, there were 500 homicides last year. They’re on track for 600 this year, or the equivalent of two Sandy Hooks per month in one city. Demographically, Chicago is about a third black, a third white and a third Hispanic. However, 70% of the homicides were committed by black people and almost all of the victims were also black people. In New York, about 45% of the city is white, about 17% to 20% black, about the same number of Hispanics. Over 90% of the homicides were committed by black and brown people, and almost always, the victims are other black and brown people. Now, unless we’re prepared to say that black and brown people are genetically disposed to commit crime, we have to ask ourselves what the hell is going on here?
Now, there are a couple of culprits. You could blame racism. The problem with that is during Jim Crow, when racism was both legal and factual, you didn’t have this kind of criminality. You could blame poverty, but during the Great Depression, 50% of black adults were unemployed. You didn’t find this kind of criminality. Where does that leave you? It leaves you with 50 years of left-wing policies, begun with the best of intentions, when Lyndon Johnson launched the war on poverty in 1965 and dispatched people to go door-to-door to advise women of their rights to welfare benefits, provided there was no man in the house. Within three years, welfare rolls increased 100%. And now we have this kind of pathology.
So what do you do if you’re a left-wing person? You blame high-capacity magazines, you blame racism, you blame poverty, you blame global warming. You do anything at all but look at yourself in the mirror and say “Good lord, what have I done to this country, 50 years of rewarding people for making slovenly decisions and allowing men to abandon their financial and moral responsibility.” Bill Cosby calls such men “unwed fathers.” We know what works. James Q. Wilson from UCLA said “It’s very simple. In order to make it to the middle class, you have to do three things — finish high school, don’t have a kid before you’re 20, and get married before you have that kid. If you do that, you won’t be poor; if you fail to follow that, you will be.” The question is, what are we doing to encourage or discourage people from following that formula? And the answer is the welfare state.
In 1965, when, over the objections of the left wing of his party, Bill Clinton signed the Welfare Reform Act. John Lewis, who marched with Martin Luther king, told us that this was horrific, that it was an assault on the poor. What happened? Welfare rolls declined by 50% without a corresponding increase in abortion. It turns out there were a whole bunch of able-bodied and able-minded people who were on the couch who got off the catch and got into the market.
In the ’80s, the right wing rag, “The LA Times,” had a poll where both poor people and non-poor people were asked the following question. “Do young, poor women often have children to get welfare benefits?” Not too surprisingly, the majority of non-poor people said no; 44% said that young, poor women often have children to get welfare benefits. Most did not believe that. Poor people were asked the same question. “Do you believe that young poor women often have children to get welfare benefits? 64% said often. So they’re telling us; we’re just not listening.
I had Kweisi Mfume on my show once, one of the few so-called black leaders who deigned to come on my show. In 20 years, I haven’t been able to get Jesse Jackson or Sharpton or Farrakhan, but Kweisi Mfume did come on, and I said “Mr. Mfume” — at the time, he was head of the NAACP — “as between the presence of white racism or the absence of black fathers, which poses the bigger threat to the black community?” And to his credit, without missing a beat, he said “The absence of black fathers.”
There’s a director named John Singleton. He’s from South Central, as am I. He went to Crenshaw High School, as did I. He did a couple of movies. One was called “Boyz n the Hood” about 20 years ago, a very entertaining movie, but I think a lot of people were swept away by the entertainment value of it and didn’t understand the point of the movie. There were two families that were profiled. One was the Cuba Gooding, Jr., family whose father was played by Laurence Fishburne, actively involved in his life, didn’t even marry his mom, but was actively involved in his life. And when Cuba Gooding, Jr., was about 12 or 13 in the movie, the father took him in. Across the street lived the Ice Cube family, father AWOL, and the fates of the two families were very different.
If that was too subtle for you, John Singleton did another movie after that one called “Baby Boy,” which nobody saw because it wasn’t as good a movie, but arguably, had a more important message. It was about the sexually irresponsible behavior of a lot of young men in the inner city, including a character played by Snoop Dogg, another character played by — I think his name was Tyrese Gibson. And they both had kids by two different women, outside of wedlock, never married either one of them. This is John Singleton. So they’re telling us; we’re just not listening. There are no fathers and there’s a direct line between this and all the other social problems that I talked about.
So what are we going to do about it? We have to get rid of federal welfare, “no questions asked federal welfare,” and welfare should be done at the state and local level, ideally by individuals or by nonprofits. I was a loan executive for United Way several years ago. For three months, I worked for them. I was amazed at how efficient they were. You donate $1 to United Way and $0.90 or $0.95 of that $1 gets down to the intended beneficiary. $1 of government welfare, according to Tom Sowell, Walter Williams, $0.70 is lost in transfer costs, so for every dollar that is supposed to go for welfare at the federal level, the actual beneficiaries get about $0.30 on the dollar. So forget about even just the morality of it. Just as far as being more efficient, it’s more efficient for the private sector to deal with the needy than it is for the government to do it.
One of the many things that I learned when I was growing up was the value of hard work. My mother often tells the story about how when I was a kid, I wanted a black Schwinn bicycle and you could send away and order a big box of cards, and you had to sell them off, and they were on the back of a comic book. You could send away for them and I was always sending away for stuff. So I get this big box of Christmas cards in the mail. This is May or June, so I’m stepping around, selling all these cards.
And my dad said he felt sorry for me. It was hot, it was the summer, and he thought what I will do, Larry, is I will buy the Schwinn bike for you and then you can sell the cards and reimburse me after you sell all the cards. I said “Fantastic.” So my dad bought all these Christmas cards and he bought the bike for me and told me to resell the boxes and I could reimburse him for all the money that he spent on the bicycle. How many Christmas cards did I sell after I got my bicycle? Put it like this. Manny, if you want a box of Christmas cards, come by my house. I got a box for you in the closet. (Laughter).
And it was about initiative; it was about initiative. My dad said it was a huge mistake that he made. He had taken away my initiative and now, I’m somebody who had hustled and worked really hard. I always had paper routes, did this and did that. I was always hustling, and my dad said this was a powerful lesson to him about the damage done when you take away people’s initiative, which gets back to the welfare state. Laziness is one of the easiest things for people to do; it’s one of the hardest things for people to avoid. You give people an excuse, they will take it — black, white, indifferent, and this is the damage that we’ve done with the welfare state.
I was lucky enough to have a mother who stayed on me. She embraced education; she embraced hard work, and she would refuse to allow my brothers and me to ever think of ourselves as a victim. Whenever we ever came home and told her of some story of some taunt or some slight, she wouldn’t have it. It was her position that nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.
So one day in school, we read this poem and it pissed everybody off, including the teacher. I was angry, everybody was angry, and the poem went like this. “While riding through old Baltimore so small and full of glee, I saw a young Baltimorean keep looking 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 he 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.” As I said, I was upset, the teacher was upset, everybody was upset. The teacher was talking about the permanent damage this would do to his psyche, the strain of racism, how this kid was never going to be the same
So I went home and my mother was stirring a big period of time of greens on the stove. I’ll never forget it. I said mom, we read a poem in class and I want to run it by you and see what you think. She says “Sure, go ahead.” I said “Well, it went something like this.” “While riding through old Baltimore so small and full of glee, I saw a young Baltimorean keep looking straight at me. And I was young and very small, but 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.” My mother took the spoon out of the pot, wrapped it on the side, turned to me and she said “Larry, it’s too bad he let something so trivial spoil his vacation.” (Laughter).
Thank you very much for having me. (Applause). And may God bless you and may God continue to bless the United States of America. (Applause).
The Democratic Party has a vested interest in letting in as many people who they believe are going to vote Democratic as possible. I mean, the head of SEIU publicly said it. He said “If we have 12 million new voters, 75% of them are going to vote for the Democratic Party.” I mean, this is what they’re doing; this is not something that’s a secret. Well, on the question of immigration, which is an issue that is a very important issue, obviously, look, the Democratic Party has no interest in securing the borders first. They have no interest in making sure that we are doing something about the people who enter the country legally, but overstay their visas. They have no real intention of going after employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens. They have no intention of really putting down the feet on the ground necessary, and the fencing to deal with the issue.
They want to have a situation where 20 were 30 years from now, we have another debate about amnesty and a bunch of new people are admitted to the country who are going to vote the way they want them to vote. That’s what’s going on here and I don’t think it’s any secret about what’s going on. I’m not sure the shift was as dramatic as you think it was. Proposition 8 would not have passed without the support of blacks and the Hispanic community.
There is a disconnect between how most black people feel about issues like same-sex marriage and even abortion, and how the so-called black leadership feels. But I find it remarkable that even the people in California, who voted in favor of Proposition 8, still voted in favor of Obama overwhelmingly. So they just carved out an issue that they disagree with Obama on and said “Okay, we’ll give him a mulligan on that.” I think it’s far more disturbing that you’ve got neighborhoods in Philadelphia where 100% of them voted for Obama. Also in Cleveland, there are a bunch of neighborhoods like that.
The problem is deep. The problem is that people have grown up, K through 12, government education, and then they go to the malls and then they watch movies that are done by the Weinsteins where people like the Koch Brothers are mocked and then they put on the television and they hear anchors like Diane sawyer and Jonathan Karl say that a mechanic making $75,000 a year or more pays a higher effective tax rate than Mitt Romney, which is not even true.
So we are bombarded by all of this and then we’re surprised that people turn out left wing. To me, it’s amazing that anybody like George W. Bush ever went into it at that level, when you have this overwhelming onslaught by the media, by academia, and by Hollywood, to say that big government is good, Republicans are evil, racism remains a major problem in America, homophobia is a major problem in America. This is the message that kids get every single day, 24/7, in our culture and it’s a hard battle to fight. Sir?
Audience Member: Yes, I’m just amazed, and have been ever since I first read about you sometime back. I was on the bench as a judge and what made me start thinking about leaving the bench and running for Congress, other than believing you don’t legislate from the bench, was that I was having more and more single moms come before me for felony welfare fraud, and the stories were the same, just as you painted. And it occurred to me that we’re luring young women out of high school into a rut they can’t get out of, most of the ones that came before me. I’ve talked to different people in Congress and people knowledge it, say “It’s an issue.” I would ask if you would help me fashion a bill, whether it’s daycare incentives rather than welfare, something to change the enticement away from having kids from dropping out of school —
Larry Elder: Well, obviously —
Audience Member: — toward reaching that potential, and I would love to work with you, if you would, on fashioning a bill that would turn that around.
Larry Elder: Well, anything I can do to help, of course, I’d be happy to do it. (Applause). Let me give you a story. It’s about messaging and talking to people and persuading them. My father was almost 96 years old when he died and I had the good fortune to be able to spend a lot of time with him the last couple of years, just doing stuff with him, errands, taking him to a doctor appointment. And my father would go to this barber and he said “I’m not sure you want to go with me because she talks a lot and she’s a liberal and you may find her annoying,” and I said “No, let’s go.” So I went and it was a black woman and she was bitching about schools; they were crappy schools. She was bitching about these kids getting pregnant. She was just bitching about society.
And finally, she turned to me and she said “What do you do for a living?” And I said “Well, I’m thinking about running for office.” This is the time I was thinking about running against Barbara Boxer, and she said “Good, we need more black politicians like Obama.” And I said, “Well, I’m nothing like the Obama, other than we’re both black.” I said “I’m a Republican.” (Laughter). Talk about expelling gas and church — (Laughter). And I said “Now, wait a second. You were just complaining about the quality of these schools and you were just complaining about the fact that parents had to send their kid to a school that you don’t like. Republicans are the ones who want to empower parents to be able to take their kid out of a bad school and put their kid into a good school. It’s called vouchers.” I said “You were just complaining about welfare. Republicans are the ones that pushed the Welfare Reform Act of 1996 that caused welfare rolls to decline by 50%.” And she said “Do you have a card?” (Laughter).
Audience Member: Larry, is there any hope for the young black men in prison? Is there any kind of mentorship programs because the recidivism rate is huge.
Larry Elder: Right. Her question was, are there any kinds of programs for blacks, including blacks who are in prison? There are all sorts of programs and that, of course, is a short-term answer. The short-term answer is mentoring, to get people involved in the community. The long-term answer is to change our welfare policies and to get people thinking about their relationship between themselves and government differently, but yes, there are all sorts of programs. There’s Big Brothers and Big Sisters. I have a number of young people that I have mentored over the years.
I told you the story not long ago about I was invited to speak to a group of young basketball kids in college. I got a phone call from a coach a few years ago and he said “Larry, last year, three of my players got girls pregnant, and I’ve heard you on the air and I know how you feel about that sort of thing. Would you come down and talk to my kids this year to hopefully get them to avoid this?” And I said “I’ll do it, but I don’t want you in the room and I’m going to use language you probably don’t want to hear.” I said “If you agree to that, I’ll talk to your kids, but if not, otherwise, it won’t be effective.” He said “Okay.”
So he let me speak to them. I stood in a room and they were all sitting around me in a circle, maybe 35 of them. These were members of the team and also, recruits they were trying to get, and I spoke from the heart and I used some pretty salty language to tell these kids what their futures were and how they were jeopardizing them by engaging in irresponsible behavior. I gave them my home phone number. I said “Call me about anything. If you want to know what the circumference of the earth is, you call me,” and a couple of them did call me, and I can happily report to you that nobody got anybody pregnant that year. (Applause).
Well, racism is no longer a major problem in America. Republicans don’t say that. What they do is try to tell people how they feel and that they marched with Martin Luther King or they knew somebody who did, or they knew a gardener who did or they knew a gardener who knew a dentist who did, that kind of condescending kind of thing that I often hear. I wish Republicans would call out reporters by name. I mentioned Jonathan Karl from ABC. He literally went on the air and said that a mechanic making $75,000 a year is paying a higher effective tax rate than Mitt Romney. It is not even remotely true. Even the left wing National Center for Tax Policy analysis didn’t agree with that.
I just find it just irritates me that Republicans are just so nice. (Laughter). They’re in a fight. The other guy brought a knife; you should have brought a gun. Instead, we’re trying to let people know how nice we are. I was talking to Steve about this a moment ago, Steven Miller. He’s probably been on my show longer than anybody else. I met Steve when he was a 17-year-old kid at [SanMo] High. He then went to Duke. We’ve had him on the air at Duke. He then graduated from Duke and now he’s working for Senator Sessions in Washington, DC. And we were talking about this, and about how Republicans are always trying to be nice, and be well liked. Well, we’re in a vicious fight; we’re in a fight for the future of the country and we ought not to be afraid to engage in that fight, but we want to be liked. We want to be nice and sometimes, you just have to go to [Bump] Street, as my little brother used to say, and that’s a problem.
It sickens me that Republicans, when they’re called racist, just stand there and go “Well, I’m not really racist,” instead of fighting back. I mean, the vicious things the Democrats have said — Julian Bond, the former head of the NAACP, said “Republicans have gotten their cabinet appointee from the Taliban wing of the Republican Party.” He said that before 9/11; after 9/11, he repeated it. I remember when Charlie Rangel said, “George W. Bush is our Bull Connor,” and if that doesn’t get you upset, I don’t know what will. Do you know who Bull Connor was? Bull Connor was a southern sheriff who set water hoses and dogs on freedom fighters for Martin Luther King. He compared George Bush to that and nobody said a word. Are you kidding me? Vicious stuff like this is said all the time. It drives me nuts. Don’t get me started. (Laughter).
Audience Member: (Inaudible).
Larry Elder: The other day, Obama was bragging about the stock market, right? The stock market almost reaches its peak. This is the same party who thinks you’re too stupid to take your Social Security money and invest in the stock market. What am I missing over here? You are bragging about your policies creating this big equity market; on the other hand, you are refusing to allow people to participate in it because you think they’re too stupid. Why aren’t you making that argument? I mean, what’s going on over here? And the children out-of-wedlock birth rate, you can track welfare spending with that directly. Why didn’t mitt Romney do that? It just drove me crazy. Anyway, he left so much stuff on the table.
This business about the Republicans engaging in a war on women, let’s talk a little bit about that. During the ’08 campaign, Obama paid his female staffers less money than McCain pays his female staffers. In the White House, Obama pays his male staffers more money than he pays his female staffers. Anita Dunn, the former White House Communications Director, in a book written by Ron Suskind, a book that was given access to the Obama White House by Obama, he interviewed her. She said “This place is so sexist, if this were the private sector, this would be a hostile work environment.” The book comes out, she denies it. Oops, the reporter taped her, he plays the tape. She admits that she said it. Romney did nothing with this. Anita Dunn, the White House Communications Director in the White House, that’s accusing you of a war on women, saying that the White House is so sexist, if this were the private sector, it would be a hostile work environment and you leave it on the floor? Oh!
Anyway, okay. I think that’s it.
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