CNN host Chris Cuomo recently complained about his job. “I don’t like what I do,” he said. It seems that Cuomo, out in public, gets some negative feedback: “I don’t want some jackass, loser, fat-tire biker being able to pull over and get in my face and in my space and talk bulls—t to me. I don’t want to hear it.” Cuomo complained that as “a celebrity” he cannot “tell you to go to hell, to shut your mouth.” Poor Cuomo; the stress of his reportedly $6 million a year gig must be unbearable.
No doubt U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who is black, is getting a great deal of hate mail these days. In advising “communities of color” on the importance of practicing mitigation to reduce the spread of the coronavirus, Adams said: “We need you to do this, if not for yourself, then for your abuela. Do it for your granddaddy. Do it for your big momma. Do it for your pop-pop.”
How dare Adam’s “blame” blacks and Hispanics, said critics, because a disproportionate percentage are contracting and dying from the coronavirus. How dare he speak to minorities in such a condescending way, said others. Poor President Donald Trump. He’s criticized for having an administration chock-full of white males. And Trump’s criticized for having a black surgeon general who attempts to reach out to minorities in a way he considered relatable.
So, it is quite likely that Adams’ hate mail is piling up.
I don’t know whether I get more than my fair share of hate mail compared to Cuomo, but I suspect that I do. The following hate letter I recently received is only atypical in its poor spelling, grammar and syntax. But the sentiment — that a black person cannot believe in limited government, hard work, low taxes, personal responsibility, choice in school, etc., without being a sellout — is quite typical:
“You have to be just about one of the dummest most ignorant men on the planet. My conservative newspaper in edmonton chooses to occassionally publish your columns. I find it disturbating the way you support the biggest racist, homophobic, narcissistic, gender bashing c—-s—-er of all time. What the f—- is the matter with you? Do you even know you are a black man? You sound like a slave prairing his master like we saw in the roots movie in the 80’s. The man you support is a pr—k which also says a lot about you. F—- you are sick Larry. Check you facts you sick f—- before you write lies.”
On the other hand, for every letter like the one above, I get one like this:
“First, I’m a fan. It’s good to see an intelligent black man that is not afraid to speak the truth about current issues and challenge the nonsense that some people just seem to piggy-back without any facts.
“I’m a 59-year-old black man and I seem to be in un-charted waters with this issue. I associate with black people but I live in a white community. I drive to a black church every Sunday in my home town of Chicago, as I live in Wisconsin. I recently became active on Facebook. I was a silent member for a while until I got baited into a discussion involving President Trump. I didn’t agree with what the person was saying therefore I’ve been called an Uncle Tom, Sambo, Sellout, etc. I was called a devil worshipper because I didn’t agree with a fellow deacon of my church. I’ve even been physically threatened through Facebook. Just know that I’m a big guy, a veteran with 22 years active service and I served during the global war on terrorism. I was also a police officer and now I work for the federal government so you might say I’ve been around and I know how to handle myself. The problem is the people I’ve been getting this flack from are fellow parishioners that I worship with every Sunday. My pastor has even looked at me sideways since this has started. My question is how do you handle it when you get hate mail and such?”
In truth, it is not difficult to handle the hate. My mother taught my brothers and me that no one can make you feel inferior without your permission. Allowing ignorant people who argue — like the hate mailers — to ruin your day would say more about you than about them. When arguments are refuted by personal insult instead of logic, facts or reason, this makes one thing clear: Your opponent is out of ammo.
The abuse heaped on blacks like the surgeon general, former congressman Lt. Col. Allen West, and businessman, columnist, political candidate and activist Herman Cain for merely being Republicans is a national scandal. To address this absurdity and to show how it undermines the black community, I’m the executive producer of an upcoming documentary called “Uncle Tom.” Stay tuned.
Larry Elder is a bestselling author and nationally syndicated radio talk show host.