Tuesday, July 10, 2007

On The Record

I'm going to come out on the record and say that I hate Larry Elder. If you are not familiar with Elder, he is a Black republican who refuses to acknowledge the realities that exist in the inner cities of America even though he comes from such an upbringing.

My hatred for him was furthered by his on MSNBC today. MSNBC has decided to have a day for viewers to discuss issues of concern to them. Firstly, an immigrant wants to talk about American citizens' right. Disregarded. Another person writes about unemployment in the Black community, which is a huge problem. He does not look at the fact that there are no businesses who are willing to invest in the inner city nor the fact that the schools that have 50% dropout rates are antiquated and filled with poor teachers who are uninterested in actually watching over their students to help them out. Well, he does acknowledge the last fact, but he blames that on single parents. Right, that's totally not the problem here. But, Elder continues on to say that being born in a single parent house leads to unemployability. This might be true for me. Oh wait, that's right, I live in the 3rd poorest state in the country. Nevermind, that point doesn't hold. He says that we have to invest ourselves in a knowledge-based economy. I don't know how this is possible when people cannot afford to get the knowledge needed to be in a knowledge-based economy. So, we are left at square one, aren't we?

Elder constantly puts the onus upon Black America and saying that it is our responsibility to get out. This isn't false, but there is a larger responsibility to America to actually give opportunities to Black people by putting businesses in Black America that aren't chinese carryouts, convenience stores, and other mom-and-pop type organizations. This reality is one that isn't accepted by people like Elder who was lucky enough to advance himself out of the hood to a point of being a complete asshole who forgets about the struggle of being Black. He complains that Black people put too much importance on being Black. Unfortunately, everyone else puts too much importance on Black people being Black too. If he became aware of this, I might like him more. To his detriment, he does not. His constant disregard of the struggles of Black living are frustrating to listen to, especially when channels like MSNBC bring him in as the guy who speaks for Black America.

Elder could stand to take a cue from Bill Cosby. Although he constantly castigates Black people, Cosby always recognizes that it is an effort of Black people coming together and saying that its current situation as material, violent, and uneducated is unacceptable and that we as a people must make a change. Elder thinks that one man can get out on his own if he dedicates himself. This just isn't true. I only got out because I had a support system in a private school that many in my neighborhood couldn't pay for. Hell, my mom could barely pay for it. And, we all knew if I went to the local high school, I would never amount to anything because the high school was terrible. Maybe if Elder recognizes that the reality that he and I have experienced is the exception and not the rule, I might decrease my hatred to a loathing. I still won't like Elder.