Larry Elder himself has been the target of vicious attacks from the principal black newspaper in Los Angeles, received death threats inspired by such attacks and finally been boycotted by a radical group called Talking Drum. The boycott reportedly caused Elder’s employer, Los Angeles radio station KABC, to lose millions of dollars in advertising. A year ago, the station’s management informed Elder that he would be removed from his four-hour drive-time air slot. A replacement was hired and Elder’s hours reduced. Meanwhile, there was not a single editorial in the Los Angeles Times about the political movement to silence his voice, or a single protest by the ACLU and other liberal organizations normally so quick to oppose such moves as censorship.
It took a conservative organization (which I head) to mount an effort to defend Elder in the form of a half-million-dollar TV ad campaign. This resulted in a dramatic boost in Elder’s ratings, the firing of the station manager and Elder’s replacement and the restoration of his hours. Today, Larry Elder is the No. 1 drive-time talk show host in Los Angeles and about to be syndicated nationally.
Was the attack on Elder, accompanied by the unusual silence of liberal elites, an aberration? Hardly. In fact, it was integrally connected to the 90 percent black vote for Democratic Party candidates like Los Angeles congresswoman and black caucus head Maxine Waters last week. Waters was one of Elder’s antagonists.
Liberals and the Democratic Party need the economic dependence and monolithic political choices of the African-American community in order to secure their own political power. That is why liberals and Democrats constantly inflame the racial fears of black Americans while maliciously demonizing conservatives and Republicans as their racial enemies. That is why they are either collusive in, or silent about, the character assassination of black conservatives like Clarence Thomas, Gary Franks, Ken Hamble, Thomas Sowell and Ward Connerly.
Where would liberalism and the Democratic Party be without the dependency of black Americans on government programs and government offices and the monolithic politics that follow naturally therefrom? (Government actually employs 24 percent of black Americans — in contrast with 14 percent of whites — while blacks make up only 10 percent of the work force).
Where would liberalism and the Democratic Party be if poor urban black youth were not trapped by their policies in dangerous and failing public schools? This situation — tragically destructive for African-Americans — ensures that billions of education dollars will continue to flow into the pockets of the administrative bureaucracies and public sector unions, especially the teachers’ unions, which form the heart of the Democratic Party’s political machine.
It is the same self-interest that causes the Democratic Party to defend affirmative action programs whose true (and virtually sole) beneficiaries are the black elites who are the enforcers of the political monolith. In a new book, written to justify these policies in education, university presidents Sisela Bok and Roger Bowen focus their attention on racial preference admissions in 28 elite colleges. Their study shows that 86 percent of the African-American beneficiaries of these racial preferences already come from the upper-middle and upper classes of the black community, and that they go on to top leadership positions in government and society.
If I were still a leftist, I would describe this privileged class of African-Americans as a comprador or neocolonial bourgeoisie, granted privileges by the imperial power to maintain its own control over the colonial masses and to secure the profits and powers that flow from the system. What is going on here is the aggrandizement of liberals, the Democratic Party and their neocolonial elites off the backs of minorities and the poor. That is the bottom-line significance of the 90 percent African-American support for Democratic big-government candidates in the 1998 elections.
Republican policies of lower taxation, school choice and welfare reform are actually in the interests of the disadvantaged and poor. Republicans could be the party of liberation for these downtrodden masses. As the success of welfare reform shows, Republican policies will lead to a better life for blacks and other minorities oppressed by liberalism and the welfare state. For now, however, as the election has shown, the problem is that Republicans don’t seem to know how to communicate this message to the minorities themselves and, worse, don’t seem to care.