Apr 21, 2021
Letter to Maxine Waters from Larry Elder, L.A. talk show host
Dear Congresswoman Waters:
I write this letter directly to you. No one else received copies.
Your power in America, and especially in the black community, is substantial.
I honestly, and sincerely, urge you to rethink your positions on several issues.
I have, so far, kept this letter private. I hope that after you read this letter, you will agree to have a one-on-one, sit-down, private conversation with me about the future and direction of black America.
But given the stakes, our personal feelings towards each other are inconsequential. I reach out in good faith, based on my sincere concern for the black community. I see an erosion of community standards, values, hopes and aspirations.
By the way, despite my acknowledged harsh criticisms of you, I never once attacked you personally. I said, on many occasions: I don’t question her heart, but I question her head. I called you a hardworking, tireless warrior for your views.
I’m not grandstanding, not doing this for ratings. Again, at least, until I hear from you, I am reaching out. I hope to hear from you soon.
I recently received an invitation to an event at a private residence to celebrate the election of Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn.
Frankly, the invitation surprised me, given my harsh criticism of the then-candidate Hahn’s position on several issues. Nevertheless, I accepted, only to receive a phone call, dis-inviting me. I understand that the host received pressure from you, among others, that I be barred from the event.
Again, as I said, the invitation surprised me, and I don’t blame you or others for not wanting me there. After all, this presumably celebrated your hard work in getting Hahn elected.
I hoped, by accepting, to finally talk with you and other black “leaders” about problems in the black community. My producer called your office on several occasions to get you on my show, but each time you refused. Recently, a caller to my show said that she called your office in hopes that she might convince you to appear on the show. She said your office told her that “you had never heard of Larry Elder.” Again, I think I understand the tactic—the tactic of ignoring me, in hopes to minimize that you perceive what I suspect you perceive as a growing influence. Again, I understand.
I write this letter, however, to issue a call. Your position on major issues affecting the black community is simply, and flat out, wrong. Not only do your positions fail to advance the interests of blacks, but also, in many cases, they actually hurt them. Let’s go over them.
You, the NAACP, and the majority of the “black leadership” routinely call for more gun control legislation. Powerful evidence, however, indicates that restrictive gun laws do nothing to deter bad guys, while making it more and more difficult for good people to defend themselves. Violent crime rates have fallen faster and further, for the most part, in the thirty-two states allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons, vs. non-carry states. Japan and England now see crime rates increasing, despite bans on private ownership of guns.
Washington, D.C., a city with perhaps the nation’s most restrictive gun laws, ranks No. 1 in per capita murders. As former D.C. mayor Marion Barry once incredibly put it, “Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest rates in the country.”
Crime in America remains disproportionately an urban affair. Therefore, those who most need protection from bad guys remain—due in large measure to your policies—most vulnerable to crime.
In America in Black and White, Stephen and Abigail Thernstrom clearly show that the black middle class preceded affirmative action. Moreover, it insults the hardworking black men and women of this country who, since slavery, built the black middle class, day by day, brick by brick, backache by backache. The first black member of the Federal Reserve Board, Arthur Brimmer, studied affirmative action’s impact. By affirmative action, I mean preferences, the lowering of standards to achieve “diversity” or “multi-culturalism” or “inclusion.” I do not include outreach, or using efforts to inform others, irrespective of race, gender, etc., of available opportunities.
Brimmer concluded, “I would say that most blacks I know did not get [their jobs] because of affirmative action, but it’s impossible [to determine the exact number].”
In 1962, Ebony magazine ran a series of motivational articles called, “If I Were Young Today.” Each month, they asked a black achiever—Federal District Judge Herman Moore, union leader A. Philip Randolph, famed Los Angeles architect Paul Williams—to provide advice to today’s youth. Each spoke of drive, vision, hard work, and preparation. Not one even implied the need or desire for preferential treatment.
In 1963, Whitney Young, then head of the Urban League, proposed a kind of a “Marshall Plan” for blacks. A member of the league, however, objected to what he called “the heart of it–the business of employing Negroes [because they are Negroes].” Moreover, Whitney Young suggested his “Marshall Plan” for a period of ten years. This means, if Young prevailed, affirmative action would have ended in 1973!
The Detroit News recently wrote that, at seven Michigan colleges and universities, blacks within six years graduate at a rate of 40% compared to 61% for whites and 74% for Asians. Blame lowered standards to achieve to achieve campus “diversity.” This mismatching of students—placing someone in a major league school when he or she would have been better at Triple A ball—causes, according to one study a loss of $5 billion a year to the black community. Moreover, affirmative action, in the educational field, masked the real problems, substandard education K-12. Yet you, the Democratic Party, and the unions all resist many changes urban parents want, including vouchers.
Besides, hard work wins. Back in 1901, thirty-six years after slavery, Booker T. Washington said, “When a Negro girl learns to cook, to wash dishes, to sew, to write a book, or a Negro boy learns to groom horses, or to grow sweet potatoes, or to produce butter, or to build a house, or to be able to practise medicine, as well or better than some one else, they will be rewarded regardless of race or colour. In the long run, the world is going to have the best, and any difference in race, religion, or previous history will not long keep the world from what it wants.
“I think that the whole future of my race hinges on the question as to whether or not it can make itself of such indispensable value that the people in the town and the state where we reside will feel that our presence is necessary to the happiness and well-being of the community. No man who continues to add something to the material, intellectual, and moral well being of the place in which he lives is long left without proper reward. This is a great human law which cannot be permanently nullified.”
You fight any attempt to roll back the welfare state, and voted against the Welfare Reform Act of 1996. This act caused a 50% reduction in the welfare rolls, without a corresponding increase in abortion. It reduced teen pregnancy, without a corresponding increase in abortion.
Census records from 100 years ago found blacks, in some cases, more likely than whites to marry and have children within a traditional family structure. As recently as 1960, 22% of black children were born to unwed parents. Today, the figure stands at 70%, with 85% spending at least some time living without a father in the house, at least for part of their lives. Racism? Blame Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty, coupled with a “you-owe-me” victicrat mindset that creates dependency and fosters irresponsibility.
In 1985, the Los Angeles Times polled poor people and asked conducted a poll, asking poor people whether poor young women “often,” or “seldom,” have children in order to get on welfare. More poor people (64 percent) than non-poor (44 percent) agreed that welfare recipients “often” have children to get additional benefits. More poor people than non-poor people agreed that welfare fosters dependency.
War on Drugs
You recently condemned the CIA for its alleged role in the creation of urban America’s drug problem, bellowing at a Town Hall meeting: “If I never do anything else in this career as a member of Congress–I’m gonna make somebody pay for what they’ve done to my community and to my people.”
Never mind that the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times all wrote stories debunking the notion that the CIA had played anything other than an incidental role in the creation of a drug war.
Furthermore, what about personal responsibility? Did some strange mystical racist force cause black people to ingest or inject drugs?
Many young blacks, convicted of drug-related offenses, waste away in jail.
Many never committed violent crimes. Yet, you do not call for the end of the War on Drugs.
You claim you condemn drugs, but you wrote a letter to Janet Reno to back off of a joint federal joint Justice Department local DEA probe. The probe centered on James A. Prince, a childhood friend of your husband’s. The authorities suspected him of drug trafficking, and some DEA agents working on the probe suddenly got yanked off. Some, on the record, accused you of interfering with a legitimate probe. For all these reasons, I suspect that you question the legitimacy of the government’s War on Drugs. Why not, then, publicly call for an end to this expensive, unfair, corrupting War on Drugs?
In 1979, former Black Panther, Joanne Chesimard, gunned down a New Jersey State Highway Patrol Officer. A jury convicted her of murder, and sentenced her to life in prison. In a daring breakout, Chesimard escaped from prison and fled to Cuba. Congress passed a unanimous resolution urging Castro to send Chesimard back to America and face charges. You, however, wrote Castro a letter, urging him to let her stay, stating “she was persecuted as a result of her political beliefs and affiliations.” You further likened her to Martin Luther King!
The War on Drugs requires a growing use of informants, thus compromising the integrity of our criminal justice system. Under the guise of fighting the War on Drugs, President Clinton authorized more wiretaps and asset forfeitures than under the Bush and Reagan administrations combined. Economist Milton Friedman said, “Today in this country, we incarcerate 3,109 black men for every 100,000 of them in the population. Just to give you an idea of the drama in this number, our closest competitor for incarcerating black men is South Africa. South Africa—and this is pre-Nelson Mandela and under an overt public policy of apartheid—incarcerated 729 black men for every 100,000.”
Janet Reno estimates that nearly half of all street crime is directly related to criminals seeking money to support drug habits. I urge you to take a courageous stand and publicly pressure the government to end this war.
Black leaders refuse to acknowledge the good news: Racism no longer remains a potent threat in American life. Most blacks remain solidly middle class, with blacks forming businesses at a faster rate than whites. The black domestic product, were it a separate country, makes it one of the fifteen wealthiest nations in the world.
Harvard’s Orlando Patterson, a liberal Democrat, said, “The sociological truths are that America, while still flawed in its race relations…is now the least racist white-majority society in the world; has a better record of legal protection of minorities than any other society, white or black; offers more opportunities to a greater number of black persons than any other society, including all those of Africa…”
In one recent year, three out of four blacks, with SAT scores between 1250 and 1300 received admissions into the nation’s 28 most elite colleges. Only one in four whites with comparable SAT scores received admission.
SAG, the Screen Actors Guild, reports roles going to blacks equal the percentage of our population in the nation. Unemployment rates for married black men just about equal those for married white men.
Yes, black net worth remains but a fraction of white net worth, but government programs cannot close that gap without forcibly taking money away from somebody and giving it to someone else. Instead, hard work, personal responsibility, avoiding slovenly behavior, getting an education, and focus create growth and opportunity. You display precisely these qualities in your life and career, and form the basis for your success.
As mentioned before, 70% of today’s black children are born outside of wedlock. Nearly 25% of young black men possess criminal records. In many urban schools, the dropout rate exceeds 50%. Because of these problems, there are only 100 eligible, marriageable black men for every 111 eligible, marriageable black women. Nearly three-quarters of inner-city kids at the elementary school level fail to read, write, and compute at grade level.
In America, we see two black Americas. The majority black world reflects increased prosperity, growing homeownership, and steady asset accumulation. The other, the so-called black underclass, remains disturbing. Quite simply, we see too many children having children. It stands, far and away, as America’s No. 1 problem. Whatever role racism played, the complete abolition of white racism would leave these problems unresolved.
I await your response.