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| | |-+  Larry Elder's 'Startling' Revelations On Piers Morgan Live
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Author Topic: Larry Elder's 'Startling' Revelations On Piers Morgan Live  (Read 2891 times)
Zaynab
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« on: July 19, 2013, 03:35:19 AM »

Larry Elder, an African American author and host of a self-titled programme, appeared on the Piers Morgan Live show to discuss comments he made about Morgan regarding his interview with Rachel Jeantel. Rachel Jeantel is a friend of Trayvon Martin, the young black male that was killed by vigilante night watchman George Zimmerman on his return from a store while visiting his father in a residential community. Elder accused Piers of being condescending in his treatment of Jeantel, the only witness in Trayvon’s Martin's killing. Jeantel, who was said to have been speaking “Ebonics” during her testimony in the trial of the state vs. George Zimmerman, has come under heat from the media and persons that viewed her court testimony. Despite this, Piers described her as a “smart cookie”. This upset Larry Elder who himself may have thought Morgan’s words insulting based on his own prejudice in relation to how Jeantel looked and spoke and accused Morgan of not being forthright with Jeantel by neglecting to encourage her to “take stock of her life”.

Elder seemed to be ashamed of Jeantel, a black female, for not sounding well-read or having good diction, insisting that “Rachel needs to get her act together” and if his mother was alive she would ask, “How dare she speak like that?” When asked how many languages he spoke Elder replied, “I don’t speak Ebonics as well as Rachel if that is what you mean.” Larry also blasted Morgan for comforting Jeantel and making her feel like the victim, saying, “…if you tell people, oh I feel sorry for you, oh this person’s a bigot, oh this person should not have cross-examined you the way he did, then all you’re doing is creating a victim. You’re telling Rachel Jeantel that she shouldn’t have to work hard, she shouldn’t have to work on her diction, she shouldn’t have to improve her grammar…” Elder is perturbed by Jeantel due to his own biases and assumed superiority based on how ‘well’ one speaks. Elder and others that make mention of Jeantel’s manner of speaking, see her as inferior based on their own ignorance of real education.

I agree that Piers Morgan and others in the media could be condescending - a show of their phony tolerance of persons of other races. However, I do not believe that the range of issues that affect the black community is as a result of the practice of engaging in sex before marriage or having children out of wedlock as Elder opines. One of the major problems plaguing the black community is a lack of self- identity and self-worth - a direct result of colonialism, slavery and mis-education.

Black is the face of crime in America but white is the face of opportunity. Blacks are not afforded the same opportunities as whites. Sure, blacks may go to school with whites (often poor whites) but they are still not given the same chance to succeed. Blacks are ignored in the classrooms, pushed aside for their white or mixed race counterparts. The school system fails them. Parents are busy holding onto their jobs and lack proper guidance themselves. The family fails them. Blacks are also paid less for the same jobs that white employees do. The system fails them.

Elder mentions that, “Racism is no longer the biggest problem facing blacks in America”. Contrary to Elder’s beliefs and all others who feign blindness to racism, racism continues to be the reason blacks are harassed on the streets by the police, profiled and ‘mistakenly shot and killed’.

The racist structure upon which the American society is built and continues to exist is the same racial structure that promotes the black man as uneducated and brutish. I will not discount the fact, as Elder so hastily mentioned, that a large percentage of blacks in America are killed by other blacks. It is this same system that has failed them; that openly crucifies and demerits them in an attempt to remain blameless. Elder is quoted as saying, “It’s outrageous to act as if black America should fear some non-black guy stalking some black kid at night. The likelihood of a black person being killed by a non-black person is extremely remote…” Larry Elder seems to have forgotten the countless blacks killed and raped at the hands of whites on American soil and the countless blacks that continue to be killed and abused by white America in other countries. With that history it is quite possible to have an onslaught of blacks by the hands of whites. I am certain that if they so desire whites would have no qualms in killing blacks. But, there may no longer be a need for whites to pick up arms against blacks; the very anti-black America does that for them. They do it when police officers are given a “Stop and Frisk and Arrests” quota by their department for police stops and arrests, justifiable or not; they do it when after all their work to succeed in the system they are repaid with lower wages than their white counterparts; and they do it when they hurriedly find the black man guilty as they have done when a white persons claims to be the victim. Institutionalized racism maintains the status quo, “If you are black, stay in the back , if you are brown(light)stick around, and if you are white, you’re alright,” in a system that lets just a few blacks like Elder through the glass ceiling.
 
How could Elder have missed it?

There are more disturbing issues in the clip that are worthy of mention which can be seen below:

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Makini
Makini
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Posts: 428


« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2013, 01:13:56 PM »

I also found that the video had many points worth discussing.

Firstly, while it may be good to have these issues presented on a popular media format such as on CNN, I am always uncomfortable when a white person appears to be presenting the views and experiences of blacks. It would have been a good idea to have had another/other black person/s with greater historical awareness of the issues to challenge Larry Elder and the statements that he has made about the African-American population in America. As for Piers Morgan, while he can grasp the basic issues of right and wrong, white privilege contributes to him making token statements like “she’s one smart cookie” in reference to Rachael Jeantel and patting himself on the back because he has 'given her a voice' and ‘saved’ her through the attention she is now receiving.

Yes, Rachael Jeantel was given a voice and I appreciate having the chance to have heard her outside the courtroom, but many media would have loved the same opportunity. While Larry Elder did agree to come on the show to talk about Rachael Jeantel, its clear he had other things to say which needed to be properly challenged or explored, so allocating 10 minutes with the intention of shutting him up, really isn’t about hearing the views of Elder; it was about trying to cut him down to size.

Nonetheless, Elder repeatedly distracts from the most important thing in this – African-Americans/ethnic minorities and racial stereotyping. For instance, he brought up Ariel Castro, stating that he would rather have a George Zimmerman in his neighbourhood over an Ariel Castro. This is also an unfortunate and emotionally deceptive distraction. I fail to see how a male who, even his neighbours and daughter didn’t know he was holding three females (and a child) captive for ten years can be compared to an unarmed 17 year old Trayvon Martin walking home and then ending up shot dead.

I think the way that Elder has used his statistics is dangerous and the fact that he uses them out of context is worrisome. The issue at hand is that of racism and racial profiling. He does not have issue with either, partly because he views his life as a success. While I do not want to focus attention on him and his American experience, becoming a “successful” black in America is partly a product of tokenism rather than a racially conscious system. They form the rising middle class who become disconnected with the reality of the majority poor blacks. By being part of the American minority, issues that affect African-Americans are more easily side-lined, if not deliberately so. His summary of these statistics does not reflect the cause of the problem, they are just the symptoms. So, to rest the blame and burden of these statistics squarely on blacks and to conclude that, “Racism is not a major problem in America anymore…” is very unfortunate and irresponsible. It also shows a lack of historical awareness which goes hand in hand with the erroneous belief that we exist in a “post-racial” society.

A major point that was not adequately addressed by Piers Morgan is that the issue is not about the “likelihood” of a black person being killed by a white person, (versus the likelihood of a black person killing another black person). It’s about why non-gang or non-domestic-related violence and murders of blacks by whites occur so often and why the sentences whites receive are often glaringly and disproportionately lenient. It’s about when that person is killed if the legal system fairly addresses the case. Does it make its decision based on racial biases? Who is given the benefit of the doubt…often it will be seen that whites are given the benefit of the doubt and are protected which is a product of white privilege.

Racial stereotyping is a consequence of racism. "Black people commit the most crimes", "black people make plenty babies", " black people are lazy and they don’t want to find a job", "black people don’t want to further their education . . ." . This is the end result of many factors so it is illogical to make a proper assessment of these ideas about black people without incorporating a historical context and explanation. Thus, Elder ends up profiling Rachael Jeantel based only on seeing her on television in the court, a time which was perhaps the most stressful experience of her life. He shows a great lack of historical understanding and sensitivity.

Many of the statements that Elder makes in the interview with Piers Morgan come across as condescending. Why is he so ashamed of Rachael Jeantel? What is so offensive about her? Is it her size, is it the complexion of her skin, is it the fact that she has Haitian roots or is it that she does not possess the volume of words that he has? These are ways that people discriminate against others every day. Discrimination based on these categories have become so normalised that persons take offense when you do not agree with them, which is just as destructive among blacks through the vehicle of colourism. The fat, dark-skinned Rachael Jeantel was given a voice, and this voice did not fit into what lighter-skinned, bourgeois Elder finds worthy of positive attention.

Elder commenting on Jeantel’s ‘ebonics’ was done out of condescension. I disagree with the idea of needing to speak the ‘queen’s English’. Why should blacks change to be acceptable to whites but never the other way around? People speak creole all over the world which is a legitimate form of communication.

I think both Piers Morgan and Larry Elder need to be challenged.
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