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: