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GOP Presidential Candidates Address Annual Lincoln Dinner Fundraiser In Iowa

Republican presidential candidate conservative radio talk show host Larry Elder speaks to guests at the Republican Party of Iowa 2023 Lincoln Dinner on July 28, 2023, in Des Moines, Iowa. | Source: Scott Olson / Getty

Larry Elder, the Republican presidential candidate whose campaign still isn’t relevant enough to earn him an invite to a GOP debate, is continuing to work his hardest at playing the role white conservatives expect Black conservatives to play: Be the Black person who says all of the negative things about Black people that white people wish they could say without fear of being called racist. Much of his lackluster campaign has revolved around the message that systemic racism is a lie and fatherlessness in the Black community is the real problem as if the two issues weren’t linked. Elder has made the claim that it’s Democrats who have duped Black people into believing systemic racism is real, which only shows what little time the Black GOP not-so-hopeful spends in the Black community. Elder, at the very least, should know that politicians, Democrat and Republican, refused even to utter the words “systemic racism” and it was Black people, academics and non-academics alike, who made it a mainstream issue.

Elder often repeats the statistic that 70% of Black children grow up without fathers, which is one of white people’s favorite anti-Black stats next to “Black-on-Black crime.” (And, actually, the number of Black kids living in single-parent homes is less than 60%, but whatever.) It’s also based on a fallacy that the figure represents Black children who have no relationship with their fathers, as opposed to Black children whose parents aren’t married.

Anyway, Elder recently made an appearance on the Higher Learning podcast with Van Lathan and Rachel Lindsay. During the appearance, Elder was asked a simple question: “What have you done to combat fatherlessness in the Black community?”

Despite the fact that fatherlessness in the Black community has been Elder’s main go-to narrative throughout his largely ignored campaign, he seemed to be having a very difficult time answering this question.

“Ok, so, you’re accepting that we have an issue with fatherlessness in the Black community. You’re accepting that, I assume,” Elder said to Lindsay as if her acceptance of his premise was required in order for him to explain how his Black fatherlessness talk is more than just talk.

“I’m not. You said that,” Lindsay said.

This was, apparently, a huge problem for Elder, which is why he replied, “So, you’re not accepting it, and you’re asking me what I’m doing about something you don’t accept.”

I mean, so what? As Lindsay eventually shouted out of frustration: “IT’S YOUR CAMPAIGN, LARRY!!!”

As the person who has pushed the Black fatherlessness narrative like he was Moses and it was inscribed on holy tablets, it’s on him to explain his position regardless of whether or not the interviewer agrees with him. And as a presidential candidate (I guess) who has made this issue a huge part of his platform, it’s on him to explain what he has done and/or will do to combat it. Let’s say Elder did actually qualify to attend a Republican primary debate. Is he going to stop the moderator after every question and say, “Wait, wait—I just need to make sure you agree with me first.” Perhaps there’s a reason Elder can’t even get a seat at the white man’s debate table. 

Ultimately, it just appears that Elder is dodging the question, and he’s doing it in the most childish, deflective way employed by any Republican not named Donald Trump. Maybe Elder needs to stick to appearances with Jason Whitlock. That way he’ll have a fellow tap-dancer for white acceptance who will match him in sheer ridiculousness without actually challenging any of his superficial and overly-simplistic positions.


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