The Ten Things You Can't Say In America

The Ten Things You Can't Say In America

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by Larry Elder

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Straight Talk From the Firebrand Libertarian Who Struck a Chord Across America

Larry Elder tells truths this nation's public figures are afraid to address. In The Ten Things You Can't Say in America, he turns conventional "wisdom" on its head and backs up his commonsense philosophy with cold, hard facts many ignore. Elder says what no one else will:<


Straight Talk From the Firebrand Libertarian Who Struck a Chord Across America

Larry Elder tells truths this nation's public figures are afraid to address. In The Ten Things You Can't Say in America, he turns conventional "wisdom" on its head and backs up his commonsense philosophy with cold, hard facts many ignore. Elder says what no one else will:

Blacks are more racist than whites.
White condescension is mor damaging than white racism
There is no health-care crisis
The War on Drugs is the new Vietnam...and we're losing
Republicans and Democrats are the same beast in different rhetoric
Gun control advocates have blood on their hands.
America's greatest problem? Illegitimacy.
The welfare state is our national narcotic.
There is no glass ceiling.
The media bias: it's real, it's widespread, it's destructive

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble, Inc
L.A.'s top radio talk show host wants to speak the unspeakable. It's guaranteed that you won't like at least some of his heterodox opinions. For example, you might disagree with his contention that there is no health crisis, or that we're still losing the War on Drugs. You might be offended by his argument that blacks are more racist than whites or his insistence that America's greatest problem is illegitimacy. But, like it or not, chances are that, like millions of others, you'll continue to listen.

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The Ten Things You Can't Say In America

By Larry Elder

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2000 Larry Elder
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-312-27618-8



Make no mistake about it. The Klan is alive and well in Southern California and there is a good chance that many of the CEOs who sit in powerful positions could either be Klan members or Klan sympathizers.


Racism Is Racism

"Larry Elder, is there a connection between your beliefs and the house and the white woman you have waiting for you in the hills?"

A black man asked me that during a debate over whether Hollywood conspires to shut out blacks. I called the notion paranoid and was greeted with that rather charming question.

Unfortunately, the questioner was typical. Many American blacks falsely and unfairly accuse whites for black America's "plight." Bad schools? White racism. Crime? White racism. Under-performance on standardized tests? Racist or "culturally biased" tests. Can't get a loan for a home or a new business? Racist lending officers, who would rather reject profit than give a black man a loan. Disproportionately high arrest rates? Racial profiling by racist cops.

To put it more bluntly, many blacks simply despise whites. They assume white bigotry and hostility toward blacks, and feel—against all evidence—that "white racism" remains an intense and formidable obstacle. What nonsense. So convinced that white racism stops black progress, many blacks not only ignore obvious signs of progress, but viciously attack anyone—especially someone black—who dares challenge the "they're-out-to-get-us" point of view. To hold the view—as I do—that racism no longer represents a serious threat to black upward mobility, to feel confident and positive about "race relations" in America—that makes me a "sellout." Thus, the questioner's attack, not on my views, philosophy, or ideology, but on me personally.

I take three positions, earning the wrath of blacks. First, I repudiate the "Johnnie Cochran doctrine." Recall that during the O. J. Simpson trial, defense attorney Cochran voiced the mantra of many "black leaders" when he said, "Race plays a part of everything in America." Second, I oppose race- and gender-based affirmative action. And, third, I believe O. J. Simpson butchered two innocent human beings. For this, "my people" have called me the following:

Oreo. Uncle Tom. Boot-licking Uncle Tom. Straight-up Uncle Tom. Judas. Boy. Bug-eyed. Foot-shuffling. Sugarcane Negro. Handkerchief head. Trojan Horse. Anti-black. Pro-white. Remus. Sambo. Sambo-Tom. The Anti-Christ. Clarence Thomas supporter. Sniveling weasel. Evil. Ass-kisser. Coconut. Wannabe white. Nickering nabob of negativity. And this is just an abbreviated list.

How dare I suggest that the fate of blacks is, well, in the hands of blacks!

Many blacks, encouraged by the so-called "black leadership," view life starkly. Us against them. Black versus white. Rich versus poor. Key is the following assumption: that whites encourage, endorse, perpetuate, welcome, are happy about, and take pride in the oppression of blacks. Challenge the traditional white-man-done-me-wrong-and-continues-to-do-so mentality, and some blacks go absolutely crazy.

What about black Atlanta mayor Bill Campbell's over-the-top defense of affirmative action? "Everybody who is a person of color in this country has benefited from affirmative action. There's not been anybody who has gotten into college on their own, nobody who's gotten a job on their own, no one who's prospered as a businessman or businesswoman on their own without affirmative action."

Hysterical. How else to describe how some blacks reacted to the California debate on affirmative action? Students at a local college there, Cal State Northridge, decided to host a debate over Proposition 209, a ballot initiative to exclude race and gender as a consideration in public hiring, public contracting, and admissions into state colleges and universities. For the pro-affirmative-action side, they selected a black veteran civil rights activist in Los Angeles. To defend the anti-affirmative-action position, they invited ... David Duke! That's right. David Duke. See, anyone opposing affirmative action therefore supports racism, Jim Crow, lynchings, hangings, police brutality, and the Klan. Why, if the anti-affirmative-action folks could, they would reenact slavery, take away the women's vote, and deregulate cable. Quick, somebody stop them! Is this not racist?

Influential black congresswoman Maxine Waters, former head of the Black Congressional Caucus, once called President George Bush "racist." Why? He differed with her on policy. That's enough. And Waters routinely refers to Republicans as "the enemy." Blatant bigotry against whites, for many blacks, resembles a badge of honor. Many blacks feel they can, with impunity, make utterly racist statements.

Vice President Al Gore's presidential campaign manager, a black woman named Donna Brazile, once talked about the importance of defeating the Republicans. We must, she said, defeat the "white boys." "White boys," she said, has nothing to do with "gender or race, it's an attitude. A white boy attitude is 'I must exclude, denigrate, and leave behind.' They don't see it or think about it. It's a culture." A "white boy attitude"? She also attacked black Republicans General Colin Powell and Oklahoma congressman J. C. Watts: "The Republicans bring out Colin Powell and J. C. Watts because they have no program, no policy. They play that game because they have no other game. They have no love and no joy. They'd rather take pictures with black children than feed them."

Colin Powell, perhaps the most respected American public figure, would "rather take pictures with black children than feed them"? Colin Powell, who spends considerable time and energy in promoting volunteerism, would "rather take pictures with black children than feed them"? Powell, mind you, supports affirmative action, favors gun control legislation, once called the Newt Gingrich Republican "Contract with America" too harsh, and is pro-choice. But he has "no love and no joy." Hey, a statement like that gets a "white boy" campaign manager canned. But Ms. Brazile remains in charge, with virtually no one making an issue out of her blatantly bigoted statements.

Influential black director Spike Lee made a movie, Jungle Fever, about an interracial black-white romance. Lee, however, publicly stated his contempt for interracial relationships. In an October 1992 Esquire interview, Lee said, "I give interracial couples a look. Daggers. They get uncomfortable when they see me on the street." Charming.

In the Spike Lee movie Malcolm X, Lee depicts an actual incident where a white teenager approaches the angry activist. "Excuse me, Mr. X. Hi, I've read some of your speeches, and I honestly believe that a lot of what you have to say is true, and I'm a good person, in spite of what my ancestors did, and I just, I wanted to ask you, what can a white person like myself who isn't prejudiced, what can I do to help you ... further your cause?" she asks plaintively. He stares sternly and replies, "Nothing."

When I gave a speech at a local high school, the front row featured several young black men wearing Malcolm X T-shirts. The picture on the T-shirts was that of "Malcolm-as-firebrand," with his finger thrust in the air circa his "white-man-is-the-devil" period.

"Do you know what happened to Malcolm X late in his life?" I asked the students. Two of the three said, "No." But the third said, "Yes. After he visited Mecca, where he saw people of all colors worshiping together, he changed the way he thought."

"Yes," I said. "Malcolm repudiated his 'white man as devil' anger and found that people had more in common than apart."

In Alex Haley's The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Malcolm X later reflects and regrets his response to the white coed.

"Well, I've lived to regret that incident. In many parts of the African continent I saw white students helping black people. Something like this kills a lot of argument. I did many things as a Muslim that I'm sorry for now. I was a zombie then—like all Muslims—I was hypnotized, pointed in a certain direction and told to march. Well, I guess a man's entitled to make a fool of himself if he's ready to pay the cost. It cost me twelve years."

Yet many blacks prefer to freeze their notion of Malcolm X in time, leaving him at the "white-man-is-devil-and-done-me-wrong-and-he's -gonna-get-his" stage. Never mind that Malcolm later renounced this blanket hatred of whites.

Suppose hypothetically, that director Martin Scorsese, in a television interview, says, "You know, whenever I see a black guy with a white woman, I give 'em a look like someone just expelled gas." Quicker than you can say "Arnold Schwarzenegger," Scorsese's publicist holds a press conference, issues a heartfelt and sincere apology, and explains that someone took the director's remarks out of context. Scorsese then steps up and announces the establishment of a "minority outreach fund" to develop screenwriters, directors, and producers. We all, says a tearful Scorsese, must become more sensitive to the concerns of the downtrodden and the "under-represented." Now Scorsese's back in business.

But what of Spike Lee? Perhaps someone should remind Lee of the 1970 Supreme Court decision that struck down laws against interracial marriage. Does Lee wish to reenact them? Does he agree with Chief Justice Taney, of Dred Scott fame, who deemed blacks to be sub-citizens without full rights, including the right to marry whomever they wish? Lee thus insults NAACP chairman Julian Bond, who married a white woman, as well as millions of other Americans in "interracial relationships." But did anyone, whether a black leader, editorial writer, political pundit, or movie reviewer demand an apology, or at least an explanation, from Spike Lee? Did anyone boycott his movies the way Catholics, blacks, Hispanics, and other groups target "offensive" movies? No, an unbelievably and blatant racist statement made by influential public figure Lee just floated right on by.

South Carolina's Bob Jones University lost its tax exempt status for refusing to admit blacks. While the university today admits blacks, it refused to allow interracial dating until recently. Critics blasted Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush for giving a speech there. "Racism," screamed critics who blasted Bush for his racial insensitivity in daring to give a speech at such a repulsive institution.

But is Bob Jones's anti-interracial dating policy any less offensive than a position taken by the National Association of Black Social Workers? That organization opposes "trans-racial" adoptions. According to that organization, blacks and whites have vast cultural differences. A white couple should not, therefore, adopt a black child.

In 1992, the National Association of Black Social Workers drafted a position paper, calling white adoptions of black children "cultural genocide." The group warned against "transculturation ... when one dominant culture overpowers and forces another culture to accept a foreign form of existence." A foreign form of existence?

Furthermore, many blacks, like whites, flatly oppose interracial dating and interracial marriage. In 1994, 65 percent of whites approved of interracial dating versus only 43 percent in 1987. Among young whites, 85 percent approved of interracial dating.

The majority of blacks, too, approved of interracial dating, with 88 percent giving approval in 1994. Among blacks, however, approval for mixed marriages fell from 76 percent in 1983 to 68 percent six years later. Among whites, though, those accepting mixed marriages continued to grow.

Black Racism and Black Myopia

When Julian Bond became NAACP chairman, he declared his intention to wage war on the number one problem facing blacks: "the new racists."

The new racists? Care to name names, Mr. Bond?

Examine Bond's mind-set. America is a battlefield. Good versus evil. Us versus them.

During the Second World War, Japanese fighters in Burma continued fighting long after the warring parties negotiated peace. Their remote location prevented them from learning the news, so they continued fighting. Similarly, many blacks continue "fighting the struggle" long after the declaration of peace. By nearly any measure—the right to vote, to use public accommodations, to attend a state college or university if qualified—the "civil rights" struggle, thank God, is over. The black leadership should stick the pole in the ground, raise the flag, salute, and convert the troops to civilian duty. Instead, they continue fighting a war long since won while ignoring far more pressing issues. The black leadership is in Burma.

In 1977, I accepted a job as an associate attorney with an old-line, silk-stocking Cleveland law firm. The firm, now more than a hundred years old, had, in its history, hired just a handful of blacks. My uncle, a thirty-year auto machinist with General Motors, sat me down to "caution" me about white treachery. "Larry, let me tell you something. You know I grew up on a farm in Alabama. My brothers and sisters and neighbors and I would walk, barefoot, five miles to the nearby schoolhouse. The white kids got bused to a school three miles away. And, as the bus drove by us black kids walking in single file, the white kids would curse at us, call us niggers, spit at us, and throw eggs and tomatoes. And this is how white folks can be, and I want you to—"

I cut him off. "Thurman," I said, "you know I love you. But, what happened to you has never happened to me. Nor will it. Today is today."

The real danger lies with the NAACP, not the KKK. Racism exists, and treachery always lurks. But the vision my uncle painted—however burnished in his own mind—bears little resemblance to contemporary America.

Hard memories. Tough, quite understandable, hard memories. In Florida, the public school system, with the support of the NAACP, seeks to end decades-long court-ordered desegregation. But one of the original litigants, Charles Rutledge, now 75 years old, denounces the proposed end to forced desegregation. Never mind that the lifting of the court order is supported by the NAACP, an organization whose chairman declared as his number one agenda to go after "the new racist." Say what you will about the NAACP, they are not soft on racism.

But Rutledge says, "If the court order is rescinded, they'll do what they want. America is still a racist nation. Hearts of men haven't changed that much."

Hard memories. But these memories do not reflect the memories of today's America. No one says forget, but we should recognize obvious progress, and maintain perspective.

My mother also grew up in the South, on a farm near Huntsville, Alabama. When my grandfather took my mom and her sister to the department store downtown, they entered through a separate door. And when my mom put on a dress, once the garment touched her skin, she owned it. The store made my grandfather purchase the item, no matter how ill fitting or unattractive. Black skin tainted the garments.

When my mom finished that story, I turned to my father. "Dad, was it like that with you, too?" My father, a man of few words, simply said, "Hats, too."

In the early 1950s, my mom took a plane ride. While pregnant with me, she carried my infant brother in her arms. Few blacks, in those days, traveled by air. So, no separate facilities—waiting rooms, bathrooms—yet existed in airports for blacks. So where was my mother to sit in the airport?

My mom said a sheepish airport worker asked her to stand to the side, and he brought her coffee. My mom said she felt almost sorry for this young white man, who saw the absurdity in forcing a paying customer to stand apart because of her skin color.

My parents told us these stories to show how far America has come, not to create anger, to divide, or to poison us. That America, my mom and dad told my brothers and me, no longer exists. So work hard, they said, and success follows.

We need historical perspective. Yes, slavery is America's horror and shame. But slavery, unfortunately, appears throughout the whole of human history. Europeans enslaved Europeans. Asians enslaved Asians. Those we refer to as Native Americans enslaved other Native Americans. Black Africans enslaved other black Africans. Slave traders brought more African slaves to the Middle East and to South America than to Colonial America. Yet this country fought a civil war that resulted in the eradication of slavery. No other nation can say that.

But the black leadership in the United States remains dreary and pessimistic. Members of the Black Congressional Caucus introduced legislation for reparations for slavery.

Do wealthy blacks get a check? Should descendants of those who came to America after slavery pay up? Should descendants of those who fought and died on the Union side pay up? Should we make deductions for the trillions of dollars spent by the government on social programs from which blacks have benefited? What about people of mixed race? Should the payment correspond only to the percentage of a given citizen's "black blood"? Should we get a contribution from the African nations? After all, some black Africans assisted in the slave trade. And what about another question? Suppose the slave trade never happened, and today's thirty million American blacks instead live in Africa. Would they be better off?


Excerpted from The Ten Things You Can't Say In America by Larry Elder. Copyright © 2000 Larry Elder. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Larry Elder hosts Los Angeles's #1 prime-time radio talk show, The Larry Elder Show. He writes a montly column for Investors Business Daily and a syndicated column in fifteen national newspapers.

Larry Elder, host of “The Larry Elder Show” on KABC-AM in Los Angeles, was voted one of “The Top 25 Most Influential Talk-Radio Hosts” by NewsMax magazine in 2008. Elder also writes a column for Investor’s Business Daily and a syndicated column that appears in a variety of newspapers across the country. His books include Stupid Black Men and What's Race Got to Do with It?

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Ten Things You Can't Say in America 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a Jew, I was born a democrat and have been trying to find where I fit in a political arena that no longer fits with my belief system. Though I don't agree with all of Mr. Elder's ideologies, I now have words to put to the new foundation I am currently building for myself as a Republican. His book is a must read, must think!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book shoots straight as Larry sees it without any politically correct varnish to his views about what is going wrong in the African-American community and beyond. He wants thing to be better for his race, like most of us. 'Losing the Race' by John McWhorter does a similar job but from an scholarly point of view. The recently released book, The Jewish Phenomenon-The 7 Keys to the Enduring Wealth of a People is the flipside to the African-American story and makes a great companion book. It is where centuries of discrimination and seclusion have yielded quite a different result, ranging far beyond success measured in dollars but also in contributions made in many fields and community development. With the selection of Senator Lieberman, Jews are pointing the way for African-Americans, if they choose to adhere to the 7 principles as outlined in the Jewish Phenomenon. There is no genetic divide between the races, Larry understands that and demonstrates it everyday on the radio, it is a matter of positive nurturing and development.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This extremely well documented and scholarly work is difficult to put down. The author makes a fairly convincing argument that, among other things, socialistic/welfare tendencies and authoritarianism may go hand in hand, that blacks are far more racist than whites in America, that there is no medical 'crisis', and that each of us is responsible for his or her own destiny. Although somewhat poorly organized (maybe the free-flowing patterns of consciousness were intentional), the conclusions are sound and syllogistically flow from the propositions. Though I do not share Mr. Elder's own political philosophies, I admire his personal stories and those of his families and friends, and have been persuaded to reexamine my own sociopolitical ideology. Good Job.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mr Elder is a true American patriot. His insight and wisdom are second to none.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Larry Elder was just the right man for the job of honesty. His endless examples of the injustices and what 'ten things you can't say in America' are upfront and intelligent. I can't book this book down! I will gladly pass it along to all of my friends and family.
Guest More than 1 year ago
One of the most interesting & informative books I've ever read. It's chock full of examples that make his points iron-clad. Be forewarned though -- this book will make you very angry at times, that is, when you're not laughing your butt off!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I just recently wrote to Larry, and he responded back to me. I had said to him: Don't get killed, ever. We need you. And he said that is a priority, and he plans on being very cautious. If a person has to be cautious like Larry is for speaking his mind (and mine) worries about their life being taken, that right there is the most obvious proof that while our freedom of speech can never be taken away, it can always be attacked, and oppressed. In that case, anybody who wishes to oppress Mr Elder is most likely a hipocrate, and anybody who wants to kill him is a person who needs serious psychiatric help. BOTTOM LINE: This book rocks!
Guest More than 1 year ago
There are certain things in which a person can get in trouble for saying and Larry Elder is that kind of person... who is willing to do it for the improvement of this society at his own risk. I am tired of it always being white man's fault, now the tables have turned.
Guest More than 1 year ago
-a must have for all college students! most teachers are biased about politics and social issues and omit all the important information and facts that larry elder provides in this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I looked forward to reading this book, and was not disappointed. Even though I am a registered Republican, I tended to agree with Larry's Libertarian perspective on many issues. He definitely points out the absurd in America.
Guest More than 1 year ago
not just spewing Democratic or Republican talking points. Reading this book was like listening to Larry on KABC... he wrote it with the same passion, enthusiasm and spirit he has on his show. Well done Larry!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Larry Elders puts forth facts, quotes, and data to prove his views on controversial issues plaguing America and its citizens. In what should be required reading of all tax payers, Elders not only points out the problems with America but suggests ways to go about fixing them. His argument is compelling, and his explainations are fabulous. A great read, ESPECIALLY FOR DEMOCRATS.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book comes from one of the greatest minds in America. Even if you disagree with Mr. Elder, you'll have a hard time trying to argue with the facts that he presents. If you don't know a thing about what he discusses, never fear; he explains everything so that it is simple and easy to follow. I'd recommend this book to anyone who agress with Mr. Elder and needs a good argument in a fight they get with one of their friends who disagrees with you; and I'd recommend this book even if you don't agree with Mr. Elder because this book will challenge you and get you to think. Larry Elder is the kind of leader that America needs so desperatley today.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Awesome. His research is most impressive, with footnotes for his quotes and facts. This is the compilation of so many holes in the liberal cause, brilliantly laid out. While I knew most of what he wrote, he presented it in an organized and compelling case.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well written and thought out book. Many refreshing ideas stated in a straightforward manner. Every American will get something out of this book, regardless of political Ideology. In general, a MUST READ FOR REPUBLICANS, AND OPEN-MINDED DEMOCRATS. Larry Elder shows great courage by going against the system and not being afraid of saying things that are not Politically Correct.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Goes a little outside the box of mass media thought. Refreshing to hear some intelligent arguments with a different view. I didn't like the way the book ended, it seemed to end prematurely.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Yet another fascist ranter. like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly and Ann Coulter, saying what suits the corrupt billionaires who run, and run down, America.