Fireworks: Larry Elder, Marc Lamont Hill Battle on Race

Fireworks: Larry Elder, Marc Lamont Hill Battle on Race

Radio host Larry Elder and CNN commentator Marc Lamont Hill battled over the issue of race in the context of the situation in Ferguson on Wednesday’s “CNN Newsroom.”  

Hill criticized President Barack Obama’s statement on the tragedy and the unrest in the city, saying that while he agrees that rioting and looting are wrong “telling people to remain calm almost de-legitimizes the very real and legitimate anger that people feel for what happened. So I want the president to come there and I want him to speak truths and to demand justice.” 

Elder argued, “The president has spoken out of both sides of his mouth. If the country were as racist as he thinks that it is or says that it is, he could never be elected president.” And “I once interviewed the head of the NAACP … and I said … as between the presence of white racism or the absence of black fathers, which poses the bigger threat to the black community? He said without missing a beat the absence of black fathers. I’m not saying that the problem of an unarmed black person being shot by a cop is not something we ought to be concerned about. For crying out loud, nearly half of the homicides in this are committed by black people, almost always against another black person.”

Hill responded, “I don’t disagree with you that we should be concerned about black on black violence. I think all of us are. Many of us, including myself…we organize about it, we teach about it. I’m in Chicago very regularly doing that anti violence work. I think that matters, but that doesn’t mean we should be talking about that instead of talking about an unarmed black child with his hands in the air who was killed, essentially executed.” And “I find it mind-boggling that whenever a black child, black teenager, black person, man or woman, is killed by law enforcement, suddenly people feign outrage about black-on-black crime.”

Elder later stated, “I think the media perceives, Brooke, racism to be a far bigger problem in America. that’s why we spend so much time on people like Donald Sterling… the left wants that because of votes and power. as long as black people believe that race and racism are the major problem in America, you’ve got that 95% monolithic black vote without which the Democratic Party cannot survive … it [racism] is not a major problem in this country.”

Things got especially heated after that when Hill told Elder “I think your earpiece could be broken because the question was on mental health and you once go back to the pathologies of the black community.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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