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The driving force behind the recall effort to remove California Gov. Gavin Newsom from office was hypocrisy. More than anything else the image of him dining at a posh restaurant, French Laundry, free of a mask, while ordinary folks could barely leave their house, turned much of his state against him.
But with just days to go before the election, there is another hypocrisy entering the race, it is the shabby and racist treatment of GOP candidate Larry Elder.
It began with the Los Angeles Times running a piece claiming that Elder is the “Black face of White supremacy,” a claim that was repeated by an official speaker at a Newsom event. After that, Elder was accosted by a person wearing a gorilla mask who threw an egg at him.
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We all know that if this had happened to a Black Democrat, we would be days into a national conversation about systemic racism. But Elder is a Black conservative, so that isn’t happening.
What lies at the root of this hypocrisy? Why would the media and the country’s elite who are so quick to bemoan the supposed racism of America suddenly go silent at such obvious examples? The answer is that Black conservatives are the greatest possible threat to the established political order.
The Black vote is the bedrock foundation of the Democratic Party’s power structure. And because of the geographical demographics of the Black vote, it holds serious sway in big cities and big states. There is nothing that could unravel the party as quickly or efficiently as a significant movement to the right by Black voters. That’s why the blatant racism directed at Elder is whitewashed.
But it runs even deeper than that. At the core of our culture’s raging debate about issues like critical race theory is a fundamental difference between the American right and the American left.
Americans don’t like it when there are two sets of rules, whether in regard to indoor dining and masks, or to racism.
Progressives now insist that one’s skin color should play a major role in how one behaves and interacts with others. Want to open a taco truck? Not so fast, Karen, that’s cultural appropriation. It is a kind of race essentialism that attempts to bind people to their identity.
Conservatives, including Larry Elder, reject this essentialism entirely. For all the talk about Donald Trump appealing to White grievance, conservative voters who have embraced the radio host’s campaign couldn’t care less what color he is. Unlike the left, they do not assume and enforce political implications based on racial identity. They figure everyone thinks for themselves.
That Elder’s race is being used to slander him in this election is especially galling given his opponent. If we were to create a set of commemorative stamps to honor White privilege, they could easily feature Gavin Newsom’s smug smirk and slick-backed hair. And he just stands by as a man trying to become the first Black governor of the state is attacked on the basis of his skin color. His unwillingness to denounce the racist attacks speaks volumes.
Americans don’t like it when there are two sets of rules, whether in regard to indoor dining and masks, or to racism. And there are clearly two sets of rules regarding Black Democrats and Black Republicans. It has to stop.
If the left and their media allies really are convinced that racism is a major problem in America, then they need to call it out when it is spewed at Republicans, too. But don’t hold your breath. Larry Elder is a threat to them. And they don’t mind a little racism as long as he is defeated.