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Larry Elder as flag bearer won’t help GOP’s racist image

There are many reasons why Gavin Newsom kept his post on Tuesday night. That California is dominated by Democrats is one of them. Another is that most voters weren’t as unhappy with the governor’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic as Republicans thought.

But there is an even bigger elephant – both proverbial and political – in the room.

Eight months after white supremacists invaded the United States Capitol at the behest of former President Trump, the Republican Party lost because it still hasn’t figured out how to talk about race or racism consistently .

When it comes to winning an election in a state as diverse as California, it matters.

And yet the Republicans apparently decided the solution to their problem was to elevate a black person to the role of de facto California GOP flag bearer. I mean, sure, that sounds like a great idea in theory. Who better than a black man to navigate the uncertain and turbulent waters of race and racism?

The answer is pretty much any black person except Larry Elder. Look what happened on Tuesday night.

The conservative radio talk show host only solidified the Republican Party’s racist reputation, using the most high-profile speech of his life, in which he conceded his defeat in the gubernatorial recall election, for spout out a bunch of inconsistent nonsense like this:

“We believe in MLK’s dream of judging people by character content, not skin color. And let me tell you something, as far as humanly possible, America has achieved this. dream.

So race doesn’t matter anymore?

“I have an R at the end of my name, and suddenly I’m not black anymore.”

It is important ?

“I never suggested that anyone vote for me because I am black or against me because I am black. I’m not going there as far as I’m concerned. After electing the first black president, everything else after that is disappointing. “

“We will bring this country together. We will bring this country together. Because we know what the real problems are. And they have nothing to do with racism.

OK, I have it now. Race doesn’t matter.

“What do you think would happen if a candidate like Barack Obama running for president had an egg thrown by a white woman wearing a gorilla mask? What would happen? Front page news … systemic racism alive and well in America. They would have talked about it in Bangladesh, but with me, nothing.


“They tried to divide us in the race. They want black people not to think about the fact that families have been destroyed because of the welfare state. They don’t want black people to think about the declining quality of public education. They don’t want black people to think about jobs. All they want is black people to think about oppression, to be under siege, to be a victim.

Wait. What?

“They only care if an unarmed black person is killed. More unarmed whites are killed each year than unarmed blacks. It’s a lie, I told him. He still didn’t feel me. You know, I’m uncle Tom. I am a sold. I am a bootlicker. I am the black face of white supremacy.

Well, at least on that last point, we agree.

It’s hard to see how this convoluted rhetoric bodes well for the Republican Party which will win statewide elections in the near future.

Part of the problem is demographics. California is already the majority minority – a trend that will soon be the case across the United States.

The latest U.S. Census data revealed that, for the first time, the percentage of Americans who identify only as white has fallen to less than 60%, and the percentage of Americans under the age of 18 who are people of color rose to a majority of about 53.%.

The other part of the problem is Elder himself. Although he’s black and grew up in south-central LA, he’s known as much for trashing black people on his radio show while insisting that systemic racism doesn’t just exist for support Trump.

During his campaign of insurgency, Elder made no real attempt to address the racist legacy left by the former president, such as when Trump hailed white supremacists as “very good people.” It apparently didn’t matter to Elder that such incidents had long embittered much of the GOP electorate.

So there is a reason why the Republican Party remains a party supported mainly by white voters, a good percentage of whom are older and do not have a college degree. Meanwhile, the Democratic Party, imperfect as it is, continues to be the party of diversity, regularly attracting black, Latino and Asian voters.

It is not known if Elder understands this. He is, without a doubt, delighted with his supporters, mostly white and Republicans.

When he entered the race to replace Newsom in July, he quickly rose to the top of the field of 46 contenders. In the recall election, he received nearly 2.4 million votes as a replacement candidate at the last count. But millions more voters haven’t even picked a replacement candidate and, at the last count, about 5.9 million Californians voted to keep Newsom in power.

And yet, when asked about plans for gubernatorial candidacy in 2022, Elder told KMJ radio in Fresno on Tuesday: “I have now become a political force here in California in general and in the Republican Party in particular. And I’m not going to leave the stage.

Only in carefully crafted Neverland was Elder’s Watch Party in Costa Mesa on Tuesday night – we’re talking about Fox News on big-screen TVs and a group of six men led by the little one- son of Bing Crosby playing hits from the 50s and 60s – would be possible in a state where Democrats are almost 2 to 1.

After it was clear that Newsom won, Elder assured his supporters, “We may have lost the battle, but we will win the war.

No, in fact you are not.

If Elder is the best the Republican Party can do, then it’s probably time to give in.