Entertainment

Adam Carolla, Dennis Prager lay into criticism that the US is ‘racist’

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Jeff Poor
Media Reporter

On his Wednesday podcast, Adam Carolla had a wide-ranging discussion with radio host Dennis Prager, the author of “Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph,” wading into the touchy subject of racism in the United States.

Carolla took issue with claims that American culture and society are inherently racist and pointed to where power and influence lie according to media.

“I’ve not signed off on this notion that we’re a racist culture and a racist society,” Carolla said. “And every time we had this happen the other day, every time one of these list comes out — the Forbes Hollywood ‘100 most powerful,’ not even the richest, just the most powerful — I always laugh and go, ‘Alright, let’s see just what a racist, sexist society we’re living in.’ And this year it was Jennifer Lopez was number one and Oprah was number two. And out of the top 10, I think there were six or seven women, and out of the six or seven women, four or five of them were some ethnicity other than white. And I say every time — by the way, if we are racist, we’re doing a horrible job.”

Prager agreed and pointed to a years-old statistic that shows more Africans voluntarily entered the country than were forced to come during the days of slavery.

“It was pointed out by a late great writer and noted more — and this was about 25 years ago, more black Africans have come to the United States voluntarily as immigrants than ever came as slaves,” said Prager. “It’s just a great little statistic to know. Obviously blacks around the world don’t think they’re moving from an all-black society to a pre-dominantly non-black society and are going to have a hard time. They know how little racism there is in the United States. You’re from Nigeria, we couldn’t care less.”

One talking point Carolla attempted to debunk was the anecdote that American society is racist because black men sometimes have trouble getting a cab. He explained that most cab drivers are not white and are just acting upon learned behavior.

“They’re from a different country nine times out of 10 and secondly, whatever it is they have learned, for right or for wrong, they have an idea,” Carolla said.

And even so-called civil rights leaders are susceptible to this learned behavior, according to Prager. He referred to remarks from Rainbow PUSH Coalition president and founder Jesse Jackson that he gave at his own organization’s headquarters in 1993.

“Jesse Jackson himself, in an unguarded moment and it’s recorded said that if he’s in the street in certain areas, I believe it was Chicago, and it’s at night and there are footsteps behind him  and he turns around, he’s relieved to see it’s a white person,” Prager said. “Jesse Jackson said that. Does that make him a racist? Does that make him a self-hating black? It’s a tragic fact that blacks are disproportionately involved in violent crime in the United States.”

“As you began the show — there are facts and there are opinions,” Prager continued. “There are maybe opinions as to why, but the fact is that that is the case and it’s terrible. And it does blacks no good, no help, no good to black America to deny it. And to say it is a racist white or a racist Hispanic who will say that.”

Prager said the media frequently proclaims to need an “honest” discussion about race, but that they don’t actually mean it.

Carolla then took a tangential shot at TV personality Tavis Smiley, who in 2010 attempted to deflect Muslim ties to terrorism by saying there were more Christian terrorists than Muslim terrorists.

“That’s what drives me insane,” Carolla said. “To see blowhards like Tavis Smiley talking about Christian terrorists and all that … I don’t understand why. Why do we have to overcompensate?”

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