Los Angeles radio host Larry Elder and University of Pennsylvania professor Marc Lamont Hill hijacked CNN Wednesday afternoon, yelling angrily past each other after Elder claimed that racism “is not a major problem in this country.”
The two had just come off a tense segment regarding the Ferguson riots, and when host Brooke Baldwin asked Elder about the mental health of young black men he seemed intent on continuing that conversation.
“I think the media perceives racism to be a far bigger problem in America,” Elder said. “That’s why we spend so much time on people like Donald Sterling and Cliven Bundy and before that.”
“I think we’ve been training black people to think racism is a bigger deal,” he continued, “and I think the reason that the left wants that is 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 percent, monolithic black vote, without which theDemocratic Party cannot survive.”
“So you have the Jesses and Als and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and Harry Reid constantly bringing up race cards, talking about Republicans waging a war against black people and so forth,” Elder said. “So black people have been trained, [and] surprise, surprise, people in Ferguson believe that the racist criminal justice system is oppressing them.”
“Are you saying that racism is not a major problem in this country?” Balwdin asked skeptically.
“No, it is not a major problem in this country!” Elder declared. “No, it is not!” Pointing to his father’s experience and a “thriving black middle class,” he noted that if “black America were a country, it would be the fifteenth-richest country in the world.”
Hill finally got a word in edgewise, asking if perhaps Elder missed the mental health question because his earpiece was broken. That didn’t sit well with Elder.
“Why do you have to insult me all the time?” he said angrily. “Why do you always address what I say insultingly? Why is that necessary? Can’t we have a discussion as two black men without insulting each other? Is that possible?”
It went down quickly from there, with the two raising voices, talking over one another and leaving an overpowered Baldwin helplessly nodding along.