KABC-AM radio host Larry Elder criticized CNN host Piers Morgan for treating Rachel Jeantel, a key witness for the prosecution of the George Zimmerman murder trial, as a victim.
Morgan interviewed Jeantel Monday and then called Jeantel a “smart cookie” the next morning.
So @piersmorgan criticized GZ juror for “patronizing” comments re Rachel. Morgan calls Rachel “a smart cookie”. Piers, would YOU hire her?
— Larry Elder (@larryelder) July 16, 2013
Morgan then invited Elder onto his show, where the two debated Jeantel and the importance of the Zimmerman trial to black America.
“I was, because you weren’t doing her any favors by condescendingly trying to convince her that she’s a victim,” Elder said. “This is a young lady who didn’t apply herself, a 19-year-old who is still in high school. Instead of saying young lady, take this as an opportunity to take stock of your life, you’re treating her like she was a victim. And that’s how you’re doing this whole thing about race and racism. Seven thousand murders last year, Piers, of black people. Almost all of those were committed by black people.”
“Since Trayvon Martin had his unfortunate death, there have been 480 blacks killed in Chicago alone. Seventy-five percent of those crimes have been unsolved,” he continued. “Where are the cameras? Where are the shows? It’s outrageous to act as if … black America should fear some non-black guy stalking some black kid at night. The likelihood of a black person being killed by a non-black person is extremely remote, which is why this is became a big national issue in the first place, Piers.”
Morgan and Elder had several exchanges about the validity of the issue, with Morgan insisting that he had given just attention to violence elsewhere, including Chicago.
MORGAN: Right. It’s perfectly possible, as we have shown on this show many times, to be just as exercised by what is happening in Chicago which is an absolute national disgrace to America, frankly in terms of the outlandish gun —
ELDER: But you’re not — but you’re not, Piers.
MORGAN: But I am, actually.
ELDER: There are 7,000 murders last year.
MORGAN: I don’t think you’ve watched my show, Larry.
ELDER: Wait a minute. Half of —
MORGAN: I don’t think you watch my show.
But Elder continued to insist Morgan’s and other media focus on the Zimmerman trial overshadows actual black violence.
“Half of the murders in this country are committed by black people, even though black people are 12 percent of the population, which means 6 percent of the population is committing almost half the murders,” Elder said. “And you throw out the old people and the young people, Piers, you’re talking about 3 percent of the population committing almost 50 percent of the murders. … This is why people profile.”
Later in the interview, Morgan steered it back to the Zimmerman trial and Rachel Jeantel.
MORGAN: Let’s get back to the Zimmerman trial.
ELDER: Let’s do that.
MORGAN: Let’s get back to my interview with Rachel Jeantel because you tweeted some ridiculous things. You tweeted at one stage, would I like Rachel Jeantel to fly my plane? Why would you say that?
ELDER: I’ll tell you why I said that, Piers. I’ll tell you why I said that, because after you interviewed her you condescendingly went on television the next morning and called her one smart cookie. Bull. Why don’t you hire her as a nanny? Let’s see how smart she is. It’s a condescending kind of thing that a lot of white people say —
MORGAN: Do you think she’s stupid, Larry?
ELDER: — to black people. I think you’re stupid for saying that kind of thing to try to get black people against —
MORGAN: That wasn’t my question.
ELDER: Race and racism is the —
MORGAN: Do you think Rachel Jeantel —
ELDER: When it doesn’t.