The L.A. Times article claiming Larry Elder is the "black face of white supremacy" is just the latest example of how the left tries to weaponize race to keep black conservatives in line. The author's position is that black Californians vote overwhelmingly for Democrats, Elder "cherry-picks" data to make his arguments about issues like crime, activists and black leaders don't like him, and he is a Trump fan who would be a tool of the Republican establishment. As is the case with most assertions of this type, the column was light on facts, data, or coherent argument.
That is because identitarian journalism doesn't attempt to persuade readers or make a case based on substance. It seeks to confirm what many people feel by using language to appeal to the emotions of readers. When the audience is black, that always means appealing to race. In this case it took the form of claims that Elder opposes every single policy black people support and that he downplays systemic racism. The article ended with this quote from a 49-year-old state senator that should come as no surprise to anyone familiar with the left's political playbook: "I'm not interested in going back to Jim Crow because I want to have a Black person as governor."
The party that promotes itself as champions of inclusion, diversity, and tolerance has no problem spewing racial invective as long as black conservatives are the target. There have been multiple instances over the last year alone when the left's racism has been on public display. Women's March co-founder Tamika Mallory compared Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron to "sellout negroes" who sold their own people into slavery. She said this because Cameron declined to bring charges against the officers who shot and killed Breonna Taylor. Megachurch preacher Jamal Bryant invoked the legacy of Harriet Tubman when he called black Trump supporters at the Republican National Convention "slaves" who could be freed if they realized they were in bondage. One self-described radical feminist college professor claimed black men voted for Trump to replicate the patriarchy and status white men enjoy. And a failed Florida congressional candidate said "20% of black men voted for Trump because they hate black women."
It's not just black liberals who engage in this behavior. One white congressional candidate in California responded to a Candace Owens tweet about crime data with a picture of a Klan hood under the words "you may've dropped this." One white liberal journalist in the late 1980s likened Clarence Thomas, the left's most reviled black conservative, to "those chicken-eating preachers who gladly parroted the segregationists' line in exchange for a few crumbs from the white man's table."
All these examples prove one thing: Those on the left have no problem with racist verbal attacks. They just want to be the ones making them. The irony is that Larry Elder released a documentary last year entitled "Uncle Tom" that questioned the treatment of black conservatives by the liberal political establishment. The film noted that ad hominem racial attacks are a deterrent to other blacks who may be tempted to share nonconforming views publicly and demonstrated how accusing black conservatives of being self-hating sellouts keeps Democrats from having to defend their actual positions.
It's a lot easier to call a black conservative names than explain why Democrats oppose school choice — whether charter schools or voucher programs — even though they are extremely popular among black voters.
Accusing Larry Elder of being a tool of racist white Republicans for opposing efforts to defund the police is an easy way to dodge the fact that homicide is the leading cause of death for black males ages 15-24, something Black Lives Matter ignores unless the perpetrator is wearing a badge.
Claiming that black conservatives want to bring back Jim Crow also allows the left to stay silent on how its welfare policies and cultural norms have weakened the black family since the 1960s. Calling nonconformists "slaves" also keeps the party that claims to value black lives from having to explain why it promotes abortion policies that have kept the black population percentage stagnant since 1970.