The Ten Things You Can't Say in America

Larry Elder, Author
Larry Elder, Author St Martin's Press $23.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-312-26660-8
Reviewed on: 09/04/2000
Release date: 09/01/2000
Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-312-27618-8
Paperback - 384 pages - 978-0-312-28465-7
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Los Angeles radio talk-show host and nationally syndicated columnist Elder, who is African-American, has incurred the wrath of many blacks for his outspoken assertion that racism in the U.S. no longer represents a serious threat to blacks' upward mobility. This conversational, bluntly candid manifesto should prove equally controversial. Elder, who favors much less government and much less regulation, blames both Republicans and Democrats for creating and maintaining a bloated welfare state that stifles individual initiative and free enterprise. His ""Ten-Point Plan"" for transforming America calls for abolishing the IRS; passing a national sales tax; reducing government by 80%; ending welfare and entitlements, including Social Security, Medicare, and farm and tobacco subsidies; legalizing drugs; abolishing the minimum wage (which, he claims, undermines job creation for blacks, teenagers and entry-level workers); and eliminating corporate taxes. He also opposes affirmative action, hate-crime legislation and virtually any regulation of handguns, including registration. Elder (who is slated to host the forthcoming TV show The Moral Court) further accuses the white-run media of condescending to blacks by overemphasizing stories of racism and by subtly applying a lower set of expectations to African-Americans' behavior. Taking swipes at Bill and Hillary Clinton, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Johnnie Cochran, Louis Farrakhan and others, he blasts the black leadership, which, he insists, should focus on ways to morally and legally discourage ""the young, irresponsible and unwed from having children."" In Elder's apt phrase, we have become a nation of ""victicrats,"" people blaming their ills on others and demanding special treatment while refusing to accept personal responsibility. While many readers will consider his prescriptions simplistic, they'll find his candor and straight talk refreshing. (Sept.)
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