As is often the case in this era of President Donald Trump, the reaction is far more interesting than the action.
The action was rapper/entrepreneur, ex-George W. Bush denouncer and Trump supporter Kanye West, whom Trump invited to the White House. The reaction from left-wing black critics was predictable. But the reaction from a notable Trump-hating white pundit was unintentionally eye-opening. In the Oval Office, West spoke nonstop, and apparently unscripted, for nearly 10 minutes. During his monologue and subsequent questions by reporters, West talked about the pressure blacks face to vote Democratic; how conservative blacks are often bullied by other blacks into supporting the Democratic Party; and how the Second Amendment is unrelated to gun violence, because "illegal guns is the problem, not legal guns." But most importantly, he spoke about the pain he experienced growing up without a father.
First, the reaction by black critics. Last month, rapper Snoop Dogg called West an "Uncle Tom" — and that was before West's visit to the White House. After West's Oval Office monologue, rapper T.I. called him a "Sambo." On CNN, Bakari Sellers, a Democratic strategist, said, "Kanye West is what happens when Negroes don't read." CNN "political commentator" Tara Setmayer called West a "token Negro" and described him as "an attention whore, like the President." Apparently, Setmeyer forgot about the numerous celebrities, including rappers, who visited President Barack Obama during his eight years in the White House.
How dare West point to the most important issue, by far, in the black community: the number of children growing up in homes without fathers! After all, Obama, who also grew up without his biological father, even said, "Children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime, nine times more likely to drop out of school and 20 times more likely to end up in prison."
The late rapper Tupac Shakur, who also grew up without a father, said: "I know for a fact that had I had a father, I'd have some discipline. I'd have more confidence. ... Your mother cannot calm you down the way a man can. Your mother can't reassure you the way a man can. ... You need a man to teach you how to be a man."
Then-Sen. Obama said the same thing in 2008: "I know the toll it took on me, not having a father in the house — the hole in your heart when you don't have a male figure in the home."
In regard to West being called a "coon," a "sell-out," "self-loathing" and an "Uncle Tom," Obama also knows a thing or two about that. In 2000, when he ran for Congress against Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., Rush branded Obama as an out-of-touch, not-from-the-'hood, Harvard-educated elite who taught at University of Chicago and who was not "truly black." Then-state Sen. Obama, beaten badly in the race, said, "When Congressman Rush and his allies attack me for going to Harvard and teaching at the University of Chicago, they're sending a signal to black kids that if you're well-educated, somehow you're not 'keeping it real.'" As President, Obama later said: "There's no one way to be black. Take it from somebody who's seen both sides of debate about whether I'm black enough."
Second, let's examine the reaction to West's White House visit from a prominent Trump-hating white critic, MSNBC's Chris Matthews. Analyzing why Trump invited Kanye West to the White House, Matthews inadvertently exposed the liberals' game of using the race card for votes. Matthews said the main reason Trump invited West was to assuage white voters' concerns about Trump. Matthews said, "White people won't vote for a guy — most of them — if they think they're racist."
Most nights, Matthews and his left-wing cable colleagues scramble to come up with new and different ways to call Trump "racist." They argue that Trump knowingly and intentionally crafts his message to appeal to white racists. On election night, CNN's Van Jones attributed Trump's victory to "whitelash" — claiming that "racist" white voters found a kindred spirit in "racist" Donald Trump. But Matthews, in an unguarded moment, conceded that most whites would not vote for somebody if they thought he or she was racist.
The con has been exposed.
Matthews said, in effect, that most white people are not racist, would not vote for a racist and therefore only a brain-dead white politician would run an election catering to racists. Yet virtually every night, he and his guests preach racism, racism, racism in America.
In fact, Matthews echoes the words of John O'Sullivan, then-editor of the National Review. Sullivan, in 1997, said, "White racism does exist, but its social power is weak and the social power arrayed against it overwhelming."
To the left, the only acceptable blacks are victicrats who believe racism is the top problem. Never mind the liberals — like Obama — who know damn well the top problem is fatherlessness. But Democratic politicians — like Obama — also need to keep blacks angry for votes.
Quite the Faustian bargain.
Larry Elder is a best-selling author and nationally syndicated radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit www.LarryElder.com. Follow Larry on Twitter @larryelder. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.