By Veronica Mackey
Roland S. Martin, syndicated columnist and Host of “NewsOne Now,” said on Sunday that Fox News Analyst and host of the “Larry Elder Show” might need some medicine “because the brother’s in serious pain this morning.”
The men went head-to-head last Saturday during a 3-hour debate in The Tabernacle at Faithful Central Bible Church in Inglewood. The debate and community forum was sponsored by Inglewood Today and Urban Family Communications, and broadcast by One America News Network.
Martin, a Hillary Clinton supporter, said the contest “didn’t go well for Brother Larry (a Donald Trump supporter).” Trump surrogate Omarosa and Clinton surrogate former Sen. Steven Bradford came on behalf of their candidates. However, “through the first half, I was kickin’ Elder’s butt so bad that organizers would not let Omarosa come out on stage,” Martin said.
Although both men are African American, each had vastly different views about police shootings and other problems within the black community.
Martin pointed to the widespread corruption within police departments, how officers lie on police reports and other cops protect them. He cited the cases of Laquan McDonald in Chicago and Walter Scott in N. Charleston. In Scott’s case, Martin said, “the officer lied and said Scott was coming toward him, but the video shows a different story.”
He added: “If police want the community to trust them, then the greatest ‘no snitching’ policy in America, which is in police departments, has to end.”
The moderator asked: “How do you ensure you are supporting officers who are doing the right thing?”
“You cannot continue to hire individuals who are alien to our communities, who don’t live there, who are scared of folks, who come in and they have no relationship. Good cops can’t stay silent when we have police who are brutalizing people and doing it under the protection of the law.”
Elder was asked about criminal justice reform, whether officer-involved shootings should be studied by a nonpartisan commission or be solved at the local level.
“The Black Lives Matter Movement is the biggest fraud that’s been perpetuated on our country since the O.J. Simpson Case,” Elder said. “According to the Washington Post, there were 965 people killed by the police last year, 500 of them were white. I defy you to name one.”
“What’s going on now in the inner city is a complete and total breakdown,” Elder continued, “because of people like Mr. Martin who are telling officers that when you do your job, you’re racist. So they’re pulling back and as a result, you’re seeing crime go up in Baltimore, crime going up in Chicago, crime going up in St. Louis. And the victims of those crimes are usually the same people that people like Mr. Martin claim to care about.”
“If you really care, you’d be talking about these individuals that are bad. From time to time there are bad shootings. There are some bad cops, but it’s rare …”
“This was interesting. You just said ‘Mr. Martin—he keeps calling cops racists.’ I rarely ever call somebody a racist unless I have the undeniable facts to back it up.”
Elders began to interrupt and Martin stopped him.
“Larry, when you throw some mess out, I’m gonna call you out on it. Here’s the problem Larry. We have police officers who do not want to be held accountable for their actions. Cops around this country get mad when all of a sudden the law applies to them. You have multiple cases like the cops who have lied on the witness stand in Chicago, and the judge is sitting there going ‘you’re a liar,’ and they don’t go back and investigate the cops.”
Martin said Elder dodged the moderator’s question when she asked about criminal justice reform. “You offered nothing concrete, you offered nothing about community policing. You sounded just like Donald Trump,” he said.
The “News One Now” host also defended Black Lives Matter as the impetus behind local laws being changed regarding policing. “They are fighting for you to make sure your constitutional rights are being protected,” he told Elder.
Elder said that Martin should tell young black people “you have no right to disobey a lawful order. You have no right to disobey an unlawful order. Michael Brown, Freddie Gray and Eric Garner would all be alive if they had complied.”
This comment was met by a round of loud boos.
“We do comply and they shoot us anyway,” said Greg Porter, who posted a portion of the debate on YouTube.
By the end of the debate, “it was clear that Elder’s arguments couldn’t hold water to the truth that Martin laid out,” one attendee observed.