Larry Elder, who announced himself as the “black face of white supremacy” during Saturday’s Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition’s Spring Supper, was another declared presidential candidate who addressed the Clive audience.
Elder hit his policy positions quickly before telling the crowd about his childhood.
“I’m pro-life. I believe in strong borders. I recognize that, according to our national report card, 85 percent of black eighth-graders — these are kids who are 13 years old — can neither do math nor read at grade efficiency. It is not just a problem, it is a scandal,” he said.
Elder said money should follow the child rather than the other way around. He called for an American return to energy independence. And finishing the wall is also on his to-do list.
His father, Elder said, was a hard worker. Kicked out of his home at just 13 years old in the Jim Crow South at the beginning of the Great Depression, his dad was “dirt poor,” he said.
“He walked down the road and picked up trash,” he said. “When someone says ‘dirt poor,’ my father was dirt poor. Nothing in his pocket. The roads were not paved. He was dirt poor.”
His dad got a job and then ended up in Los Angeles. After Pearl Harbor, his father joined the Marines. Once he was out of the Marines, he struggled to find work again. Restaurants in Chattanooga, Tenn. wouldn’t hire him because of his skin color. In LA, he couldn’t get a job because he lacked references.
He finally took two full-time jobs cleaning toilets. And he did extra work on the weekend so Elder’s mother could be a stay-at-home mom. Eventually, Elder’s father went to high school to get his GED.
“I never saw anybody work that hard,” Elder said. “Only in America can something like that happen. Only in God’s grace.”
During his Q&A session, he said the No. 1 epidemic in America is fatherlessness.
“Forty percent of all American kids now live in a world without a father in the home married to their mother,” he said. “What we’ve done since the mid-60s is we’ve incentivized women to marry the government, incentivized men to abandon their financial and moral responsibility. Forget about Elder, Barack Obama once said a kid raised without a father is five times more likely to be poor and commit crime, nine times more likely to drop out of school, 20 times more likely to end up in jail. Far and away the No. 1 domestic problem.”
Elder said he is running for office because he felt a moral and religious obligation.
“Our country has gotten away from the Judeo-Christian values that started this country,” he said. “More and more young people are becoming nonbelievers, believing in climate change as a religion. The biggest power that the President has is the bully pulpit. We need to bring religion and God back into our country. And the way to do that is to talk about our faith.”