Larry Elder: Coronavirus lockdown — what about despair?

On June 19, also known as Juneteenth, the celebration of the end of slavery in the United States, we released our film, “Uncle Tom.” It follows a young, black, Christian contractor, Chad Jackson, who was a longtime Democrat until challenged by a fellow Christian to read the platforms of the Democratic and Republican parties.

He did.

Jackson was shocked to discover that his support for limited government, low taxes and school choice, and his opposition to abortion on demand, made him a ... Republican.

“Uncle Tom” explores the often-vicious blowback Jackson got from friends and family, let alone others, when he announced his conversion.

Instead of Jackson’s evolution sparking a healthy discussion about which party’s policies better advance the interests of Blacks, Jackson found himself being called “Uncle Tom,” a “sellout” and a “self-loather.”

The film simply asks: “Why is there no respectful disagreement in the Black community? Why are great Black thinkers such as Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams and Shelby Steele ignored or marginalized by the Black and mainstream media?”

Despite impressive, decadeslong bodies of work — columns, books and speeches — Sowell, Williams and Steele are completely unknown to many Blacks, and not just young Blacks.

Black conservatives do not attribute every major problem in the Black community to slavery and Jim Crow. Black conservatives do not believe that racism remains a significant problem in American society. Black conservatives believe the welfare state has incentivized women to marry the government and has incentivized men to abandon their financial and moral responsibility, a far bigger problem in America than racism.

“Uncle Tom” asks: Why can’t these points of view be debated? Are Black conservatives any less interested in the advancement of the Black community than Black liberals? If not, why the vitriol? Why the derision?

The early reviews of “Uncle Tom” exceeded our wildest expectations. As of this writing, the movie site IMDb shows that more than 350 viewers rated the film, giving it an overall rating of 9.7 out of 10, and 113 posted written reviews, with all but one giving it 10 stars out of 10. (The one exception gave it a 9.)

Here are some:

“This may be the best documentary I’ve ever seen — I am a professional filmmaker. This is one of, if not the most important film of the 21st century. I do not say that lightly. Everyone has to see this. It’s truly life changing. It’s a film full of heart, victory, unity, truth, and true patriotism — You’ll never be so proud to be an American. Don’t pass on it.”

“This movie is like an alarm clock — Some people might not like what they are hearing when they watch it but that doesn’t change the fact that it is time to wake up. I applaud the courage, the genius, and the love and compassion that went into the making of this important film.”

“Thank you for giving us the opportunity to watch a wonderful film that rejects the victim narrative that the Democrats try and push on the Black community. This film is so powerful and deserves so much positive recognition. I had high expectations for this film, and it EXCEEDED my expectations!!”

To see “Uncle Tom,” just go to UncleTom.com. Let me know what you think.

Larry Elder is an author and nationally syndicated radio talk show host. His latest book is “The New Trump Standard.”

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