Larry Elder

When former Democratic presidential candidate rival Sen. John Edwards considered himself "more electable" because of his humble circumstances, Newsweek wrote, "Kerry admits he never had to deny himself any but the most lavish of material wants. But that's irrelevant to electability, he said.  'It's not the circumstances you come from; it's the values you fight for.' Kerry said."

Again, the senator feels that rap and hip-hop represent "anger" and "social energy," and it's "important" to listen to. How condescending. No, Senator Dawg, the answer to this "anger" and "social energy" is not to feel their pain, but to offer the oh-so-politically-incorrect alternatives. How about urging the disaffected to adopt the appropriate "values" that lead to success? You know, get an education, work hard, avoid making moral mistakes, impose self-discipline, defer gratification, and refrain from bringing a child into the world without the financial, moral and spiritual resources to assume such an awesome responsibility?

Despite "Jiggy Fly" Kerry's respect for "music" that, in some cases, calls women "bitches" and "hos," his message should be: "Hard work wins. You get out of life what you put into it. Avoid making bad moral mistakes. No matter how dire your circumstances, you have a moral obligation to attempt to better yourself. If your home lacks a good role model, seek out a teacher, relative, friend, member of the clergy, or neighborhood youth center or some other charitable or self-help organization."

Meanwhile, "black America" -- despite the "anger" and "social energy" of the rappers/hip-hoppers -- continues to prosper. At $631 billion, the gross domestic product of "black America" places it in the top 16 wealthiest countries in the world. Black homeownership rates reach almost 50 percent, and the 22.7 percent of blacks in poverty in 2001 showed a decline from the 31.9 percent of 1990.

This progress results from good old-fashioned hard work, perseverance, and the adherence to the very values that "Jiggy Fly" Kerry demands of himself. So, Senator, you might think about this the next time you're cruisin' toward Sun Valley, Idaho, in your Chevy SUV while listening to an N.W.A. compact disc.

Just keepin' it real, Senator.

Larry Elder

Larry Elder is a best-selling author and radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an "Elderado," visit