Larry Elder

Taking a break from the battle against racism, former Democratic presidential candidate and "civil rights activist" Reverend Al Sharpton recently announced a new mission -- fighting chicken-ism. In collaboration with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Sharpton intends to lobby KFC to treat chickens more humanely. If Reverend Al now chooses to pursue social justice for chickens, just how bad is racism in America?

In their 39th annual report, UCLA -- conducting a nationwide survey -- asks college freshmen whether "helping to promote racial understanding" remains an important goal. The survey found that only 29.7 percent of freshmen  -- a low since UCLA began conducting the survey -- consider "helping to promote racial understanding" an essential or very important personal goal. Seven years ago, a TIME/CNN survey of black teens found that, when asked whether racism constitutes little or no problem in their lives, 89 percent agreed! In fact, the study found white teenagers more likely to call racism a major problem than black teens.

So give credit to Reverend Sharpton for, say, expanding his portfolio in the wake of a stagnant market for his principal product -- fighting racism. After all, remember Sharpton's stab at reality TV with the Spike TV program, "I Hate My Job"? Well, apparently, people found it quite a job to watch. So, on to chickens.

For years, Hollywood withstood attacks of racial insensitivity, exclusion, etc. This year's Academy Awards will be hosted by black comedian Chris Rock. "Diversity" seems to be everywhere this year. Black actor/comedian Jamie Foxx received nominations in the Best Actor category for "Ray," and as Best Supporting Actor for "Collateral." Don Cheadle, from "Hotel Rwanda," squares off against Foxx for Best Actor. In the same film, Sophie Okonedo received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress. Also, Morgan Freeman received his fourth Oscar nomination, this time for "Million Dollar Baby." "Tupac: Resurrection" received a nomination for Best Feature Length Documentary.

How bad are things for blacks? T-Mobile now uses the once-angry, anti-establishment rapper Snoop Dogg to push its services. Recently, Ice Cube's "Are We There Yet?" came in at No. 1 in box office sales, followed by "Coach Carter," starring prolific black actor Samuel L. Jackson. Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg swore in former National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice as the nation's first black female secretary of state. She follows Colin Powell, America's first black secretary of state.


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 www.LarryElder.com.