Larry Elder

Now we know what caused New Orleans to flood. And it was not Hurricane Katrina.

 Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan said, "I heard from a reliable source who saw a 25-foot-deep crater under the levee breach. It may have been blown up to destroy the black part of town and keep the white part dry."

 Only wing-nuts would buy into such a conspiracy theory, right?

 Washington Post reporter Eugene Robinson said on NBC's "Meet the Press," "I was stunned in New Orleans at how many black New Orleanians would tell me with real conviction that somehow the levee breaks had been engineered in order to save the French Quarter and the Garden District at the expense of the Lower Ninth Ward, which is almost all black. . . . These are not wild-eyed people. These are reasonable, sober people who really believe that."

 For many people, past discrimination means present and future discrimination. End of discussion. Never mind the growing black economy, an all-time high percentage of black homeownership, and a "black GDP" that would make black America the 16th wealthiest country in the world. A suggestion. Instead of spending energy buying into Farrakhan's latest lunatic theory, why not re-examine present policies that -- either through intent or effect -- hurt blacks?

 -- The War on Drugs. By making drugs illegal, lawmakers intended to target minorities -- specifically blacks, Mexicans and Chinese. Former President Theodore Roosevelt's drug adviser warned, "Cocaine is often a direct incentive to the crime of rape by the Negroes." In "The American Disease," David Musto notes that prohibitions early in the 20th century, at least in part, targeted foreigners or minorities, including the allegedly opium-using Chinese. In 1937, the Marihuana Tax Act targeted Mexican immigrants. In 1936, a Colorado newspaper editor wrote to federal officials, "I wish I could show you what a small marijuana cigarette can do to one of our degenerate Spanish-speaking residents."

 -- Race-Based Preferences. Lowering admission standards to achieve "diversity" hurts black graduation rates. The Detroit News looked at the graduation rates at seven Michigan colleges and universities. Blacks graduated within six years at a rate of 40 percent, compared to 61 percent for whites and 74 percent for Asians. Many mismatched students simply drop out when they would have been successful at a less competitive university. One study says that the failure of minority students to graduate at the same rate as white students causes a loss in the "black economy" of $5.3 billion a year in income.

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