Larry Elder

Second, Belk said that her 6-foot-5-inch son, then 16, "stormed into the house complaining to no one in particular: 'Why does everyone assume that just because I'm black, I play basketball? That's just plain racist.'" Sure, while his height was "undoubtedly part of the equation, it wasn't all of it (emphasis added)." What's the rest of "the equation"? That a lot of black men who are tall don't play basketball -- and it's "racist" to assume that they do? Oh, where have you gone, Rosa Parks?!

Third, Belk's son, then starting graduate studies at the University of North Carolina, and her husband were victims of "racial profiling" on a road considered "treacherous territory for black men": "The night he and my husband arrived in town to move him into his new apartment, they were stopped on the interstate by the police, allegedly for not moving to the outer lane when passing a police car that had stopped another driver. ... Like it or not, racial profiling still plays into many law enforcement decisions." Racism, case closed!!!

Police departments in many major cities have long required cops to write down the race of those stopped, as well as the race of the cop doing the stopping. In some cases, cops do indeed stop a "disproportionate" number of black motorists -- compared with their percentage of actual drivers. Does this show illegal "racial profiling," as opposed to cops focusing on high-crime areas or cops responding to the very behavior of the drivers stopped?

New Jersey state troopers, during the late '90s, were accused of illegally profiling black drivers on the New Jersey Turnpike. At the request of the U.S. Justice Department, the state commissioned an independent study to find out why troopers stopped so many black motorists. It turned out that black drivers drove faster than white drivers -- and the faster the speed the more likely the driver was black. The Justice Department, citing "flawed methodology," refused to accept the study. New Jersey commissioned a second study. Same result.

More to the point, Belk writes, "My husband told me he was glad to have been there to model ... how to behave during a police stop, something every black man needs to be prepared to handle." Exactly. Behave appropriately and so will the cops, the occasional bad apple aside.

Belk is right. There are certain things every young black person "needs to be prepared to handle." And one of them is this: learning to reject newspaper articles, relatives, friends, teachers and the media that are determined to convince them that they remain forever victims. Now, more than ever, hard work, drive and focus win the race.

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