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Black Professor Blames Black Americans’ Plight on Welfare, not Discrimination

Black Professor Blames Black Americans’ Plight on Welfare, not Discrimination

“The undeniable truth is that neither slavery nor Jim Crow nor the harshest racism has decimated the Black family the way the welfare state has,” argues Walter Williams, a Professor of Economics at George Mason University.

“Often overlooked or ignored is the fact that, as a group, Black Americans have made the greatest gains, over some of the highest hurdles, and in a shorter span of time than any other racial group in history,” explains Williams in a column he wrote for The Richmond Times-Dispatch. 

Williams goes on to cite famous Black individuals like General Colin Powell, Robert F. Smith, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Jordan, and Barack Obama. “When the Civil War ended, neither a slave nor a slave owner would have believed such progress would be possible in less than a century and a half – if ever.”

The civil rights struggle is finished, argues Williams, and the issue at hand now is how the gains enjoyed by successful Black Americans can be “extended to about one-quarter of the Black population for whom they have proven elusive.”

These people are not being held back by racial discrimination, continues Williams, but by policies that encourage irresponsibility. “Chief among these policies is the welfare state that has fostered a 75% rate of out-of-wedlock births and decimated the Black family that had survived Jim Crow and racism.”

The poverty rate among married-couple Black families has been in the single digits for more than 20 years, notes Williams, but the poverty rate among Black families led by a single mother is 37%.

“Black people can be thankful that double standard and public and private policies rewarding inferiority and irresponsibility were not a part of the 1920s, ‘30s, ‘40s, and ‘50s,” writes Williams. “If there were, then there would not have been the kind of intellectual excellence and spiritual courage that created the world’s most successful civil rights movement.”

“Self-destructive behavior that has become acceptable, particularly that in predominantly Black schools, is nothing less than a gross betrayal of a struggle, paid with blood, sweat, and tears by previous generations, to make possible today’s educational opportunities that are being routinely squandered,” argues Williams.

“Government should do its job of protecting constitutional rights,” he continues. “After that, Black people should be simply left alone as opposed to being smothered by the paternalism inspired by white guilt.”

Williams ends his column by urging readers to look up his “Proclamation of Amnesty and Pardon,” a proposal that seeks to improve race relations in America by freeing individuals of European ancestry from the guilt they feel towards Black people.

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  1. Juanita

    He is right on target. If I, as a non black person, was told all my entire life that I could not survive without help from the government, needed only special black groups, funded by the government, black schools and colleges, funded by the government, black organisations, etc etc etc etc. The list for “special” services for blacks is too long to even try to note each one. Pretty soon I probably would have stopped trying and believed that the government was my lord and master.

  2. Paul

    Amen. It’s about time somebody said this. Especially from black community. I applaud you sir. Thank you for your frankness & honesty.

  3. Lovette Streets

    Professor Williams is absolutely right. Welfare has dis-incentivized the Black family from being a cohesive unit for the betterment of our country. In addition, it has sorely been abused by those who would prefer to lie around having babies and being paid to do nothing, rather than to get up off the sofa and get a job. Those babies then grow up in a home without a father, and they contribute to the crime seen in many cities today because they are angry, frustrated, and without direction. Socialists want us to be a “welfare state” so they can swoop in and provide an answer–the result of which has NEVER worked in ANY country!

  4. Wayne Tanaka

    Excellent assessment of the state of black America. Many successful blacks make their destiny through hard work, their education and their moral character. We need more righteous people in education, business and society. Also more traditional families. A father and a mother to lead their children.

  5. Carson Tyler

    Walter Williams will need protection from BLM for him making such a statement. I, have no ideal what is equal between black and white, but do know blacks who have made it never looked back, but forward. Taking responsibility for their actions not blaming others.

  6. Thomas

    I’m a white guy a little Indian thrown in who works for a sweet black boss one of the nicest people I’ve ever worked for ,who helps me when I need help and doesn’t bother me when I don’t . She is a single mother with nice smart children.

  7. Mike Tanco

    Welfare has been corrupt for decades. You can’t continue to foot the bill for people and not expect them to work for the compensation.
    Paying women for having babies and no father around. His only contribution Is sperm.

  8. Wendy Lee

    SO TRUE.
    There is NO “Sensationalism” in this…
    THANK YOU!!!

  9. Misty

    Where this guy gets it wrong, well one of the many places he gets it wrong, is that most people on welfare are working. They’re the working poor. Over half of people on welfare are working full time. That’s the problem. We don’t value work in this country. And this country has been built on the backs of black hard labor. “Their schools” suck because white Americans made it that way. Red-lining made it so they couldn’t get loans. They didn’t benefit from the GI bill like our white parents. They have been denied the tools needed to succeed that were given to us. In other words they were specifically denied the right to even try for the American Dream. The effects of that don’t disappear in one generation. “The ghetto” has existed for decades and getting out of it, ain’t so easy when you can’t get paid a decent wage for working hard. You can’t get loans. You can’t get a decent education. Please. This guy needs to go back to history class.