Black People's Problems Are Not Civil Rights Problems

BlackFamilyLet’s list major problems affecting black Americans. Topping the list is the breakdown in the black family, where only a third of black children are raised in two-parent households. Actually, the term “breakdown” is incorrect. Families do not form in the first place. Nationally, there is a black illegitimacy rate of 72 percent. In some urban areas, the percentage is much greater. Blacks constitute more than 50 percent of murder victims, where roughly 7,000 blacks are murdered each year. Ninety-five percent of the time, the perpetrator is another black. If a black youngster does graduate from high school, it is highly likely that he can read, write and compute no better than a white seventh- or eighth-grader. These are the major problems that face black Americans.

Let’s look at some of the strategy since the beginning of the civil rights movement. The black power movement of the ’60s and ’70s held that black underrepresentation in the political arena was a major problem. It was argued that the election of more black officials as congressmen, mayors and city council members would mean economic power, better neighborhoods and better schools. Forty-three years ago, there were roughly 1,500 black elected officials nationwide. According to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, by 2011 there were roughly 10,500 black elected officials, including a black president. But what were the fruits?

By most any measure, the problems are worse. There is the greatest black poverty, poorest education, highest crime and greatest family instability in cities such as: Detroit, St. Louis, Oakland, Calif., Memphis, Tenn., Birmingham, Ala., Atlanta, Baltimore, Cleveland, Philadelphia and Buffalo, N.Y. The most common characteristic of these predominantly black cities is that, for decades, all of them have been run by Democratic and presumably liberal administrations. What’s more is that in most of these cities, blacks have been mayors, chiefs of police, school superintendents and principals and have dominated city councils.

Political power has not lived up to its billing.

So what should black politicians and activists now be focused on to address some of the problems confronting black people? Let’s look at some of the fiddling by some black politicians, white liberals and some intimidated white conservatives. How about banning the Confederate flag from public places because it is alleged to be a symbol of slavery? What would that do for black problems? By the way, one could make the case for also banning the American flag. Slave ships sailed under the American flag.

What about Memphis Mayor A C Wharton’s proposal to “help” his black constituents? He has proposed to dig up the bodies of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife and remove them from a city park. One wonders whether he thinks marshaling resources to do that is more important than dealing with the city’s 145 murders, 320 rapes, 6,900 aggravated assault calls, and 3,000 robberies. All of the Memphis black homicide victims were murdered by other blacks.

What about a ban on the use of the “racist” term “thug” in reference to black criminals looting stores? How about a ban on “stop and frisk” and proactive policing as a measure to increase public safety in high-crime neighborhoods? What about more teaching, as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has done, that what blacks need to fear most are white policemen?

In the wake of the Charleston murders, some people promote the false narrative that it’s white racists who are the interracial murderers. That’s nonsense. FBI crime victimization surveys show that blacks commit 80 percent of all interracial violent crime.

The bottom line is that even if white people were to become angels tomorrow, it would do nothing for the problems plaguing a large segment of the black community. Illegitimacy, family breakdown, crime and fraudulent education are devastating problems, but they are not civil rights problems. There is little or nothing that government or white people can do to solve these problems. The solution lies with black people.


WalterWilliamsWalter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.

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  1. MaryLena Anderegg

    Thank you for speaking the truth. The sad part is that so many people with good intentions have been so brutally manipulated and used for purposes that have nothing to do with their benefit

  2. The bottom line is that even if black people were to become angels tomorrow, it would do nothing for the systemic issues that plague them. Unless you exist alter-dimensionally, in a universe in which there is no cause/effect relationship, one cannot attempt to denigrate a situation at point C while completely ignoring its institution at point A. We are all of us largely the results of generational history, and while whites enjoy a carefully crafted, sculpted, and self-manipulated beneficience, blacks suffer historical and perpetual malfeasance. You, sir, are parroting an old and fallacious fantasy, the ever so egregious “just pull yourself up by your bootstraps” theology, while blithely or blindly ignoring the fact that before one can pull oneself up by one’s bootstraps, one must first own boots.

    • that’s all!

    • Juanita M Outlaw-Bedford

      My question to your response is then: When does one take responsibility for one’s own actions?

      Samuel Lowery, the very first African-American to argue a case before the United States Supreme Court, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. went to college at the age of 15, Thurgood Marshall, The Little Rock 5, Henry Ossian Flipper, born a slave in Thomasville, Georgia, in 1856, is the first black American cadet to graduate from the United States Military Academy at West Point, New York, etc…..

      All of these pioneers were first, and endured some of the most horrific degradation we could ever imagine, but yet the persevered in spite of. These first didn’t accept the Liberal stance that a white person was needed to achieve their goal, they achieved in spite of the fact that they were labeled “less than”. In the late ’60’s early ’70’s when black folk obtained their freedom, many traded it back for what they presumed to be “payback”, but all that they were given was modern day slavery, for which we are seeing the results; removal of God from the community, the removal of the man from the home, socialism in mass. What amazes me is that the assumption of not having is an excuse for not getting, it should be the motivation to get more. How can we as a “race” ever achieve equality without respect. The Democratic party has only offered slavery to folks of any color for their main objective is to control, for if they feed house and clothe you then they own you. When welfare was introduced in mass to the black community it was LAW that you could not has ANY assets, PERIOD not even a burial plot, total destitution. You talk about the largest transfer of wealth in this country and all under the pretense of; “We’re here to help”. Well it’s time that we turn to offer, get your own. Black blood has greased the hinges to the door of Freedom and yet ever other minority benefits from our folks sacrifice and we’re still sitting in the back of the bus singing; We Shall Overcome.

      • When we were growing up my mother would tell us that prejudice was a part of life. We did not have the luxury of being “average”. It was expected that we would get a good education and comparable employment.

    • To you, how does “white . . . beneficience [sic]” justify or explain the murder rate? Is asking young black men not to kill people too much bootstrap pulling?

  3. The perpetual blamers and victims will not acknowledge the truth screaming to get out by facts unfortunately. Stop allowing the destructive people making money off of hate tell the black race that they are not worthy.

  4. What a brilliant commentary that really hits the nail on the head. Thank you Dr. Williams

  5. I am an African American educator who serves in a Title 1 middle school. I agree 100% with EVERYTHING Mr. Williams has written. In fact, I had this very discussion with a friend this morning. I said, “I can assure you, there is government conspiracy to keep black kids ignorant and poor. Black people are the problem with black people.”

    Many of my students struggle to survive in environments that are not conducive to healthy living. These children are broken and hurting, and each child’s story is even more heart-wrenching than the one before it.

    I am committed to helping students acquire the academic, social, and personal skills they need in order to “grow, develop, and evolve.” I tell them, “I am sorry you were dealt the hand you received, but we cannot afford to have a generation of emotional cripples.”

    Students favorably respond to my form of tough love, and I pray the lessons learned will have an enduring impact on their lives.

    Only time will tell.

    • May your efforts bear fruit.

    • I agree with Delaine. Government want to divide our country in groups. They want to keep blacks down on welfare, etc. Tell blacks they know better they will NEVER GET ahead. Government know better they want your vote. They also want blacks and whites fighting over slavery, which happened 150 years ago. Teach this in our schools to hate whites, they are the problem. In the meantime, whites and blacks TODAY go to the same schools, live in the same neighborhoods. But somehow we are privileged. This is insane the only privileged people are the elites that want to keep hate going. If anything blacks today are privileged, they get free colleges and get into colleges with lower schools, then whites. I don’t think that is fair. I think if we want to be equal we should earn our degree not get it because of, we are a certain color.

      • i think that last bit is a tad confused; black’s don’t get “free college;” that would be native americans…black people get greater scholarship opportunities, but only because the field is already tilted to their detriment…there’s a whole list of reasons as to what that entails, but i won’t try to list them all at this point…what you see as “privilege” is really only leveling…it’s like saying the double amputee with aerodynamic plastic legs is privileged against the fully-abled man in a footrace…it’s not about advantage; it’s about balance…

    • help me out: you said ““I can assure you, there is government conspiracy to keep black kids ignorant and poor. Black people are the problem with black people.” which, then is it? is it the government or is it black people?

  6. Thank you sir for telling the truth: We will never make our world a better place unless we tell the truth:

  7. Making children before you can financially, & sometimes, mentally, afford them them.Added to that, the relationships, or lack-of.Nowadays, sex isn’t even about love.Not only in the black community, but the white community, as well.It’s as simple as being drunk/high in the club & having a “one night stand” or “fuck session” with a “hot guy/bad bitch.” Two weeks after, girl finds out she’s pregnant.Unless you were well off beforehand, you just put yourself in a financial hole that’s gonna be hard to get out of.You people can barely “pay bills” but always out partying, trying to be the focal point of the crowd, live this make pretend celebrity life.Everybody wants everything quick, but fast has a cost.I refuse to ever make a child before I’m financially ready, as my children WILL have a better life than me.

  8. As a Black man, I appreciate very much with what Dr. Williams is saying here. He is speaking the truth and nothing but the truth! Blacks have bought into the false narrative of liberal Democrats and others that don’t really give a darn about them……except for their votes.

    I was born and reared in a very poor family. My parents were not together, and we barely had the basic things that lots of families enjoyed. The simple truth is too many young Blacks are lazy, have no vision for their lives, and have no parents to give them any direction in life.

    Thus many of our young black men are nothing but thugs and criminals. That doesn’t sound nice, but it IS the truth! The sad part about what Dr. Williams has written is that most Blacks will deem him to be a “sell-out”, “uncle tom,” “white washed”, and many other stupid designations. I could careless what Blacks folks say! I thank God that He showed me His light and His way, and I’m thankful to have gotten my education, and now I enjoy a good life and much success in what I do.

    Thank you, Dr. Williams, for always speaking truth to power about these uncomfortable issues. Now, Black people stop with your stupid nonsense, listening to Bill and Hillary Clinton, and their cronies in the DNC, and take responsibility for your own future and destiny!

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