If we put ourselves into the shoes of racists who seek to sabotage black upward mobility, we couldn't develop a more effective agenda than that followed by civil rights organizations, black politicians, academics, liberals and the news media. Let's look at it.
First, weaken the black family, but don't blame it on individual choices. You have to preach that today's weak black family is a legacy of slavery, Jim Crow and racism. The truth is that black female-headed households were just 18 percent of households in 1950, as opposed to about 68 percent today.
During the 1960s, devastating nonsense emerged, exemplified by a Johns Hopkins University sociology professor who argued, “It has yet to be shown that the absence of a father was directly responsible for any of the supposed deficiencies of broken homes.” The real issue, he went on to say, “is not the lack of male presence but the lack of male income.” That suggests marriage and fatherhood can be replaced by a welfare check.
The poverty rate among blacks is 36 percent. Most black poverty is found in female-headed households. The poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits since 1994 and is about 8 percent today. The black illegitimacy rate is 75 percent, and in some cities, it's 90 percent. But if that's a legacy of slavery, it must have skipped several generations, because in the 1940s, unwed births hovered around 14 percent.
Along with the decline of the black family comes anti-social behavior, manifested by high crime rates. Each year, roughly 7,000 blacks are murdered. Ninety-four percent of the time the murderer is another black person. Though blacks are 13 percent of the nation's population, they account for more than 50 percent of homicide victims.
Nationally, the black homicide victimization rate is six times that of whites, and in some cities, it's 22 times that of whites. I'd like for the president, the civil rights establishment, white liberals and the news media, which spent massive resources protesting the George Zimmerman trial's verdict, to tell the nation whether they believe that the major murder problem blacks face is murder by whites.
Using 2011 population data from the U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 crime statistics from the FBI and information from 17,000 local law enforcement agencies in the country, an organization called NeighborhoodScout came up with a report titled “Top 25 Most Dangerous Neighborhoods in America” ( tinyurl.com/cdqrev4). They include neighborhoods in Detroit, Chicago, Houston, St. Louis and other major cities. What's common to all 25 neighborhoods is that their makeup is described as “Black” or “Mostly Black.” The high crime rates have several outcomes that are not in the best interests of the overwhelmingly law-abiding people in these neighborhoods. There can't be much economic development. Property has a lower value, but worst of all, people can't live with the kind of personal security that most Americans enjoy.
Disgustingly, black politicians, civil rights leaders, liberals and the president are talking nonsense about “having a conversation about race.” That's beyond useless. How is such a conversation going to eliminate the 75 percent illegitimacy rate? What will such a conversation do about the breakdown of the black family? Only black people can solve our problems.
Walter Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Would one big move kill Pirates’ future?
- Steelers offensive linemen looking to build on strong 2013 finish
- Pirates inquire about Red Sox LHP Lester
- Liriano, Pirates beat Giants, inch closer to lead in NL Central
- Former walk-ons may lose scholarships under Penn State’s Franklin
- Father, son killed in East Huntingdon crash
- Woman hurt in Harrison trailer fire
- Rivers Casino sued by family of patron who died in car crash
- YouTube campaign by Latrobe 4-year-old aids Alzheimer’s Association
- Satisfy your sweet tooth in Pittsburgh with treats from ethnic bakeries
- Penn Township man seeking gun permit accused of bringing heroin to courthouse