By Matt Palumbo | Posted: December 2, 2020
Williams was known for his conservative and
libertarian views, with his columns appearing in Creators, Townhall, World Net
Daily, and Jewish World Review, among many others. In his columns Williams
railed against liberal economics, gun control, Marxism, teachers unions, race
hustlers, and any other threats to human liberty he saw in the world.
Williams’ final column was published
yesterday, titled “Black
Education Tragedy Is New.” In it he examines the dismal test scores in
inner cities today, and offers rebuttals to the claim that they’re the result
of “systemic” racism.
In addition to his columns, Williams had
authored eleven books, the most known being “The State Against Blacks” (1982),
“Liberty Versus the Tyranny of Socialism” (2008), “Up From the Projects” (2010)
and “Race & Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?” (2011).
Williams has often been compared to Thomas
Sowell in terms of their scope of writing. The two first met on the campus of
UCLA in 1969 and became friends for decades to come. An entire book called “A
Man of Letters” has been published containing letters between the two.
Williams has made numerous media appearances
over the years, including on Milton Friedman’s docuseries “Free to Choose,”
Stossel, ReasonTV, Life, Libery, & Levin, and countless others.
A documentary about his life and
accomplishments called “Suffer No Fools” was released in 2014.
May Mr. Williams rest in peace.
Walter Williams, RIP
Hayward | POWERLINE
Me and Walter Williams at Adam Smith’s gravesite, along with some other guy (Karl
Another sad passing to report today—the
Williams, at age 84. Where to begin describing this wonderful man and
teacher? I first came across his early book The State Against the Blacks
when it came out in the early 1980s. This and many other works over the years
made the compelling case that, as William himself put it, “The welfare state
has done to black Americans what slavery couldn’t do.”
Wikipedia records this about him:
Williams began in the 1970s to offer
colleagues a “certificate of amnesty and pardon” to all white people for
Western Civilization’s sins against blacks – and “thus obliged them not to act
like damn fools in their relationships with Americans of African ancestry.”
We could certainly use a good deal of this
Among the many great pieces about Walter I
could point out, see this Jason
Riley WSJ column about him from 2011. And you can find lots and lots
of wonderful material by and about him on YouTube. (This 8-minute
video from the 1980s is a good place to start.)
I didn’t know him well, but we did once share
billing as speakers on a British Isles cruise with the Young Americas
Foundation, culminating with a leisurely walking tour of Edinburgh that ended
up at the gravesite of Adam Smith, which is where the photo below was taken.
(Yes, he was quite tall. In fact, he was a cousin of NBA great Julius Erving. I
was tempted at times to call him “Dr. W.”)
If Walter had any flaw, it was that his
strong libertarianism led him to have too much sympathy with the cause of
secession (James Buchanan had the same flaw), and by extension to southern
secession in 1860, which in turn led to a dislike of Lincoln. This view is not
unique among certain kinds of libertarians. We argued vigorously over the
issue; he neither gave ground, nor was he anything less than cheerful and
patient throughout, making him a delight to argue with. No wonder students and
colleagues loved him.
Black Education Tragedy Is New
By Walter E. Williams | Townhall.com | Posted: Dec 02, 2020 12:01 AM
The Detroit Public Schools Community District
scored the lowest in the nation compared to 26 other urban districts for
reading and mathematics at the fourth- and eighth-grade levels. A
recent video captures some of this miseducation in Milwaukee high schools: In
two city high schools, only one student tested proficient in math and none are
proficient in English. Yet, the schools spent a full week learning about
"systemic racism" and "Black Lives Matter activism." By the
way, a Nov. 19, 2020, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article asks: "How many
Black teachers did you have? I've only had two." The article concludes,
"For future Black students, that number needs to go up." New York
City is one of many school systems in the United States set to roll out Black
Lives Matter-themed lesson plans. According to the NYC Department of Education,
teachers will delve into "systemic racism," police brutality and
white privilege in their classrooms.
Should we blame this education tragedy on racial
discrimination or claim that it is a legacy of slavery? Dr. Thomas Sowell's
research in "Education: Assumptions Versus History" documents
academic excellence at Baltimore's Frederick Douglass High School and others. This
academic excellence occurred during the late 1800s to mid-1900s, an era when
blacks were much poorer than today and faced gross racial discrimination.
Frederick Douglass High School of yesteryear produced many distinguished
alumni, such as Thurgood Marshall and Cab Calloway, and several judges,
congressmen and civil rights leaders. Frederick Douglass High School was second
in the nation in black Ph.Ds. among its alumni.
Also, in Sowell's "Education: Assumptions Versus
History" is the story of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School, a black public
school in Washington, D.C. As early as 1899, its students scored higher on
citywide tests than any of the city's white schools. From its founding in
1870 to 1955, most of its graduates went off to college. Dunbar's distinguished
alumni include U.S. Sen. Edward Brooke, physician Charles Drew and, during
World War II, nearly a score of majors, nine colonels and lieutenant colonels,
and a brigadier general. Today's Paul Laurence Dunbar and Frederick Douglass
high schools have material resources that would have been unimaginable to their
predecessors. However, having those resources have meant absolutely nothing in
terms of academic achievement.
If we accept the notion that rotten education is not
preordained, then I wonder when the black community will demand an end to an
educational environment that condemns so many youngsters to mediocrity. You
can bet the rent money that white liberals and high-income blacks would not
begin to accept the kind of education for their children that most blacks
The school climate, seldom discussed, plays a very
important role in education. During the 2017-18 school year, there were an
estimated 962,300 violent incidents and 476,100 nonviolent incidents in U.S.
public schools nationwide. Schools with 1,000 or more students had at least one
sworn law enforcement officer. About 90% of those law enforcement officers
carry firearms. Aside from violence, there are many instances of outright
disrespect for teachers. First- and second-graders telling teachers to
"Shut the f--- up" and calling teachers "b---h."
Years ago, much of the behavior of young
people that we see today would have never been tolerated. There was the vice
principal's office where corporal punishment would be administered for gross
infractions. If the kid was unwise enough to tell his
parents what happened, he might get more punishment at home. Today,
unfortunately, we have replaced practices that worked with practices that sound
good and caring. And we are witnessing the results.