On Wednesday, conservatives learned of the passing of one of the great economists and advocates for liberty, Professor Walter Williams.
Williams spoke out in defense of individual liberty and, through his work as an economist, demonstrated the necessity of the free market for prosperity and freedom.
He also happened to be black. The Left thinks they own the black vote, but they are sadly mistaken, and they certainly didn’t control Professor Williams.
Writing for the Washington Examiner, Jimmy Sengenberger wrote, “Through his work, Williams exposed the reality of race and discrimination, the failure of the welfare state, the deception of good intentions, and more. Rooted in this mission, he wrote seminal books including The State Against Blacks, Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination? and More Liberty Means Less Government…
He shared his deep concerns over how much damage welfare programs had done to his own black community. He spoke of the fruits of freedom and the free market as the only way to uplift people out.
‘The welfare state has done to black Americans what slavery could not have done — Jim Crow and the harshest racism could not have done. Namely, to destroy the black family.’”
On a personal note, outside of Thomas Sowell and Milton Friedman, Walter Williams has been one of the economists and intellectuals that I have admired and learned from.
I have quoted Williams in several of my articles. In June I referenced the following quote:
“Let’s ask a couple of questions about crime and education and racial discrimination. It turns out that each year more than 7,000 blacks are victims of homicide. That’s slightly over 50% of U.S. homicide victims. Ninety-four percent of the time, the perpetrator is another black person. Along with being most of the nation’s homicide victims, blacks are most of the victims of violent personal crimes such as assault and robbery. At many predominantly black schools, chaos is the order of the day. There is a high rate of assaults on students and teachers. Youngsters who are hostile to the educational process are permitted to make education impossible for those who are prepared to learn. As a result, overall black educational achievement is a disaster.”
Williams often talked about a breakdown of the nuclear family has devastating economic repercussions. It is a proven fact that, in America, there are only three criteria that contribute to not living a life in poverty: graduating high school, getting a full-time job, and waiting to get married and have children until at least 21 years of age.
Sadly, many of the African American students who are applying to colleges aren’t ready for prime time. That isn’t completely their fault. They are being forced to go to failing public schools, where they receive a poor education. However, that doesn’t mean they should be admitted to college if they don’t qualify—no one of any race should if they don’t meet university standards.
Walter Williams highlighted this issue when he wrote, “Ballou High School is in Washington, D.C. Five percent of its students test proficient in reading and 1% test proficient in math. In 2017, all 189 students in Ballou High School’s senior class applied to college. All 189 members of the graduating class of 2017 were accepted to universities. In November 2017, an investigation showed that half of Ballou’s 2017 graduates had more than three months of unexcused absences. One in five of the graduating class was absent more than present, therefore missing more than 90 days of school…
I cannot imagine that students who are not proficient in reading and math can do real college work. In a futile attempt to make up for 12 years of rotten education, colleges put these students in remedial courses. They also design courses with little or no true academic content. Colleges have their own agendas. They want the money that comes from admitting these students. Also, they want to make their diversity and multiculturalism administrators happy.”
We lost an intellectual giant, but his writing and research will long endure. God Bless Walter Williams. Thank you, professor.