I recognize that discrimination is alive and well in the world. There are all kinds of discrimination going on, such as religious discrimination, age discrimination, and racial discrimination. However, I do not believe that discrimination is the root of all the problems in our nation or world.
My regular readers know that Walter E. Williams, professor of economics at George Mason University, is one of my favorite people. I think that I like him for the same reason that I like Donald Trump: neither one of them is afraid to state facts and let things fall where they will. For this reason, I have liked Williams since I first heard him host the Rush Limbaugh program some 20-30 years ago.
Today I read another article written by Williams about looking to the core of our problems rather than just blaming other people for them. For an example, he suggested that a physician treating ingrown toenails would do nothing for abdominal pain. It would not matter what the doctor did for the ingrown toenails, he would not solve the problem until he examined the stomach and treated the cause of the pain.
Williams suggested that the same thing is true for those people who blame discrimination for all the problems in the black community. Illustrating that there are other problems that are plaguing the black community, Williams gave some statistics in education, crime, and fatherless homes. Here is a summary of some of the statistics in education.
Atlanta, Georgia: “White students are nearly 4.5 grade levels ahead of their black peers within Atlanta Public Schools.”
San Francisco, California: 70% of white students are proficient in math; for black students, it is 12% -- gap of 58%.
Washington, D.C.: 83% of white students scored proficient in reading, as did only 23% of black students – a gap of 60%.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 47% of black students scored below basic in math and 42% scored below basic in reading.
Baltimore, Maryland: 59% of black students scored below basic in math and 49% in reading.
Detroit, Michigan: 73% of black students scored below basic in math and 56% in reading.
Williams wrote, “‘Below basic’ is the score a student receives when he is unable to demonstrate even partial mastery of knowledge and grade level skills. How much can racism explain this?” He continued by explaining the job of parents or guardians: “To do well in school, someone must make a kid do his homework, get a good night’s rest, have breakfast, and mind the teacher. If these basic family functions are not performed, it makes little difference how much money is put into education, the result will be disappointing.”
Moving on to higher education, Williams gave the following racial breakdown for ACT scores for 2019 high school seniors who met the exam’s readiness benchmarks: Asians (62%), whites (47%), Hispanics (23%), and blacks (11%). They all seem low to me! He explained that a 2016 study done by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, “African Americans: College Majors and Earnings”:
It found that black college students were highly concentrated in lower-paying and less academically demanding majors like administrative services and social work.
They are much less likely than other students to major in science, technology, engineering, and math, even though blacks in these fields earned as much as 50% more than blacks who earned a bachelor’s degree in art or psychology and social work.
According to Williams, education and career choices are not the only areas that afflict the black community. The area that causes the most affliction for the black community is violence. “In 2018, blacks comprised 13% of the U.S. population but roughly 53% of the 16,000 murder victims.” This is the case even though the rate of crime in the nation is decreasing. Williams gave some figures for crime and then stated: “By the way, most law enforcement occurs at the local level. The governments at these local levels are typically dominated by Democrats.”
Williams then moved to another huge problem in the black community: fatherless homes. Black families were much stronger before Lyndon B. Johnson put them on the government plantation in the 1960s and paid women more if there was no man in the home. Since then, the number of black marriages has decreased immensely and caused more fatherless homes.
According to statistics about fatherless homes, 90% of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes; 71% of pregnant teenagers lack a father figure; 63% of youth suicides are form fatherless homes; 71% of high school dropouts come from fatherless homes; and 70% of juveniles in state-operated institutions have no father. Furthermore, fatherless boys and girls are twice as likely to drop out of high school and twice as likely to end up in jail.
Williams shares his point of view with another of my favorite writers, Thomas
Sowell who he quoted: “The black family, which had survived centuries of slavery and discrimination, began rapidly disintegrating in the liberal welfare state that subsidized unwed pregnancy and changed welfare from an emergency rescue to a way of life.”
Even though racial discrimination has not been eradicated, it is wrong to blame all the problems of the black community on it. There are many blacks, such as Williams and Sowell, who rose above the problems of slavery and discrimination to take their rightful place in the nation and world. They do not whine and complain about discrimination, but they do take responsibility for themselves and their families.