A Nation of Cowards

What does "Racial Equality" mean? Does it mean having no discrimination between racial groups, or does it mean giving preferential treatment to certain races — for fear of being called a racist?

Attorney General Eric Holder said the United States is “a nation of cowards” when it comes to race relations.

In one sense, he is absolutely right. Many whites, from university administrators and professors, schoolteachers to employers and public officials accept behavior from black people that they wouldn’t begin to accept from whites.

For example, some of the nation’s most elite universities, such as Vanderbilt, Stanford University and the University of California, have yielded to black student demands for separate graduation ceremonies and separate “celebratory events.”

Universities such as Stanford, Cornell, MIT, and Cal Berkeley have, or have had, segregated dorms.

If white students demanded whites-only graduation ceremonies or whites-only dorms, administrators would have labeled their demands as intolerable racism. When black students demand the same thing, these administrators cowardly capitulate.

Calling these university administrators cowards is the most flattering characterization of their behavior. They might actually be stupid enough to believe nonsense taught by their some of sociology and psychology professors that blacks can’t be racists because they don’t have power.

What about Holder’s statement that America is “voluntarily segregated”? I say, so what. According to the census, in 2007, 4.6 percent of married blacks were married to a white; less than 1 percent of married whites were married to a black.

While blacks are 13 percent of the population, they are 80 percent of professional basketball players and 65 percent of professional football players. Mere casual observance of audiences at ice hockey games or opera performances would reveal gross voluntary segregation. What would Holder propose the U.S. Justice Department do about these and other instances of voluntary segregation?

Attorney General Holder’s flawed thinking is widespread whereby people think that an activity that is not racially integrated is therefore segregated.

Blacks are about 60 percent of the Washington, D.C. population. At the Reagan National Airport, which serves D.C., nowhere near 60 percent of the airport’s water fountain users are black; I’d guess blacks are never more than 5 percent of users. The population statistics of states such as South Dakota, Iowa, Maine, Montana and Vermont show that not even 1 percent of their populations are black. Does that mean Reagan National Airport water fountains and South Dakota, Iowa, Maine, Montana and Vermont are racially segregated?

If Holder does anything about “voluntary segregation” at the state level I hope it’s not court-ordered busing; I’m not wild about their winters. Just because some activity is not racially integrated does not mean that it is racially segregated.

The bottom line is that the civil rights struggle is over and it is won. At one time black Americans didn’t share the constitutional guarantees shared by whites; today we do. That does not mean that there are not major problems that confront a large segment of the black community, but they are not civil rights problems nor can they be solved through a “conversation on race.”

Black illegitimacy stands at 70 percent; nearly 50 percent of black students drop out of high school; and only 30 percent of black youngsters reside in two-parent families.

In 2005, while 13 percent of the population, blacks committed over 52 percent of the nation’s homicides and were 46 percent of the homicide victims. Ninety-four percent of black homicide victims had a black person as their murderer. Such pathology, I think much of it precipitated by family breakdown, is entirely new among blacks.

In 1940, black illegitimacy was 19 percent; in 1950, only 18 percent of black households were female-headed compared with today’s 70 percent. Both during slavery and as late as 1920, a teenage girl raising a child without a man present was rare among blacks.

If black people continue to accept the corrupt blame game agenda of liberal whites, black politicians and assorted hustlers, as opposed to accepting personal responsibility, the future for many black Americans will remain bleak.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He has authored more than 150 publications, including many in scholarly journals, and has frequently given expert testimony before Congressional committees on public policy issues ranging from labor policy to taxation and spending.

13 comments from readers  

To post comments, please log in first. The Atlasphere is a social networking site for admirers of Ayn Rand's novels, most notably The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. In addition to our online magazine, we offer a member directory and a dating service. If you share our enjoyment of Ayn Rand's novels, please sign up or log in to post comments.
This is simply a sublime column. I wrote virtually the same content in a letter to the editor to the Atlanta Journal-Constitutution at the end of February. Mr. Williams is also correct in implicating liberal whites in the "corrupt blame game." Offiicial segregation is over, and that was the only legitimate complaint any race could have. As to racism by the heads of companies, there's one answer: Take your expertise elsewhere to a company that will use your skills to put the racist company out of business. Oh yes, and if you're of the "we need racial dialogue" mentality, STOP WHINING AND GET TO WORK!
Excellent article. As a black man making it in America it frustrates me to no end to see other black people continue to lean on the crutch of being black. You don't rehab a broken joint by staying on the crutches. I will say that in the past their have been things done that affect the black populous today. but if we can have a black attorney general and a black president anything is possible.
Wait......isn't our president "black" ? I agree, it's over and he is the proof.
Not PC, not PC at all.

Watch your back, Mr. Williams. But you don't need to be told that, do you?


Jack Greene
Scarborough, Maine
A new high water mark in race understanding. You shall know the truth and it will set you free.
Fantastic article, as usual. Why is it so remarkable to see the truth in print?

Every time I hear a Black man with a promising future described on TV, the next line invariably is "was found shot to death".

Waste of potential disturbs me. Waste of human life even more.

The ruling elite never believed that Black people could live up to standards of civilized behavior. Unfortunately, many Blacks have come to accept that negative viewpoint and attempt to live down to the non-standards set for them.

There is more political power in global warming than in global cooling. And there is more political power in government-promoted racial division than there is in a color-blind society.

I am glad America is capable of electing a Black man President. I only wish his name were Walter Williams, or Thomas Sowell, or Alan Keyes.
This is a brillant article.

Since moving to DC for school, I have encountered many racist comments. However, many of these comments that I have little tolerance for come from my black friends and colleagues.

The USA established equality for all and part of the equality means that a black guy can be just as racist as a white guy. When I have explained this concept I have often been met with remarks that black people simply can't be racist.

Comments like, "Let's listen to some white music now (i.e. pop music)" or "Hey, white girl, what are you doing?" or "White people just don't care". One of my friends, a black guy, was complaining about the racism in society and how it is unacceptable for him to have a "Fro". So what, I can't die my hair bright red, the punker can't have a mohawk, and the hippie can't have her hair floor-length. That's not racist, that is called business professional style.

I thoroughly object to classifying things as white or black. If I, a white girl, was to adress some person as, "Hey, black guy" I would be categorized as racist. Yet, I have been addressed numerous times as "white girl" as I often find myself in majority black social groups. Other black colleagues insist on labelling everything as black and white and yet seem so offended when a white person does the same thing.

Thus, what I am trying to say, you can't have your cake and eat it too.
Walter I think I love you. Not really, but I greatly appreciate your manner of attacking a touchy (at least that is how it would have been described by the cowards that you alluded to in the title) subject with facts instead of pity. As an objectivist, nothing is as disturbing as hearing constantly "it's not my fault".

Thanks again for a great read.
Dr. Williams. When whites, without prior knowledge, or having done studies, considers the black situation in North America, he automatically assumes that blacks are socially and intellectually inferior to the white population. He knows they do most of the killing, make up most of the gangs, are probably 90% of the Pimp population, are far more sexually irresponsible than whites, having children indiscriminately with several woman, and supporting none of them, it is refreshing to see a highly educated Black agreeing with them. There is no question that the Blacks have to fix themselves, no one is going to do it for them. I do not mean to sound racist, I am a Senior Objectivist, but, we took the blacks out of the jungle, but they have not yet taken the jungle out of themselves. Reduced to its essentials, they are not yet civilized. They were never asked to create a civilized culture, they had the advantage of growing up in one, but failed to understand that white or black has nothing to do with being civilized. It is simply a human imperative, when they become civilized, they will automatically become human, and their color won't matter a whit. Frank Toplin
Walter is 100% on! I am not racist at all I judge a person for who they are not what color they are. For years I have been saying that the advertisement for "The Black College Fund" is not only degrading but racist. If I were Black I would be insulted. It is no different then the USCG exam for merchant marine license, the black score need not be the same % to pass as a caucasion taking the same test. What is wrong with the big picture, is the Federal Government saying that the Black population is incapable of acheiving what the whites can, of course the President excluded)? Are they lumped into a class of people that have a lesser IQ therefore need not be held to the same standards. Walter you are a prime example of what EVERY PERSON CAN BE, without stereo typing the Blacks Americans. Keep up the good work Walter, maybe just maybe your ethical, moral and pride for your achievements not for the fact that you are black will be recognised by all. I only wish that the man who sits in the highest office of this fine nation had even a tenth of your vision of what being an American is. Does he not realize he is dividing this nation like never before with his racist remarks.
Thank you very much, Mr. Williams.

Talk to "the man on the street" and the black America the media won't talk about doesn't want handouts, racial quotas &c. They want Holder and other Kakostocrats to shut up, quit living off their sweat and get the hell out of their way.

Such black men and women actually do exist. I've worked with them. The only discriminatory issues they tell me of, are being equated with the lot you discussed who choose to continue to live like Johnny-Reb, then whine that anyone who doesn't wish to associate with them are "racist".

And amazingly enough, just like this white man, they don't want anymore interference in their lives disguised as "help" from government...Go figure!
When I think of leaders who were or are Black, I think of Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, George Washington Carver, Booker T. Washington, Shirley Chisolm, and Barbara Jordan. I do not think of Adam Clayton Powell, Martin Luther King, Huey Newton, Carole Mosely Braun, or Mohammed X. At times Jesse Jackson has been remarkable in his perceptions but he cannot help playing the race card. Al Sharpton, in his run for the Democratic nomination, gave the best well-thought-out speeches: far superior to any other Democratic candidate but lost interest and sank back into a race-baiting liturgy
Bravo! I was laughing and shaking my head at the same time.
To post comments, please log in first. The Atlasphere is a social networking site for admirers of Ayn Rand's novels, most notably The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. In addition to our online magazine, we offer a member directory and a dating service. If you share our enjoyment of Ayn Rand's novels, please sign up or log in to post comments.