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Would they be proud?

Would they be proud?

One can’t imagine the fear in the hearts of the parents of those nine black students who walked past shouting placard-carrying mobs as they entered Little Rock Central High School in 1957. Each day, they were greeted with angry shouts of “Two, four, six, eight, we don’t want to integrate.” In some rural and urban areas, during the school desegregation era, parents escorted their 5- and 6-year-old children past crowds shouting threats and screaming racial epithets. Often there were Ku Klux Klan marches and cross burnings. Much of this protest was in the South, but Northern cities were by no means exempt from the turmoil and violence of school desegregation.

Most of the parents and civil rights leaders whose sacrifices and courage made today’s educational opportunities possible are no longer with us. My question is: If they could know what many of today’s black youngsters have done with the fruits of their sacrifice, would they be proud? Most schools identified as “persistently dangerous” are predominantly black schools. To have a modicum of safety, many schools are equipped with walk-through metal detectors, security cameras and conveyor belt X-ray machines that scan book bags and purses. Nationally, the black four-year high-school graduation rate is 52 percent. In some cities, such as Detroit and Philadelphia, it’s considerably lower — 20 percent and 24 percent, respectively. In Rochester, N.Y., it’s 9 percent.

What black politicians, parents, teachers and students have created is nothing less than a gross betrayal and squandering of the struggle paid in blood, sweat and tears by previous generations to make possible the educational opportunities that were denied to blacks for so long.

Born in 1936, I’ve lived during some of our racially discriminatory history. I recall being chased out of Fishtown and Grays Ferry, two predominantly Irish Philadelphia neighborhoods, with my cousin in the 1940s and not stopping until we reached a predominantly black North Philly or South Philly neighborhood. Today that might be different. A black person seeking safety might run from a black neighborhood to a white neighborhood.

On top of that, today whites are likely to be victims of blacks. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ 2008 National Crime Victimization Survey, in instances of interracial crimes of violence, 83 percent of the time, a black person was the perpetrator and a white person was the victim. Most interracial assaults are committed by blacks. What’s worse is there’re blacks still alive — such as older members of the Congressional Black Caucus, NAACP and National Urban League — who lived through the times of lynching, Jim Crow and open racism and who remain silent in the face of the current situation.

After the George Zimmerman trial, in cities such as Baltimore, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Chicago and New York, there have been a number of brutal revenge attacks on whites in the name of “justice for Trayvon.” Over the past few years, there have been many episodes of unprovoked attacks by black gangs against white people at beaches, in shopping malls, on public conveyances and in other public places in cities such as Denver, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York, Washington and Los Angeles. There’s no widespread condemnation, plus most of the time, the race of the attackers was not reported, even though media leftists and their allies are experts in reporting racial differences in everything else.

Would those black Americans who fought tooth and nail against Jim Crow, segregation, lynching and racism be proud of the findings of a recent Rasmussen poll in which 31 percent of blacks think that most blacks are racists and 24 percent of blacks think that most whites are racists? Among whites, in the same Rasmussen poll, 38 percent consider most blacks racist, and 10 percent consider most whites racist.

Black people don’t need to have a conversation with white people on matters of race. One first step would be to develop a zero tolerance for criminal and disruptive school behavior, as well as a zero tolerance for criminal behavior in neighborhoods. If city authorities cannot or will not provide protection, then law-abiding black people should find a way to provide that protection themselves.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. 

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  • 1Mojo_Risin9

    It would be hard for a “white” racist to exist now-days, a real full-tilt, Southern drawl, snarling, life threatening piece of human debris standing at the entrances of public establishments blocking passage.

    Oh, but “black” racists do exist, they are prominent on MSNBC, they threaten, attempt to intimidate and don’t get caught in [their] neighborhoods, you certainly won’t make that mistake again, if you survive!!! And to make things worse, “black” racism is sanctioned, most exclusively by a President and an Attorney General!!! How’s that for retribution?!!!

  • 21Palms

    I used to think racism was entirely a White on Black problem with any Black ‘racism’ being a ‘justified’ response until a took a job managing a group of mostly Black employees on the South side of Chicago.

    My Lord! What an eye opener. What an openly racist and hateful bunch of people.

  • Lester

    Dr Williams and Dr Sowell are two of the greatest commentators and are mot liked by a lot of blacks because they are perceived as being “Traitors to the black cause” and too far to the right in their convictions. I might add that some whites do not like their “uppity ways”. I have read both of their columns since I first found them in my newspapers and magazines and admire them greatly for they have common sense that seems lacking in so many people, black and white, that anyone should be proud of them and other blacks that do not see bad in everything white.

  • ol’ vet

    The really sad part of the whole deal, the politicians back when, required the white schools to lower the standards for the black students….I suppose they thought this would make the races more equal, but all it brought as those standards were lowered to “suit” the politicians, the overall effect was the whites were brought down to the blacks level instead of the other way around. I don’t think anyone really had a problem with bringing education to the black community, but dumbing down the one for the other was a sad mistake. Now the only alternative is to homeschool for any student to excell without being kicked around by the current crop of marxist teachers and administrations. It was not fair to either of the groups to end up like today. Even now, the stardards will not be raised as there is a political agenda to brain-wash the students of all races instead of educating the same….

  • Eric Carter

    First of all I was NOT BORN in the 50′S. JUST A BABY IN THE 60′S. So don’t put me in those shoes! Martin Luther King was for a better life for every SOUL. NOT JUST BLACK PEOPLE. But the NAACP AND TODAY BLACK PANTHER ARE OUT FOR BLOOD. And none of them were born back then unless they are over 60′s years old! God even talk about IN THE BIBLE let him deal with all your problem. BUT it seem today Black want to kill someone for no real reason. ONLY that of those who HOLDING THEM FROM MOVING FORWARD IN LIFE. No wonder they still have a hard time getting ahead. I wonder if they every thing how does those black that are leader of NAACP DRIVE BMW and not them? If you guess they taking your hard earn dollar to LIVE OFF OF YOU THEN YOU GOT THAT RIGHT! How many black today can say a white person help me get my JOB?

  • damelisa

    Excellent piece, Mr. Williams – I’ll add another question: would the slave ancestors of anyone alive today be proud? I’d say hell no – did they endure and survive so that their descendants could walk around with low-rider pants? join gangs? commit crimes? reject education? reject work? demand respect not earn it? be the screaming racists that those descendants scream about if it is white people doing any discriminating – - or is it “their turn” as I’ve heard said? Is it that too many slave descendants aren’t capable of better behavior, or do they just not want to live up to the standards they expect, no, demand, from others?

  • bbarnicle

    I sometimes work in a city where I’m the minority. I made a lot of friends, diverse. One black friend surprised me one day with a glimpse into his true heart. He plainly said to me that the problems in Africa could be solved by having the black people start in the middle of the continent, and while moving towards the coasts…kill all the white people they see. He was serious. It made me wonder what thoughts hide beneath the surface of other black people I thought were my friends.

  • hankazoid01

    Northern racism is a myth?

  • hankazoid01

    That’s not part of the official definition. Our laws have been made so that they apply differently depending on race, ethnicity, religion, sex, sexual preference, nationality, etc. you know, all of those things that the law won’t allow its citizens to consider.

  • PR_Ohio

    Unfortunately, I too in my over 50 years have experienced similar “revelations” with many black friends and acquaintances. I have to say that in my life I have only known a handful of blacks who I believe weren’t racists to their cores. Get a couple beers in your black neighbors and often you will often get a true glimpse of how they really feel about you simply for being white.

    This is why so few blacks have a problem with so-called Rev Wright. Most think exactly the way he does, and I assure you, this is the way Obama really thinks too.

    But there are exceptions, I just wish there were more.