Who are the real cow­ards, Mr. Holder?

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary -

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, the Mas­sachusetts In­sti­tute of Tech­nol­ogy, and Cal Berke­ley have, or have had, seg­re­gated dorms.

If white stu­dents de­manded whites-only grad­u­a­tion cer­e­monies or whites-only dorms, ad­min­is­tra­tors would have la- beled 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 Mr. 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 Mr. 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 would 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 Mr. Holder does any­thing about “vol­un­tary seg­re­ga­tion” at the state level I hope it’s not cour­tordered bus­ing; I’m not wild about their win­ters. Just be­cause some ac­tiv­ity is not racially in­te­grated does not mean 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 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 two­par­ent fam­i­lies. In 2005, while 13 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion, blacks com­mit­ted more than 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 fe­male­headed 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 and is a na­tion­ally syndicated colum­nist.

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