National Post (National Edition)



Walter E. Williams passed away on Dec. 1 of this year. The George Mason University economist leaves behind a trove of insights from his syndicated columns and books, which span decades. Williams' writings on race, economics, and liberty are especially valuable in light of heightened interest in racial inequality.

Williams' autobiogra­phy, Up from the Projects (2010), is a great place to start for those unfamiliar with his commentary or research.

He writes of the challenges he and other Black Americans faced in the mid-twentieth century, including Jim Crow segregatio­n and being drafted to serve in a racially divided U.S. military. Williams also shares the steps he took to challenge state-sponsored racism.

But, unlike the dominant narrative today, which suggests individual­s who experience discrimina­tion must adopt liberal political views, Up from the Projects details how Williams' experience­s led him to becoming a leading advocate for capitalism and American libertaria­nism.

He considers his life to be a shining example of why minimal government interferen­ce is important for true equality to be realized.

Williams considered himself to be a thinker who consistent­ly challenged the status quo, and his legacy attests to that.

His work reminds us that people of colour are not a monolith, the U.S. has a rich history of Black conservati­ve thought leadership, and free market economics may offer solutions to some problems faced by marginaliz­ed and impoverish­ed communitie­s.

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