Is Racism Responsible for Today’s Black Problems? by Walter E. Williams

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Photo by Zach Vessels on Unsplash

By Walter E. Williams, Townhall, July 29, 2020

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


Walter E. WilliamsI doubt whether any American would defend the police treatment of George Floyd that led to his death. But many Americans are supporting some of the responses to Floyd’s death — rioting, looting, wanton property destruction, assaults on police and other kinds of mayhem by both whites and blacks.

The pretense is that police conduct stands as the root of black problems. According to the NAACP, from 1882-1968, there were 3,446 black people lynched at the hands of whites. Today, being murdered by whites or policemen should be the least of black worries. In recent times, there is an average of 9,252 black-on-black murders every year. Over the past 35 years, that translates into nearly 324,000 blacks murdered at the hands of other blacks. Only a tiny percentage of blacks are killed by police. For example, in Chicago this year, there were 414 homicides, with a total of 2,078 people shot. So far in 2020, three people have been killed by police and four were shot. Manhattan Institute scholar Heather Mac Donald reports that “a police officer is 18 1/2 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer.” Crime is a major problem for many black communities, but how much of it can be attributed to causes such as institutional racism, systemic racism, and white privilege?  ….

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