Walter E. Williams

 The civil rights struggle is over, and it has been won. At one time, black Americans did not have the same constitutional protections as whites. Now, we do, because the civil rights struggle is over and won is not the same as saying that there are not major problems for a large segment of the black community. What it does say is that they're not civil rights problems, and to act as if they are leads to a serious misallocation of resources.

 Rotten education is a severe handicap to upward mobility, but is it a civil rights problem? Let's look at it. Washington, D.C. public schools, as well as many other big city schools, are little more than educational cesspools. Per student spending in Washington, D.C., is just about the highest in the nation. D.C.'s mayors have been black, and so have a large percentage of the city council, school principals, teachers and superintendents. Suggesting that racial discrimination plays any part in Washington, D.C.'s educational calamity is near madness and diverts attention away from possible solutions.

 Bill Cosby had the courage to speak out against individual irresponsibility. Surely those who profess to have the best interests of blacks at heart should be able to summon the courage to do so as well.


Walter E. Williams

Dr. Williams serves on the faculty of George Mason University as John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics and is the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
 
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