Walter E. Williams

The late South African economist William Hutt, in his 1964 book, "The Economics of the Colour Bar," said that one of the supreme tragedies of the human condition is that those who have been the victims of injustices and oppression "can often be observed to be inflicting not dissimilar injustices upon other races."

Born in 1936, I've lived through some of our openly racist history, which has included racist insults, beatings and lynchings. Tuskegee Institute records show that between the years 1880 and 1951, 3,437 blacks and 1,293 whites were lynched. I recall my cousin's and my being chased out of Fishtown and Grays Ferry, two predominantly Irish Philadelphia neighborhoods, in the 1940s, not stopping until we reached a predominantly black North or South Philly neighborhood.

Today all that has changed. Most racist assaults are committed by blacks. What's worse is there're blacks, still alive, who lived through the times of lynching, Jim Crow laws and open racism who remain silent in the face of it.

Last year, four black Skidmore College students yelled racial slurs while they beat up a white man because he was dining with a black man. Skidmore College's first response was to offer counseling to one of the black students charged with the crime. In 2009, a black Columbia University professor assaulted a white woman during a heated argument about race relations. According to interviews and court records obtained and reported by Denver's ABC affiliate (12/4/2009), black gangs roamed downtown Denver verbally venting their hatred for white victims before assaulting and robbing them during a two-month crime wave. Earlier this year, four black girls beat a white girl at a McDonald's, and the victim suffered a seizure. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel ordered an emergency shutdown of the beaches in Chicago because mobs of blacks were terrorizing families. According to the NBC affiliate there (6/8/2011), a gang of black teens stormed a city bus, attacked white victims and ran off with their belongings.


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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