Walter E. Williams

At one of last month's Congressional Black Caucus-sponsored "job fairs," Rep. Andre Carson, D-Ind., told the audience: "This is the effort that we're seeing of Jim Crow. Some of these folks in Congress right now would love to see us as second-class citizens. Some of them in Congress right now with this tea party movement would love to see you and me -- I'm sorry, Tamron -- hanging on a tree." Carson's reference to Tamron was acknowledgment of the presence of MSNBC's black reporter Tamron Hall, who didn't deem it fit to report the congressman's statement. Another black attacker of the tea party movement is Rep. Maxine Waters, who told her constituents: "This is a tough game. You can't be intimidated. You can't be frightened. And as far as I'm concerned, the tea party can go straight to hell." "Let us all remember who the real enemy is. And the real enemy is the tea party," reminded Rep. Frederica Wilson, D-Fla. The Rev. Jesse Jackson said the tea party should be called the "Fort Sumter tea party that sought to maintain states' rights and slavery." Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., in telling a job fair audience to register to vote, said, "Turn the tea party upside down!"

What about Hastings' call for blacks to register to vote? What has it meant? For several decades, blacks have held significant political power, in the form of being mayors and dominant forces on city councils in our major cities, including Philadelphia, Detroit, Washington, Memphis, Atlanta, Baltimore, New Orleans, Oakland, Newark, Cincinnati and many others. In most of these cities, blacks have served as school superintendents, school principals and chiefs of police. Plus, there's precedent setting black political power at the national level, with 39 black congressmen and a black president.

Here's my question: What would you think of someone who claimed that black political power has yielded great results? In these cities where blacks dominate the political machinery, black academic proficiency is on a par with the rest of the nation. Black families are more stable and illegitimacy and welfare dependency are much lower than they were when whites dominated the political machinery of these cities. Also, since blacks have replaced white mayors and city councils, black citizens are murdered less and are far safer on the streets and in their homes. Even more noticeable is the fall in unemployment, particularly since the nation elected a black president. You say, "Williams, anyone making such statements suffers from a special kind of lunacy and ought to be put into an insane asylum!"


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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