Walter E. Williams

That has changed with today's multiculturalism vision. Efforts to get minority groups to acculturate to the linguistic, dress and other norms of the larger society are seen negatively by multiculturalists as a form of cultural imperialism. Intellectuals and academics call for celebrating diversity. That means wearing one's trousers low enough to see one's butt, men wearing a head full of pigtails, and using poor language that's sometimes vulgar are part of the liberal's vision of "celebrating diversity." Then there's the "acting white" charge, when black youngsters who conduct themselves according to the norms of the larger society are criticized and often assaulted by their presumably "acting black" peers.

Sowell concludes that our nation is painting itself into a corner when it comes to thinking about racial problems. Whole cities, of which Detroit is a classic example, have been devastated physically, socially and economically by racial problems -- which cannot be discussed honestly by elected officials, people in the media or academics, who do not want to become pariahs or, even worse, lose their jobs. This moral paralysis is paid in blood -- mostly the blood of black people preyed upon by criminals, though in recent years, there have been violent mob attacks on white people in shopping malls, on beaches, on public transportation vehicles and in other public places. These attacks often go unreported, are minimized or are reported without detail, even though the attackers shouted their hatred for white people. The use of sufficient force to stop these attacks would be called "excessive" in the media and by politicians or "community leaders."

My own conclusion is that black people waged a successful civil rights struggle against gross discrimination. It's white and black liberals, intellectuals, academics and race hustlers who have created our greatest hurdle.


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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