Born in Philadelphia in 1936, Walter E. Williams holds a bachelor's degree in economics from California State University (1965) and a master's degree (1967) and doctorate (1972) in economics from the University of California at Los Angeles.
In 1980, he joined the faculty of George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., and is currently the John M. Olin Distinguished Professor of Economics. He has also served on the faculties of Los Angeles City College (1967-69), California State University (1967-1971) and Temple University (1973-1980). From 1963 to 1967, he was a group supervisor of juvenile delinquents for the Los Angeles County Probation Department.
More than 50 of his publications have appeared in scholarly journals such as Economic Inquiry, American Economic Review and Social Science Quarterly and popular publications such as Reader's Digest, The Wall Street Journal and Newsweek. He has made many TV and radio appearances on such programs as Milton Friedman's "Free to Choose," William F. Buckley's "Firing Line," "Face The Nation," "Nightline" and "Crossfire."
He is also the author of 'Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?' and 'Up from the Projects: An Autobiography.'
In 1981, he began writing his weekly column called "A Minority View" for Heritage Features Syndicate. And in 1991, he joined Creators Syndicate as part of its friendly takeover of Heritage Features.
Williams sits on many advisory boards, including the Review Board of Economics Studies for the National Science Foundation, the Research Foundation, the National Tax Limitation Committee, the Taxpayer's Foundation and the Hoover Institution.
The awards and honors Williams have received are many. These include the National Fellow at the Hoover Institute of War, Revolution, and Peace; the Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship; the National Service Award from the Institute for Socioeconomic Studies; and the George Washington Medal of Honor from the Valley Forge Freedom Foundation. In 1984-1985, he received the Faculty Member of the Year Award from the George Mason University Alumni. He is also a member of the American Economic Association, the Mont Pelerin Society and is a Distinguished Scholar of the Heritage Foundation.
Williams participates in many debates and conferences, is a frequent public speaker and often gives testimony before both houses of Congress.
As the new school year begins, you might like to be updated on some school happenings that will no doubt be repeated this academic year. After this update, I have some questions one might ask the black leadership.
Academics and public intellectuals, who should know better, attempt to explain the highly visible and publicized pathology witnessed in cities such as Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago, Ferguson and others as a legacy of slavery. The argument is made that the problems encountered by many black Americans are rooted in white racism, greed and income inequality. They are able to get away with these untruths because most people believe that what is seen today has always been. A bit of history would belie such a vision.
Many public primary and secondary schools are dangerous places. The Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics show that in 2012, there were about 749,200 violent assaults on students.
Here's my taxi question. If a person is law-abiding, has a driver's license, has a car or van that has passed safety inspection, and has adequate liability insurance, is there any consumer-oriented reason he should not be able to become a taxicab owner/operator?
Last week's column highlighted college campus absurdities and the ongoing attack on free speech and plain common sense. As parents gear up to fork over $20,000 to $60,000 for college tuition, they might benefit from knowing what greets their youngsters. Deceitful college officials, who visit high schools to recruit students and talk to parents, conceal the worst of their campus practices. Let's expose some of it.
George Orwell said, "There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them." If one wants to discover the truth of Orwell's statement, he need only step upon most college campuses.
A particular act or policy might not have a discriminatory intent, but that doesn't let you off the hook. If it has a disproportionately negative impact on so-called protected classes, it is said to have a disparate impact and risks being prohibited by law.
There have been several notable cases of racial fakery. Years ago, then-law professor Elizabeth "Fauxcahontas" Warren falsely claimed that her great-grandfather was Cherokee Indian. A diversity-starved Harvard University jumped at the opportunity to hire her. She was so good at the racial fakery that a 1997 Fordham Law Review article lauded now-Sen. Warren as Harvard Law School's "first woman of color."
We call the war of 1861 the Civil War. But is that right? A civil war is a struggle between two or more entities trying to take over the central government. Confederate President Jefferson Davis no more sought to take over Washington, D.C., than George Washington sought to take over London in 1776.
The victors of war write its history in order to cast themselves in the most favorable light. That explains the considerable historical ignorance about our war of 1861 and panic over the Confederate flag.
Even if white people were to become angels tomorrow, it would do nothing for the problems plaguing a large segment of the black community.
The nation's demagogues and constitutionally ignorant are using the Charleston, South Carolina, AME church shooting to attack the Second Amendment's "right of the people to keep and bear Arms."
Modernity permits liberties previously unknown or unrecognized. Today we're not held to reality.
A civilized society's first line of defense is not the law, police and courts but customs, traditions, rules of etiquette and moral values.
Some might conclude that such a statistic is evidence of hiring discrimination. That's a possibility, but we might ask what percentage of blacks met hiring qualifications on the civil service examination. Are there hundreds of blacks in Ferguson and elsewhere who achieve passing scores on civil service examinations who are then refused employment? There is no evidence suggesting an affirmative answer to that question.
President Barack Obama's stance, expressed in his 2014 State of the Union address, is that the debate is settled and climate change is a fact.
During the early years of the Reagan administration, a Washington news conference was held for me for my first book, "The State Against Blacks." Before making summary statements about the book, I offered the reporters assembled that they could treat me like a white person.
Hustlers and people with little understanding want us to believe that today's black problems are the continuing result of a legacy of slavery, poverty and racial discrimination.
Occasionally, I wonder whether I'm alone in some of my wonderings. Look at the claim that conservatives or Republicans have launched a war on women as a part of their overall mean-spirited agenda.
Before we examine the issue of police shootings of blacks, I would like to start the conversation with another question.