Black Professor Says It’s Welfare, Not Slavery, That Decimated US Black Families


“The undeniable truth is that neither slavery nor Jim Crow nor the harshest racism has decimated the black family the way the welfare state has,” said George Mason professor Walter Williams in his column for The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

There is little evidence to support the idea that slavery, racial discrimination and poverty caused the problems of today’s black Americans, the economics professor wrote.

The number one problem is the weak family structure:

In 1960, just 22 percent of black children were raised in single-parent families.

Fifty years later, more than 70 percent of black children were raised in single-parent families.

According to the 1938 Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, that year 11 percent of black children were born to unwed mothers. Today about 75 percent of black children are born to unwed mothers. That can’t be a legacy of slavery, it can’t be some delayed reaction.

As Professor Williams said, the bottom line is that the black family was stronger the first 100 years after slavery than during what will be the second 100 years.

All blacks were poor originally but now 30 percent are poor. Two-parent black families are rarely poor.

Only 8 percent of black married-couple families live in poverty. Among black families in which both the husband and wife work full time, the poverty rate is under 5 percent. Poverty in black families headed by single women is 37 percent.

It’s the welfare state that decimated the black family, he concludes.


  1. Facts … and the left will deny and avoid these forever, because it puts responsibility for their lives, on them. As it is in this life.

  2. The great Walter E. Williams. His rise to prominence was aided by none other than Rush Limbaugh. Yup. Rush would have Dr. Williams guest host on his show. He was terrific. Believe it was Walter who said, I’m paraphrasing, if he was at the highest level of the KKK he couldn’t have come up with a better way to ruin the Black Family than welfare.

  3. You got to hand it to the Dems: they created racism, fought against abolition, founded the KKK, fought against equal rights in the 60s. They then learned to enslave our people economically with welfare and keep us voting for them to keep the money coming, all the while convincing us that we are being oppressed by those that freed us. Brilliant…

    • Yes sad. The same thing has happened in the native American reservations. Gov. took over and the ability and desire to work collapsed. God said if a man will not work he will not eat. Men get their feeling of accomplishment from their job. All men need to work to have strong self worth. We need to retrain our youth!

  4. Then where are the stats on welfare in this article? It’s just a statement at the end. Typical conjecture which is applied for all other arguments on the right.

    • The article I read has “stats” in it. Not enough? I suggest you use your internet access to do a little of your own research. Seriously though, it’s an obvious connection.

      I will add that it’s humorous that you use the communist method of blaming and labeling others for what you are doing No facts, lies and propaganda.

  5. The Black family were the guinea pigs for the overall plan for the liberals to take control of America, you must nip it in the bud, destroy the family, destroy America, take a look around you, families are falling apart, emasculated males, empowered females, the left knows exactly what they are doing, if we don’t change this NOW, America will fall.

  6. Black families in the South after the Civil War were strong and took care of those who were not making it. The Aunts pitched in when a mother could not bring up kids. Then welfare struck and husbands became a financial liability an actual family was almost illegal when applying for any type of government assistance.

    The drug “free stuff” began to erode the family and led to what we have now. The continued use of this drug does not allow individuals to dig out of poverty and government “rules.” Democrats have taken advantage of this state of affairs to scare these individuals into voting for them with their dire stories of GOP cuts in welfare and poverty programs. Nice closed circle of mutual destruction.

  7. I saw it happen. Young black girls heard about getting money if you have a baby. That’s the beginning and end of the black family unit. I could write a book on what I saw happen. And YES the Dems created the enslavement. It’s buying the vote

    • Back in the 1960’s a friend was teaching in NY state when a female student informed her that she (student) did not need to learn that subject as she was going to have babies and the government would support her. Thanks LBJ for creating the dependent mentality.

  8. This is the real root of the problem, it’s not cops, it’s not racism, it’s not Trump or Republicans, it is, and has been this fact that i s the problem, now let’s fix that, let’s protest that….

  9. Williams and all of the posters here are delusional. Because you deny the existence of American racism doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist—it means you choose to acknowledge the reality. Captured Africans were made in to slaves and that slave labor drove the country’s early economy. Those slaves were stripped of their humanity and dignity and were seen as “property”. White slave owners benefited and became wealthy–denying black the most basic God given privileges. This was the Genesis if racism/white supremacy. With the “ending” of legal slavery came Jim Crow—which further denied blacks their human rights. (And we will talk about how white men systematically slaughtered Native American tribes to take the land–in another conversation). The legacy of slavery and Jim Crow are instrumental in the oppression that black people continue to face.

    • And what of the black slave owners? Are they given a free pass? What of the African Tribal Elders that owned slaves before the white man ever did? What of slave owners today?

    • Who said there’s no racism or injustice? It’s the Democrats who are responsible for slavery, Jim Crow, and the current divisiveness.

      • Nat, European Whites rarely captured Blacks, buying them from Black and Arab captors. Are you alleging that capturing people for slavery is fine as long as you don’t use them as slaves? When Jim Crow ended, as evil as it was, the Black families were largely intact. How did the end of Jim Crow laws cause the breakdown of Black families? Welfare regulations about able-bodied males being excluded is well documented.

    • Who was it that “captured” these Africans and enslaved them in the first place Nat? You are the one who is spreading the delusional narrative that the white European colonials were going into Africa and taking slaves by force.

      The truth is, it was Islamic Arabs and the stronger tribal leaders on Africa’s West coast who “captured”, and then enslaved Negros from the weaker African tribes.

      Did the white European colonials, and then white American plantation owners, unjustly benefit from the African slave trade? Yes, but so did a whole bunch of Africans and Muslims.

      The notion that white Europeans, and then White southern plantation owners, were the only culprits in the African slave trade is not a true historical reality.

    • Almost ALL of today’s whites are at least partially descended from immigrants who came here after the civil war, and never owned a slave. There were 35 million Americans in 1865, according to census records. At least 20 million immigrants arrived into the US after 1865 and between 1900, and many more immigrants after that time.

      It appears that I’m “pure” post 1865 immigrant stock. All my U.S. forebearers seem to have come to America after 1880 or so.

      Does that mean I don’t owe reparations for slavery? Silly question.

  10. In the 1960s my parents said, in our little town in Missouri, social workers were telling black couples to divorce but live together. That way they would get Aid to Dependant Children. This was the beginning of the break-up of the black families….the Great Society. And it was done by the democratic government.

  11. You do realize that humans caught for slaves were the weakest of the race? Just like animals that are hunted as Prey by the Predator, the slow, the weak, the young and old, the inexperienced, are taken out because in nature only the strong survive. Example, watch a Leopard going in for the kill on a herd and see who gets eaten. If your past ancestors were slaves you should be thankful that they were wanted as workers and not as food by Predators, otherwise you won’t be here. Bring on the hate for pointing out the obvious. PS, my ancestors never owned a slave.

  12. In 2014, Cliven Bundy was demonized for saying basically the same thing. Was it because he was a white man saying it or was he didn’t say it with eloquence that offended so many?
    — Follow Cliven Bundy American Patriot–

  13. And if this guy did not go out of his way to show and prove that he’s, “Not like those other blacks,” conservatives would assume that he too was just another typical black person. This guy is not promoting upward movement for the black community. He’s renting himself out to republicans so they can use this as a tool to scold blacks without looking racist. He says everything that they WISH they could say out loud, but are afraid to for fear of looking racist and losing their jobs. So…cue in as many black conservatives as possible to help us. Dumb! I’m a firm believer in the saying, you can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar. Learn to TALK to people. Not AT or ABOUT them. Create healthy dialogue. Ask questions and listen. But people don’t believe in doing that. Seriously…..I doubt if any NFL players are on welfare. So is this black guy and his talks of welfare supposed to inspire them to “act right and stay in their place?” It would help a lot if this guy provided resources to help the black people he’s talking about. People DON’T WANT to live on welfare. Some people know what they want to do. Some people have a vision. Problem is, they don’t have the resources to go about achieving their goals. Instead of exploiting them…try helping.

    • With all do respect, I’ve heard from many
      African Americans say this is a white mans world and a black man cant make it if people believe that it’s no wonder they live in poverty and government assistance especially if your children hear it all their lives

    • Joy N. Smith, your statements here are the most ignorant blather I have read in a long time. If you dont think blacks choose to live on Welfare you are ill informed! The choice to bear children out of wedlock is a choice. The choice to teach your children racism and hatred for whites is a choice. 40 million blacks in America and over 28 million blacks on welfare is not a choice? Dont be ridiculous.

  14. The limitations and the structure of the “Welfare” System , indeed, has/is playing a major role on the in decimating “black” families. But it’s just one of many systems. This structure of the “Welfare” system will not aid a family in need but it will give assistance to unwed or divorced women, particularly. So who set the system up like this and why? See, the article conveniently left out many details of the determent of the “Welfare” system.

  15. This professor just gave Caucasians a free pass and all but completely denied, all the institutionalized injustices implemented to the determent of “black” people. What a shame.

    • Oshaylinux, once again you blame the white community for all wrongs. You must stop teaching your children to hate the white man. In turn you need to accept responsibility for your own failings. Over 50% of crimes are committed by blacks that only make up 13.5% of the population. Single parent homes are the culprit. Poor parenting is the culprit.

      • Interesting, based on what you posted, what excuse does poor Caucasians have for their misfortunes? Why is it that people of color are sentenced more harshly for crimes equal to or less in some cases than Caucasians? Why it easier for the average Caucasians to get a bank loan than it is for an average people of color? Why do banks charge people of color higher interest rates on loans than Caucasians? See, i know you’re just as much a victim to this same system as people of color but you choice to believe the system is for you.

  16. In this article you claimed his column was in The Richmond Times-Dispatch. I can not find anywhere. Trying to prove a point. Could you send the link please.

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