Black Professor Says Welfare, Not Slavery, 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 a column he wrote for The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Professor Williams

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.

  • Yes, Dr. Williams is partially correct, but like many economists looking for a paycheck, he is not all that interested in evaluating cause/effect going back to the dawn of time. Correct: slavery, et al, is not truly the cause of 85% of American blacks being pathetic losers today. But neither is welfare! The root cause (the cause that is most crucial NOT to repeat) is the importation and integration of savage cultures USA in the first place. Had we not done that, the USA would be flourishing. So Dr. Williams missed the larger issue (like he does with his superficial dismissal of tariff tax systems): importation of savages is BAD. Enslaving them…freeing them…mitigating their drain on resources? Those are all just predicates to this primary error. Birds of a feather, Dr. Williams. It’s really not that hard to figure out!

  • Professor Williams is correct. The worst possible thing the racist Democrat President Lyndon Johnson ever did was to start the “War on Poverty” back in 1965. Ever since then it’s been all downhill for the black man and woman.

  • Walter Williams is a smart honest man and I have followed him for quite a while. But imagine that a black man blames welfare and not slavery. If he hasn’t already been labeled a Uncle Tom, I’m sure he soon will be. This free stuff attitude is nothing more then a tactic to keep a permanent underclass. They are starting to do this with the illegal immigrants.