Black Wisdom Matters: Walter Williams – A Champion of Logical Reasoning

Acts 26:26 None of these things escapes the king’s attention, since it was not done in a corner…”

The apostle Paul had a very powerful approach to sharing the gospel – he used facts and evidence that people alive at that time could understand. He was a critical thinker and a skilled debater who was not intimidated by the “cancel culture” of his time, who at every turn worked to discredit his message.

We can see his approach in our verse this week, where he is being interrogated by King Agrippa on the truth claims of Christianity. He appeals to the king to look at the facts and the evidence, as “this thing (the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ) was not hidden (“done in a corner”), but in plain view for all to see.

This same skill in applying logical reasoning to pinpoint where we can improve the quality of life for black Americans is where Dr. Walter Williams excelled. Until his death in December 2020, Dr. Williams has served since 1980 on the faculty of George Mason University as Distinguished Professor of Economics.

He, along with other conservative black leaders, have taken on the progressive left’s claim that America is founded on slavery (1619 Project), that the biggest problem facing black America is racial discrimination (BLM), and racism is ingrained in white Americans (CRT). And these leaders have been demonstrating the fallacies in these progressive campaigns with the same approach the apostle Paul used in his evangelistic approach: facts, evidence and applying logical reasoning. Here is the logical reasoning of Dr. Williams.

“That the problems of today’s black Americans are a result of a legacy of slavery, racial discrimination and poverty is what academics and the civil rights establishment have taught. But as with so much of what is claimed by leftists, there is little evidence to support it” (2017 article ‘The Welfare State’s Legacy ‘).

Evidence #1: Police Conduct is NOT at the root of black problems. “According to the NAACP, from 1882-1968, there were 3,446 black people lynched by whites. In recent times, there is an average of 9,252 black-on-black murders every year! Only a tiny percentage of blacks are killed by police. For example, in Chicago this year, there were 414 homicides, with 2,078 people shot. So far in 2020, only 3 people have been killed by police and only 4 were shot“ (2020 article ‘Is racism responsible for today’s Black problems?’).

Evidence #2: The Legacy of Slavery is NOT the cause for the Disintegration of the Black Family. “Even during slavery, where marriage was forbidden, most black children lived in two-parent families. Professor Herbert G. Gutman’s research in “The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom 1750-1925″ found that in 3/4 of slave families, all the children had the same mother and father. In New York City in 1925, 85% of black households were two-parent. As Thomas Sowell reported: ‘Going back 100 years, when blacks were just one generation out of slavery, every census from 1890 to 1940 showed a higher percentage of black adults had married than whites’” (2020 article ‘Is racism responsible for today’s Black problems?’).

Evidence #3: Racial Discrimination is NOT a leading cause for poverty within the Black Community. “Black Americans have made the greatest gains, over the highest hurdles, in a short period of time, compared to any racial group in mankind’s history. What is the evidence? If one totaled up the earnings of black Americans and considered us as a separate nation with our own gross domestic product, we would rank among the 20 richest nations. The poverty rate among black husband-and-wife families has been in the single digits for more than two decades” (2017 article ‘Welfare State holding back Black Americans’).

Evidence #4: The Welfare State (1960’s) IS the leading cause for the Disintegration of the Black Family. “Even in the antebellum era, when slaves often were not permitted to wed, most black children lived with a biological mother and father. Up until the 1940’s, 75% to 85% of black children lived in 2-parent families. Today, over 70% of black children are born to single women. The Welfare State has done to black Americans what slavery could not do, what Jim Crow could not do, what the harshest racism could not do, and that is to destroy the black family” (W. Williams 1982 book, ‘The State Against Blacks’). Dr. Williams challenges us to look closely at the history of black America and realize that their historical achievements against such overwhelming odds were only possible because of: 1) the intellectual, moral and spiritual excellence of the 1960 Civil Rights movement, and 2) the greatness of America in which such achievements were even possible: “It speaks to the intestinal fortitude of a people. And nowhere else on the face of the earth would such progress be possible except in the United States of America.” Just as in Paul’s day, it is time we start examining the evidence and stop submitting to cancel culture.

The Evidence of Faith’s Substance – Article #455

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