Walter Williams column: The welfare state’s legacy
By Walter E. Williams Sep 24, 2017
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That the problems of today’s black Americans are a result of a legacy of slavery, racial discrimination and poverty has achieved an axiomatic status, thought to be self-evident and beyond question. This is what academics and the civil rights establishment have taught. But as with so much of what’s claimed by leftists, there is little evidence to support it.
The No. 1 problem among blacks is the effects stemming from a very weak family structure. Children from fatherless homes are likelier to drop out of high school, die by suicide, have behavioral disorders, join gangs, commit crimes and end up in prison. They are also likelier to live in poverty-stricken households.
But is the weak black family a legacy of slavery?
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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.
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The most damage done to black Americans is inflicted by those politicians, civil rights leaders and academics who assert that every problem confronting blacks is a result of a legacy of slavery and discrimination. That’s a vision that guarantees perpetuity for the problems.
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I’ve seen the “welfare state” as an outsider when someone near and dear to be became disabled due to an auto accident. The physical injury was horrific, but what was worse was what the “welfare state” did to her. It sapped her work ethic.
Always a very hard worker, she began to get a “disability check” from the “welfare state”. She referred to it as “her money”. She didn’t recognize that it was just enough to starve on. She also got the EBT of food stamps; not recognizing it wasn’t enough for a month. Finally, when the lights began to dawn, she has to date resisted work because she’d lose — or at least diminish — “her check”. So, up close and personal, I saw the corrosive effect of “welfare”.
I know two others who are on the real “dole” — I refer to Social Security Retirement as being on the “dole” even though it’s just stealing back what was stolen in the first place — and the one seeks extra money from the underground economy and the lottery. The other sponges off family and talks silliness about getting more “benefits” to save and go to Disneyworld.
I just shake my head at the poverty that they are all in and are being condemned to. I’m not sure there is ANY hope.
And as fat old white guy injineer, I know I can’t solve the problem. Frustrating!
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