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Walter Williams
Walter E. Williams
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Racial Double Standards


Back in 2009, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said we were "a nation of cowards" on matters of race. Permit me to be brave and run a few assertions by you just to see whether we're on the same page. There should be two standards for civilized conduct: one for whites, which is higher, and another for blacks, which is lower. In other words, in the name of justice and fair play, blacks should not be held accountable to the same standards that whites are and should not be criticized for conduct that we'd deem disgusting and racist if said or done by whites.

You say, "Williams, what in the world are you talking about?" Mitt Romney hasn't revealed all of his fall campaign strategy yet, but what if he launched a "White Americans for Romney" movement in an effort to get out the white vote? If the Romney campaign did that, there'd be a media-led outcry across the land, with charges ranging from racial insensitivity to outright racism. When President Barack Obama announced his 2012 launch of "African Americans for Obama" (, the silence was deafening. Should the same standards be applied to Obama as would be applied to Romney? The answer turns out to be no, because Obama is not held to the same standards as Romney.

Liberals won't actually come out and say that criticism of Obama is in and of itself racist, but they come pretty close. Former President Jimmy Carter said that criticism of Obama shows that there is an "inherent feeling" in America that a black man should not be president. Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's "Hardball," said that critics of Obama are crackers. Morgan Freeman said that the campaign to see that Obama serves one term is a "racist thing." Former Obama czar Van Jones said that Romney's campaign sign "Obama Isn't Working" implies Obama is a "lazy, incompetent affirmative action baby."

Racial double standards also apply to how crime is reported.

I'm betting that if mobs of white youths were going about severely beating and robbing blacks at random and preying on black businesses, it would be major news. News anchors might open, "Tonight we report on the most recent wave of racist whites organizing unprovoked attacks on innocent black people and their businesses." If white thugs were actually doing that, politicians would be demanding answers. Such random attacks do happen, but it's blacks preying on whites.

On St. Patrick's Day in Baltimore, a 19-year-old white man was viciously attacked by a mob of black thugs. He broke loose, but a second mob of black thugs attacked him, taking all of his belongings. Baltimore County Delegate Pat McDonough demanded the governor send in the Maryland State Police to control "roving mobs of black youths" at Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and other activists demanded that McDonough apologize for talking about "black youth mobs."

Similar episodes of unprovoked violence by black thugs against white people chosen at random on beaches, in shopping malls and at other public places have occurred in Philadelphia, New York, Denver, Chicago, Cleveland, Washington, Los Angeles and other cities. Most of the time, the race of the attackers, euphemistically called flash mobs, is not reported, even though media leftists and their allies are experts in reporting racial disparities in prison sentencing and the alleged injustice of the criminal justice system.

Racial double standards are not restricted to the political arena and crime reporting; we see it on college campuses and in the workplace. Black people ought to be offended by the idea that we are held accountable to lower standards of conduct and achievement. White people ought to be ashamed for permitting and fostering racial double standards that have effects that are in some ways worse than the cruel racism of yesteryear.

Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. To find out more about Walter E. Williams and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



19 Comments | Post Comment
Holder has no authority to call anyone a coward after his disgraceful, and cowardly behavior at the Fast and Furious hearings. He is nothing more than a lying slezeball.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Chris McCoy
Mon Jun 18, 2012 9:31 AM
Sir;... Mr. Holder was absolutely correct... You almost have to be black to dare talk about race, and an actual idiot to try to correlate race to any facet of behavior...Our differences are cultural; but they are also huge... If I were to say the Irish drink, I might get away with it as part Irish... If I note that Irish drink and Native Americans drink, and that both are defeated peoples bearing a particular grudge which is more easily nursed with medicine than resolved by social dialogue, you may get my drift...
People would rather drink than climb unaided out of the hole history has dug for them, and yet people very often do climb out only to abuse and accuse those who cannot climb out... A lot of people want to be some one the isn't only because being who they is is not very easy... If they were to take their social responsibility as a human seriously, they would help their brother who ever he was...You see many who are black, for example, trying to reach, and educate their own, and seek justice for them, and simple unjudging help...
I would not, for example, try to tell any black person, even if I were black what it means to them to be black in a white world...It must be rough, but what ever it is is for them to communicate...I do not know that the unpaid labor of generations has not marked them all culturally with a grievance... Moses led the Hebrews in the Desert for forty years, and I would bet more, until a whole generation had grown up without the memory of slavery, and as free people they conquered...We have had many black conquerors, people who have laid their lives on the line for this nation, and others who just did what whites did, acting responsibly, going to work, paying bills, raising children for not a great deal of respect, and about half the pay...Every time you ask them to work for nothing the reaction will be the same... You can ask people with pride, and honor, freedom and intelligence to work for nothing other than the chance to self improve... The same request to a black person is not an invitation to use a stepping stone, but to accept a mill stone around their neck...The history of slavery will be with black people until we can all be free... Their impediment as individuals is our impediment as a nation...
Writing this makes me remember a poem I once read of a man who all his life tried to deny his color, and pass for white only to have people say at his funeral that he was a credit to his race...Think Mr. Williams, of how many could say that about you...
Comment: #2
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:51 PM
Mr. Sweeney,
I would not consider to call Dr. Williams a credit to his race.
I would, however, consider Dr. Williams to be a credit to humanity.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Duane Helton
Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:29 PM
Re: Duane Helton;... Sir... Mr. Williams narrow view of morality; one where his property is too valuable to spare for a human life is one that puts him outside of all societies, and especially humanity... If I had the opportunity, I would ask such people as he, what meaning their own property would have if they were not alive to enjoy it, and if some one facing death should give his property any more meaning than he would dead...People give their lives to the accumulation of wealth, and very often demean and take from those who do not give wealth such value; but in the end, they may trade all for a few more moments of life only because they then realize that sans life, sans everything...
Life is a moral form, a spiritual value no more easily defined than justice, or happiness, or God...People are quite correct to desire to live in the real world, with physical values, and material possessions... All their appreciation for their material goods rests upon the moral form of their life, but when it gets to one person putting the value of your life against the value of his possessions, there is no lower limit to the possible devaluation of human life, and such people never get that all their sequestering of material goods on one end of society results in devalued lives at the other end on a massive scale so that normally moral people would trade their liberty, or trade your life for a few moments of escape from their pain...
It would be great if all people could have as much as they wanted, but many people do not have the sense to only want what they need, and instead at the root of their want is the desire to own the spiritual value of life, and to deny the same to others, so that their need is not what they want at all, and having is only the power to deny to others their needs...
Sir;...In its proper context and use of the word, you cannot speak of individual existence... People live, but societies and humanity exist... Life is too short and cruel to call it existence, but on the other hand we can easily see that some societies teminated their existences to have power or material goods in the hands of the few...We call America rich, when increasingly rich is what a few Americans are, and poor is what the rest of us are, and such a condition will not last, but divides societies until they break...
It is the support of moral forms for social forms like property that make possible their enjoyment... Just as Mr. Williams says it is immoral to take his property to save a life, he is relying upon the moral form of justice to protect what he has himself laid aside for his exclusive use...If he had to defend that property personally, or pay for its defense he might well find the cost extreme, and even impossible... If he actually had to risk his life for it, he might find he could live better without it...As long as he can invoke a moral form in general morality to defend his catch, he does not have to get his hands dirty, or cause actual injury...Everybody who defends his property by the support of law, and the support of our military based upon the moral forms of justice and love of country who does not enjoy justice, or own any of the country must some day consider how much of their lives they will devote to the support of moral values that they see no meaning in...
The rich let others defend their rights and defend their property and think the poor should pay for the privilage of doing so...Is this any different from what the Romans did along with many other societies??? If society is held together with shared feelings for each other, then Mr. Williams and many of our rich have put themselves outside of society when they throw the value of individual lives on the scale against the value of their wealth... Value is meaning, and so is life meaning; all meaning, -and what means, must also support life... If they expect property to have the same meaning to all of us; all of us need some, because just as it supports their lives, it supports all life...
The commonwealth has to stay with the common people, and taxes are the best and fairest way to accomplish the end of returning what belongs to the people to the people...What adds to the life of the people leads to the existence of society...When property become private it is at the expense of the commonwealth, and compared to the lives given daily to property or in pursuit of it, property seems great and life seems small, but the lives taken for property are the life of society which we should all defend as the ultimate meaning, for that is moral...
Comment: #4
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Tue Jun 19, 2012 2:33 AM
Sweeney, some of your comments are brilliant. Seems you've tapped into a lot of truths, pity so few will read or even comprehend the vast amount of truth you present. Very few can be called GURU, you can. I read your comments and think "Sweeney....gee, you are you". I also wonder if these dolts can't figure you out, how do they read the Bible or any 'holy' books and understand them? Then I remember, they dumbed everything down in 'new english'. What's really funny is the dolts are trying to dumb you down, when you refuse, they throw rocks & crucify you with their words. So how is this different than 2K years ago?
Comment: #5
Posted by: liz
Wed Jun 20, 2012 8:58 AM
I think Walter Williams would be a good President even though he is not 50%-white, 42.75%- arab and only 6.25%-black like obama. I don't care if obama is green with blue stripes and purple polka-dots, his ideas are marxist/muzzlum/traitor.
Comment: #6
Posted by: David Henricks
Wed Jun 20, 2012 5:01 PM
Re: David Henricks;...Sir,.. I have studied marxism and leninism, and though I do not follow isms, you are not even close... Mr. Obama does not have any similarity to a marxist or a Muslim... He is just some guy trying to preserve your economy so it can damage our society even more than it already has...
Comment: #7
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:21 PM
Re: liz... I would rather be called a smoothie... When its hot people like smoothies...
Many thanks...
Comment: #8
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:23 PM
Re: liz... I can't worry about those folks... First, they are right, and I am long winded, but you can measure the acceptence of any idea or piece of information by what it is likely to cost some one... They think my ideas will cost them something; but if they do, it will not be much, or anything they cannot afford...
Thanks..... Sweeney
Comment: #9
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Wed Jun 20, 2012 9:29 PM
Woody Allen said it best in Annie Hall when he wrote about a black housekeeper accused of stealing "They have a right to steal. They're an oppressed people."
Comment: #10
Posted by: Liam Astlel
Thu Jun 21, 2012 2:31 AM
Re: James A, Sweeney Marxism is the theory that capitalism is evil. Socialism is the practice of nationalizing businesses by government "for the benefit" of the masses. Communism is step 2 of the revolution where those in charge benefit and the masses wake up to find empty shelves.
Obama supports and submits to Moslems (and other tyrants) by bowing to them.
Obama, also, is a traitor (which you chose not to respond to) by by-passing Congress.
Comment: #11
Posted by: David Henricks
Thu Jun 21, 2012 4:37 AM
Re: Liam Astlel; it is certainly more civilized to steal something when everything has been stolen from you than to revolt, and physically attack those who ended up with your goods... As long as theft by the name of profits and fraud by the name of religion are legal it is proof to the poor that what ever they want is theirs for the taking...
It is not necessary to make a federal issue out of it,,, We don't have to strike the tents or rent a guillotine... Not everyone is equally oppressed, but our oppression and division is great enough to destroy us, and this it does one human being at a time... So if some one would rather thieve than fight back, they have my support... We are not all going to get to the point where we know nothing is going to keep the old monster alive. amd not all of us will get there at the same time... If you need to survive while you wait for the rest of the country to catch up with your condition, take something for me, and tell them I told you too....
Comment: #12
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Thu Jun 21, 2012 10:08 PM
Did I miss the part where you said that Reagan was also a traitor for by-passing congress (and the law of the land) with his Iran-contra mess? That G W Bush was also a traitor when he made the same congress-bypassing unilateral declaration for Liberian refugees that Obama just made for kids of illegals? Or does your definition of traitor also include the provision that, to be traitorous, the act in question must also be committed by a member of the party that you don't like?
Obama is a middle of the road centrist who favors government solutions to some problems that others think should be handled privately. He is far from perfect and reasonable folks could rationally conclude that he should not get another 4 years on the job. However, making him out to be the anti-Christ does not help in sorting out the issues.
Comment: #13
Posted by: Mark
Thu Jun 21, 2012 11:16 PM
Re: Mark;... When did politics get to be about issues???... As far as I can tell, and because so many are represented by so few, we have politics being about personalities... No one can know these people... Even state representatives who should be representing a small number that they do know are representing huge districts deliberately divided to make certain many are forever denied representation... People present their version of themselves and others present a counter narrative, and both sides say it is about character, which in a classical sense would mean about Ethics, but now has only to do with fictional creations and counter creations...It would be clumsy... No doubt about it... But, people should be able to be represented by people who know them, live near them, and share their issues... No one can represent four people as well as two, and yet our representatives have went from representing 30K to representing 260K, and again dividing districts to make them safe and deny the other party a foot hold... It is there we see the power of money to expand upon the fiction created, of a monster left to tend the magic megalith of government...It is all nonsense... We have the technology to self govern... Why are we dealing with middle men??? Why do we have so few of them in proportion to the population when our need for good government has so grown??? If we abolutely have to have representative why can they not do the same in their own state governments at the same time??? The whole situation is ripe for influence and corruption...No wonder it does not work...
Thanks ...Sweeney
Comment: #14
Posted by: James A, Sweeney
Fri Jun 22, 2012 8:22 AM
We may have the technology to self govern, but I doubt the average Joe has the interest and time to invest to make informed decisions on the minutia of governance. If you cut the time commitment by greatly limiting the choices, then those middle men who decide on the menu are still wielding the power. (When I tell my child "You have two choices. You can do X before going to bed or you can do Y before going to bed", my child is not getting a choice on the going to bed part.)
Comment: #15
Posted by: Mark
Fri Jun 22, 2012 9:51 AM
So Mark since the were Congressional hearing for Iran-Contra do you support Congressional hearings for Obama's illegal power grab from Congress or do hearings only apply when ipRepublicans are involved?
Comment: #16
Posted by: Thetruth
Sat Jun 23, 2012 6:13 PM
Sweeney is the classic guilt-filled, elitist, white liberal who feels so superior to black people that he can't conceive of a black person making a success of themselves on their own that he wants to give them special treatment and other people's money.
Comment: #17
Posted by: Thetruth
Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:27 AM
RE: Truthiness
I supported the Iran contra hearings because it was fairly obvious that laws were broken. If congress can find some modicum of a case that Obama broke the law, I am sure they will investigate. I do not know what that law would be and I am not an attorney, so I do not have a position on that matter. During the Bush administration, I supported his claim of executive privilege on the issue of demands that he release the names of everybody he and his veep met to discuss energy policy. I was quite certain that the info would be very revealing of his evil doing, but, if the president can't get private, candid advise, he can't do his job. The ballot box is the place to correct the problem.
I'm glad to see that you hold an open mind when you read Sweeney's heartfelt, if a bit longish, missives. Many right wingers would resort to ad-hominid attacks responding to them.
Comment: #18
Posted by: Mark
Sun Jun 24, 2012 5:42 PM
Mark, you haven't seen any laws being potentially broken? More than 200 people are dead because someone allowed American guns to go untracked into Mexico. There could only be one purpose, which was to benefit the liberal stance on gun control and you can't see a potential crime that deserves looking into? Try taking off your liberal blinders for once.
Comment: #19
Posted by: Thetruth
Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:16 PM
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