Walter Williams: Unique Public Intellectual
Professor Don Boudreaux speaks here of his late friend and colleague Walter Williams.
In this time of hyperventilation about race, Walter was perfectly calm and reasonable. Don recalls his proclamation of amnesty:
I, Walter E. Williams, declare complete and general amnesty and pardon to all persons of European descent, both for their own grievances and those of their ancestors, against my people.
Therefore, from this day forward, Americans of European descent can stand tall and proud knowing that they are guilt-free and therefore obligated not to act like fools in their dealings with Americans of African descent.
“This proclamation was not a shock stunt. Walter truly believed that much post-slavery black suffering was the direct result of well-meaning but economically illiterate white people trying to assuage their guilt by supporting affirmative action and other policies that unwittingly burden the majority of blacks from further harm. This proclamation combines soft shock with dry humor to do what Walter believed to be a vital point – a vital point, you know, ultimately not so much for the benefit of white people as for the benefit of black people.
Walter Williams would have been the perfect person to serve as a moderator for one of these “presidential debates,” as he could penetrate even the most confusing and evasive political rhetoric.
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