This is a great way to start the week.
As a black pragmatist, and one who holds the feet of the ign't classes up to the fire because I have rejected the soft bigotry of low expectations, my belief in the wisdom of D.P. Moynihan (I like that abbreviation because the elder God is made to sound like a gangsta rapper) is unshaken. Moreover, I always double down on how Billy Cosby was right and correct in most of what he said about the self-destructive behaviors of the ghetto black underclass(es).
Nevertheless, I bristle when I see black conservatives such as Walter Williams and their related ilk. One, he can do better. But, Williams has figured out that simplistic explanations to complex problems pay great dividends. Two, he is a full time bootblack and lackey for the anti-black and brown New Right colorblind neo-liberal GOP. Thus, Walter Williams is utterly insincere in his analysis, as well as in the origins from which his critiques flow. To borrow from a previous post, black folks like Williams would easily rationalize owning their own kin and selling them down the river in the interest of profit maximization. Ugliness of that sort is timeless and consequently should not be a surprise.
Williams is not to be disregarded. Structures matter: but he denies them. A strong case can be made for the very same macro-level forces contributing to white poverty. Yet, Williams overlooks them. In total, simplistic explanations about the economy and labor market trump nuanced understandings about socio-political reality and how individuals negotiate truncated life chances.
Walter E. Williams' explanations and his libertarian yearnings about the role of the State in destroying black families is as much truth as it is a fiction. There, lies are mixed with truth. In the Right-wing echo chamber of self-fulfilling memes and mantras, that combination is a toxic mix which is hard to overcome. But there is a vulnerability: like the exhaust port on the Death Star, the naked pandering of black conservatives and libertarians is easily exposed and thus made an easy target. The challenge then is learning to trust the Force as we place a well placed proton torpedo deep into the heart of their shaky arguments.
Truths mixed with lies are tough pool my friends. They always have been. They always will. And that is not going to change any time soon. The solution: never expect the liar to be anything but what his or her essential nature dictates: