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The Underclass (Walter Williams)
Creators Syndicate ^ | July 2, 2012 | Walter E. Williams

Posted on 07/02/2012 9:27:49 AM PDT by jazusamo

Anthony Daniels, who writes under the pen name Theodore Dalrymple, is a retired prison doctor and psychiatrist who tells of his experiences with his patients in "Life at the Bottom." It's an insightful book of essays about the self-destructive behavior and attitudes of the underclass.

In one essay, "We Don't Want No Education," reprinted by City Journal (, Dalrymple says that he cannot recall meeting a 16-year-old from the public housing project near his hospital who could perform simple multiplication operations, such as nine times seven. One 17-year-old told him, "We didn't get that far." This was after 12 years of attending school. One of Dalrymple's patients took a drug overdose because of constant bullying from classmates. "She was stupid because she was clever." What her peers meant by that was anyone who worked hard and performed well at school was wasting his time when truancy and wandering downtown were deemed preferable. The underlying threat was: If you don't mend your ways and join us, we'll beat you up.

These weren't simply idle threats. Dalrymple says he's often met people in their 20s or 30s in his practice who gave up at school under such duress. Those who attend a school that has very high academic standards risk a beating if they venture into neighborhoods where the underclass live. He recalls treating two boys in the emergency room after they'd been beaten and two others who had taken overdoses for fear of being beaten at the hands of their neighbors.

Dalrymple says that most of the young people whom he's met in his practice cannot name a single writer and cannot recite a line of poetry. None of his young patients can give the dates of World War I, much less the second world war. Some patients never have heard of those wars, though one of his young patients who had heard of World War II thought it took place in the 18th century. In this atmosphere of total ignorance, Dalrymple says he was impressed that the young man had heard of the 18th century.

The education establishment aids and abets this state of gross ignorance. Dalrymple tells of one case in which the headmaster allows teachers to make only five corrections per piece of work, irrespective of the actual number of errors present. This is done so as not to damage student self-esteem. There are many other examples, but Dalrymple concludes that "it is extremely difficult to overturn these educational (or anti-educational) developments" because "teachers and the teachers of the teachers in the training colleges are deeply imbued with the kinds of educational ideas that have brought us to this pass."

The reader may have been misled, with my help, into thinking that "We Don't Want No Education" is about the black underclass, but it's about the white underclass in Britain. We can't use white racism and the legacy of slavery so frequently used to explain the black underclass to explain Britain's underclass. The welfare state and the harebrained ideas of the public education establishment are a far better explanation for the counterproductive and self-destructive attitudes and lifestyles of both underclasses.

A "legacy of slavery" surely cannot explain problems among blacks, unless we assume it skips whole generations. In my book "Race and Economics" (Hoover Press, 2011), I cite studies showing that in New York City in 1925, 85 percent of black households were two-parent households. In 1880 in Philadelphia, three-quarters of black families were composed of two parents and children. Nationally, in the late 1800s, percentages of two-parent families were 75.2 percent for blacks, 82.2 percent for Irish-Americans, 84.5 percent for German-Americans and 73.1 percent for native whites. Today just over 30 percent of black children enjoy two-parent families. Both during slavery and as late as 1920, a black teenage girl's raising a child without a man present was rare.

Dalrymple's evidence from Britain shows that the welfare state is an equal opportunity destroyer.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS: walterewilliams; walterwilliams; welfarestate; williams

1 posted on 07/02/2012 9:27:59 AM PDT by jazusamo
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To: jazusamo
Today just over 30 percent of black children enjoy two-parent families.

Any boy (white,black,brown,red,yellow,polka dot),in this country at least,who grows up without a father is almost certain to grow up to be a worthless parasite...if not worse.Much worse,in fact.

I've heard Bill Cosby and even Chris Rock say things pretty similar to what Professor Williams is saying.Of course Chris Rock's comments were phrased a little differently than those of Cosby,Williams and others.

2 posted on 07/02/2012 9:37:21 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Bill Ayers Was *Not* "Just Some Guy In The Neighborhood")
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To: jazusamo


3 posted on 07/02/2012 9:39:01 AM PDT by Sergio (An object at rest cannot be stopped! - The Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs at Midnight)
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To: Gay State Conservative

You’re absolutely right.

I’ve also heard Bill Cosby speak about this and Dr. Thomas Sowell has spoken of it often over the years.

4 posted on 07/02/2012 9:43:20 AM PDT by jazusamo ("Intellect is not wisdom" -- Thomas Sowell)
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To: Gay State Conservative

It’s difficult enough to raise a child in this world when both parents are trying their hardest, let alone when there is only one parent involved. Further, as this article alludes to, children who grow up without sufficient parental guidance and love can make life difficult for those who do. It’s more than ‘peer pressure’.

5 posted on 07/02/2012 9:49:24 AM PDT by pieceofthepuzzle
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To: jazusamo
Walter is correct, interesting and clever.

If you're stupid enough to carry a leftist progressive prejudice and play with a deck of 52 race cards, then he'll just let you walk right into it, and finish ya off with ease.

6 posted on 07/02/2012 9:49:27 AM PDT by Navy Patriot (Join the Democrats, it's not Fascism when WE do it, and the Constitution and law mean what WE say.)
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Please bump the Freepathon or click above and donate or become a monthly donor!

7 posted on 07/02/2012 9:49:37 AM PDT by jazusamo ("Intellect is not wisdom" -- Thomas Sowell)
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To: Gay State Conservative
It is much more difficult for a boy to become a man than for a girl to become a woman - not sexism, just a biological fact.

That is the reason that all earlier societies had elaborate coming of age rituals for boys - rituals that involved training, aspiration and commitment - before they were granted the title of adult male.

Women not only can't teach boys to be men, they undermine boys becoming men.

8 posted on 07/02/2012 9:57:01 AM PDT by Aevery_Freeman ("Hope and Change" is PolitiSpeak for "New and Improved")
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To: Gay State Conservative

The Great Society was a huge success.
Raised the black illegitimacy rate from 15 to 70%+

You can’t fix the school problem until you fix the society problem IMHO.

None of this is ever acknowledged by people like Baraq Obama and his corps of MSM cheerleaders.

9 posted on 07/02/2012 10:01:58 AM PDT by nascarnation
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To: jazusamo
Dr. Williams, in his usual pointed style of analysis, summarizes with the observation that "the welfare state is an equal-opportunity destroyer."

Earlier, in this article, there is a reference to the role of "teachers and teacher training" institutions. Many times, in looking at the problems with learning performance of children, observers overlook the role of the total bureaucracy, including the teacher training institutions, the "certifier" bureaucracies, the political bureaucracies, and the unions in destroying individual initiative.

All of what is happening today was predictable, however, when the education of youth was turned from parental and local community education to state and federal bureaucracies.

Anyone who speaks out against the Dept. of Education and all of the other multitudinous bureaucracies that control the propagandizing of children today in the name of "educating" them must be willing to be marginalized by the media and politicians.

Even as early as the Year 1886, such was the case. A man by the name of Zacharias Montgomery was denied an important post in government for doing just that. You will read some of his words below.

With that said, those who love liberty must be willing to come forward to declare that it is better to be remembered for standing on and articulating enduring principles of right versus wrong, liberty versus tyranny, than to be praised by the mainstream media and so-called "progressives."

I am reminded of the words of Zacharias Montgomery in his 1886 Book entitled "Poison Drops in the United States Senate . . . ." Although his treatise dealt primarily with the public school question, the following remarks might be helpful to those who, today, are concerned by what passes for "public education."

Excerpts from Zacharias Montgomery:

"My countrymen, disguise the fact as we may, there is in this country to-day, and in both the political Parties, an element which is ripe for a centralized despotism. There are men and corporations of vast wealth, whose iron grasp spans this whole continent, and who find it more difficult and more expensive to corrupt thirty odd State Legislatures than one Federal Congress. It was said of Nero of old that he wished the Roman people had but one head, so that he might cut it off at a single blow. And so it is with those moneyed kings who would rule this country through bribery, fraud, and intimidation.

"It is easy to see how, with all the powers of government centered at Washington in one Federal head, they could at a single stroke put an end to American liberty.

"But they well understand that before striking this blow the minds of the people must be prepared to receive it. And what surer or safer preparation could possibly be made than is now being made, by indoctrinating the minds of the rising generation with the idea that ours is already a consolidated government ; that the States of the Union have no sovereignty which is not subordinate to the will and pleasure of the Federal head, and that our Constitution is the mere creature of custom, and may therefore be legally altered or abolished by custom.

"Such are a few of the pernicious and poisonous doctrines which ten millions of American children are today drinking in with the very definitions of the words they are compelled to study. And yet the man who dares to utter a word of warning of the approaching danger is stigmatized as an enemy to education and unfit to be men tioned as a candidate for the humblest office.

"Be it so. Viewing this great question as I do, not for all the offices in the gift of the American people would I shrink from an open and candid avowal of my sentiments. If I have learned anything from the reading of history, it is that the man who, in violation of great principles, toils for temporary fame, purchases for himself either total oblivion or eternal infamy, while he who temporarily goes down battling for right principles always deserves, and generally secures, the gratitude of succeeding ages, and will carry with him the sustaining solace of a clean conscience, more precious than all the offices and honors in the gift of man.

"History tells us that Aristides was voted into banishment because he was just. Yet who would not a thousand times rather today be Aristides than be numbered amongst the proudest of his persecutors.

"Socrates, too, in violation of every principle of justice, was con demned to a dungeon and to death. Yet what name is more honored in history than his? And which of his unjust judges would not gladly, hide himself in the utter darkness of oblivion from the with ering scorn and contempt of all mankind ?

"From the noble example of Aristides and of Socrates let American statesmen learn wisdom, and from the undying infamy of their cow ardly time-serving persecutors let political demagogues of today take warning."

So said Zacharias Montgomery in 1886. Read his complete work at HERE.

Anyone who reads his complete volume, a work containing statistical analysis of that date, will realize this man's ability to see the consequences of what his fellow Americans were advocating in the area of education of youth.

10 posted on 07/02/2012 10:16:29 AM PDT by loveliberty2
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To: Aevery_Freeman; pieceofthepuzzle
Women not only can't teach boys to be men, they undermine boys becoming men.

In my original post I focused on boys for one reason.A boy who's "gone bad" usually causes more damage to those around him,and to society in general,than does a girl who's "gone bad".However,there can be no doubt that *all* kids brought up by only a mother *or* a father (or by two perverts) are damaged at least to *some* degree.I strongly believe that boys brought up only by a mother suffer the most damage and then,having grown up,*cause* the most damage.

11 posted on 07/02/2012 10:21:50 AM PDT by Gay State Conservative (Bill Ayers Was *Not* "Just Some Guy In The Neighborhood")
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To: Gay State Conservative


12 posted on 07/02/2012 1:49:57 PM PDT by publius911 (Formerly Publius 6961, formerly jennsdad)
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