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Walter Williams: An Unlikely Proponent of Secession | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on January 7, 2021

In politics, might often makes right, as evidenced by the Union’s military victory, which apparently settled the secession question at the time. Williams lamented this new precedent that the federal government established:

Because states cannot secede, the federal government can run roughshod over the U.S. Constitution’s limitations of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. States have little or no response.

https://mises.org/wire/walter-williams-unlikely-proponent-secession

José Niño

There’s no disputing the void that has been left behind since economist Walter Williams passed away in December. Williams had a remarkable ability to convey free market economic concepts in a way the masses could easily digest. Big shoes to fill indeed.

Walter Williams’s Sympathy toward Secession

One overlooked aspect of Williams’s work was his sympathy for the strategy of secession. It may surprise some of us that an African American could even support such an idea. The commonly touted narrative on secession, after all, is that only supporters of the secessionist old Confederacy would even think about supporting secession today. Attempts to connect secession to racism and slavery are common.

But if there is one thing that Walter Williams showcased throughout his career, it is that he was no race hustler and never fell for cheap attempts at race baiting. He spoke the truth no matter how uncomfortable it made others feel. In multiple publications throughout his illustrious publishing career, Williams observed that secession didn’t just start with the Confederacy.

Secession is as American as apple pie. The nation’s very founding involved the thirteen colonies seceding from the British Empire. The radical decentralization embodied by the American Revolution is taken for granted by your typical court historian, but Williams had immense respect for this underappreciated part of American history.

Williams called attention to the fact that the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which brought an end to the American colonies’ war for independence, recognized that the colonies were “free, sovereign and independent states.” In a 2015 column, “Historical Ignorance,” Williams expanded on one of the key provisions that spelled out the sovereignty of the individual colonies:

The 1783 Treaty of Paris ended the war between the colonies and Great Britain. Its first article declared the 13 colonies “to be free, sovereign and independent states.” These 13 sovereign nations came together in 1787 as principals and created the federal government as their agent. Principals have always held the right to fire agents. In other words, states held a right to withdraw from the pact—secede.

During the ratification process of the US Constitution, states that were skeptical of the new constitution being put forward by the Federalist faction of the constitutional debate made it a point to include provisions in their ratification documents that outlined steps for withdrawal. They did so in the case that the federal government overstepped its constitutional boundaries. Williams detailed this in the same column:

In fact, the ratification documents of Virginia, New York, and Rhode Island explicitly said they held the right to resume powers delegated should the federal government become abusive of those powers. The Constitution never would have been ratified if states thought they could not regain their sovereignty—in a word, secede.

Even on the eve of the American Civil War, Northern politicians acknowledged that secession was a legal tactic states could use when they were dissatisfied with the federal government. Williams duly noted this:

Several months earlier, Reps. Daniel E. Sickles of New York, Thomas B. Florence of Pennsylvania and Otis S. Ferry of Connecticut proposed a constitutional amendment to prohibit secession. Here’s a question for the reader: Would there have been any point to offering these amendments if secession were already unconstitutional?

Williams observed that pro-Union politicians understood how secession was a legitimate right that states possessed at the time:

On the eve of the War of 1861, even unionist politicians saw secession as a right of states. Rep. Jacob M. Kunkel of Maryland said, “Any attempt to preserve the union between the states of this Confederacy by force would be impractical, and destructive of republican liberty.”

Why Secession Still Matters

In politics, might often makes right, as evidenced by the Union’s military victory, which apparently settled the secession question at the time. Williams lamented this new precedent that the federal government established:

Because states cannot secede, the federal government can run roughshod over the U.S. Constitution’s limitations of the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. States have little or no response.

That the North turned the South into rubble, however, does not invalidate the concept of secession. There is an innate desire among people worldwide to pursue self-determination. Historically, the push for self-governance has propelled frequent changes in borders and realignments in political territories. Even in the twenty-first century, continents from Europe to Africa are experiencing secessionist movements grow in strength year after year. Try as many central governments might, they cannot fully extinguish the human penchant for building separate jurisdictions that better reflect their values.

Williams on Local Resistance in Virginia

Williams was a true classical liberal in the mold of Lord Acton who not only understood the power of free markets but also of diffused powers, a nonnegotiable precondition for a market order to function. The late economist did not blurt out vacuous slogans about limited government but genuinely pushed the envelope on every issue that mattered, from public schooling to welfare to identity politics. Williams’s sympathy toward secession further reinforced the late economist’s willingness to buck conventional wisdom in politics.

For example, right before the Second Amendment sanctuary county drama kicked off in Virginia in 2020, Williams praised Virginia Second Amendment activists for their efforts to resist gun control attempts coming from Governor Ralph Northam’s office. Williams cited the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions—two political statements that argued that states have the authority and duty to judge the constitutionality of laws coming from the central government—as potential guides for Virginia Second Amendment activists to follow. Williams wanted his fellow Virginians to apply that logic to the state government as well. He believed that overzealous state governments could also be subject to resistance from local governing bodies. Although Northam and company were able to successfully ram some gun control through, Second Amendment sanctuary county efforts won’t be disappearing any time soon in Virginia and other blue states nationwide.

Let Us Remember Williams for His Radicalism

We should honor Williams at his most radical. Now is not the time to pine for the days of agreeable politics. In recent decades, the US has gone through radical political and cultural transformations that are making the country progressively ungovernable. Any kind of national election from here on out will be viewed as illegitimate by the losing side due to the perceived high stakes of these affairs. No longer do America’s partisan coalitions treat each other as respectable competitors, but rather as existential threats that must be vanquished at the ballot box. As America’s social fabric continues withering and polarization intensifies, it’s only a matter of time before this kind of tension turns violent. Author:

Contact José Niño

José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook or Twitter. Get his premium newsletter here.

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bionic mosquito: Malcolm X Was Right

Posted by M. C. on September 9, 2020

http://bionicmosquito.blogspot.com/2020/09/malcolm-x-was-right.html

Malcolm X Was Right

The worst enemy that the Negro have is this white man that runs around here drooling at the mouth professing to love Negros, and calling himself a liberal, and it is following these white liberals that has perpetuated problems that Negros have. If the Negro wasn’t taken, tricked, or deceived by the white liberal then Negros would get together and solve our own problems.

I grew up in a city that would be considered a large bedroom community of a much larger city. My hometown had a mixed population – mixed in total, but not so much by neighborhood; mixed, meaning, basically black and white. During my school years, our public school district began the program of forced integration via bussing, and I was sent to the other side of town along with some of my earlier classmates.

While reading an essay entitled “My Career as a White Police Officer,” by Daniel Vinyard, I thought: this was not my experience. What was his experience? Read the essay – every sort of nasty, brutish, and violent behavior you can imagine.

Of course, he is a cop and I was a school student – we were certainly not dealing with the same randomly selected population. At my school, yes there would be occasional fights – almost always black against black, occasionally females going at it but usually males. While Vinyard describes fights as always involving large groups of blacks, I don’t recall anything like this – just two people pissed off at each other for whatever reason.

Even with large groups gathered around to watch the fight, it wouldn’t turn into a riot. Unlike what Vinyard describes today, there were “rules”: third parties wouldn’t get involved, there were no weapons, there were no cheap shots when the fight was over. I don’t recall a stabbing or shooting at the school, and this was even before metal detectors and high security fences became standard; our campus was as open as could be.

In all of those years of forced integration (seven, in total), I only had meaningful trouble with a black individual once. He was looking over the shoulder of a friend of mine while my friend was opening his locker. The guy wanted to see the combination. I stepped in and stopped it. The guy didn’t like this and said he would come after us, which he did a couple of days later.

Upon receiving this threat, my friend no longer came to school – there was only about a week or two left in the school year – leaving me to deal with the problem. So much for whites watching out for each other. It got dealt with, and I was just a little worse for wear. Frankly, I had more trouble with those of my “tribe” who were recent immigrants than I did with any of the black students.

Yes, I attended an integrated school – but integrated almost only in name, although I had a few good friends who were black. During lunch, mostly the white kids hung out in one area, and the black kids in another. Rarely was there any trouble between the groups. I would attend many of the high school football and basketball games. Large crowds, no trouble.

I had a few friends who lived on the other side of town. I never had a problem visiting, not even at night. Sure, there were neighborhoods that no one wanted to go to – especially after dark. I am just saying that this wasn’t true everywhere. I remember even walking home from school a few times without a concern and without an issue – several miles, at least half of which were through predominantly black neighborhoods.

As an aside, and not correlated to race in any way that I can remember: there was a large field between the main campus and the student parking lot. By the time you got to your car, you were quite high from the fumes…. Just like at the best rock concerts of the time! Our sense of smell offers some of the best memories in life.

I had a job after school. Also, at work, I had a couple of good friends who were black – good guys, hardworking; nothing like what Vinyard describes. Again, I know: we are dealing with different subsets, but still.

A couple of years ago I went to my high school reunion. I was talking to a classmate – a black woman who just retired from the police department of the same city where we grew up and went to school. I asked her about the schools: what has happened since the forced bussing began. Let’s just say it has been a disaster for the black community.

 

When bussing started, we had three private schools in town; today there are twenty. The schools are segregated again, now based on those who can afford to pay double for school: once through taxes and again through private tuition. And this, as you can imagine, primarily breaks down by race.

Now, those with money no longer care about the quality of the schools in the district. When I was young, and before bussing, this wasn’t the case. Yes, we went to the neighborhood school, but the district office had jurisdiction over all the schools. She described the hell-hole that is the public schools now. Again, nothing at all like my experience from my high school years.

I wouldn’t trade my high school experience for any other. However, given her description of the situation today, I wouldn’t wish today’s experience on my worst enemy.

I know this experience seems from another world, given what we see on the news every day. Yet, I am certain that my experience during that time in our history wasn’t unique or even rare. So, why am I offering such detail? What has changed, from the time of these experiences until today?

From “Why America Has Gone Mad,” by Jared Taylor:

Ever since Jamestown, we have groped for a solution to the terrible problem of trying to build a nation of different races. Could it not be clearer that the attempt has failed?

We were one of the earlier high school classes to go through forced bussing. This was not terribly long after LBJ’s Great Society programs, which brings me back to the quote by Malcolm X. If one can say – as Taylor does – that the attempt has failed, it has only failed due to the efforts of white liberals, and it is white liberals who are driving the failure even today and it is white liberals who are stoking the flames of the divide.

Since the end of slavery in America, I think it is safe to say that slowly, but surely, progress was being made in this “attempt” of building a nation of different races in America. No, not uninterrupted progress, and no, not always peaceful; there were always setbacks: for example, Charles Burris recently commented on the Tulsa Race Massacre, a horrendous episode.

But blacks were moving into the middle class, black business owners were on the increase, black families were intact, there were schools for blacks that ranked with some of the finest in the country.

White liberals felt none of this was moving fast enough, or they felt that pandering to blacks would gain more votes. Every line of black progress on every measure takes a bend for the worse starting in the mid-1960s, and it is tied to the government programs enacted by white liberals. For example, from Walter Williams:

According to the 1938 Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, that year only 11 percent of black children were born to unwed mothers. As late as 1950, female-headed households constituted only 18 percent of the black population. Today it’s close to 70 percent. In much earlier times, during the late 1800s, there were only slight differences between the black family structure and those of other ethnic groups. In New York City in 1925, 85 percent of kin-related black households were two-parent households.

Exacerbating this situation was the purposely destructive weaponizing of Cultural Marxism and Critical Race Theory, taught at universities and in school districts across the country, all run by – you guessed it – white liberals.

Malcolm X wasn’t one sided on this. He also knew that white conservatives were a threat – but at least they didn’t pretend. His main point, as I take it: if left alone, blacks can solve their own problems. And, until the 1960s and despite still suffering under many troubling yokes, the track record would support his contention.

Sixty years of purposeful cultural destruction, driven by white liberals, has taken its toll.

Conclusion

No, I don’t have the black experience. Maybe I should just shut up. But I am guessing that I have more of the black experience than most of the white liberals who are doing all of the damage or who are virtue-signal posting BLM signs on their front lawns. In any case, there is no hope for justice, peace, or progress if we cannot speak openly on such matters.

Today, the loudest mouthpieces on these issues – both white and black mouthpieces – scream about what white people must do to solve black problems. Malcolm X offered the opposite message: that the place to start is for white liberals to stop “helping” the black community and for leadership in the black community to focus on the problems and solutions within the black community.

Apparently LeBron James is reading The Autobiography of Malcom X; let’s hope he understands the message. His is one voice that can bring some peace, if he chooses to do so.

I will suggest that another place to start is to string up the white liberals in the town square – actually, let’s start here first. If reparations are necessary to right this wrong, this is a good place to start – an eye for an eye, so to speak.

Epilogue

The passage from Malcolm X begins with the following, which I did not include above: “The white liberal is the worst enemy to America….”

He is right on this point as well. It isn’t an America of more than one race that cannot work; it is an America divided by drastically different values that is the problem. America doesn’t have a racial divide; it has a values divide.

I have been harmed far more by white people in this country who hold to radical liberal and neocon values than by black people.

Posted by bionic mosquito

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The School Shootings That Weren’t

Posted by M. C. on August 30, 2018

The Education Department, asked for comment on our reporting, noted that it relies on school districts to provide accurate information in the survey responses and says it will update some of these data later this fall. But, officials added, the department has no plans to republish the existing publication….

The US department of education is a political organization just like any other.

The main concern is to keep the money flowing in, no matter how down US students fall with respect other countries. Justification for existence is paramount.

Obfuscation and ignorance is rampant judging from the article. Likely both intentional and because this is a typical inefficient/ineffective government organization.

It wasn’t always this way.

The United States was founded, formed and grew to international prominence and prestige without compulsory schooling and with virtually no government involvement in schooling. Before the advent of government-controlled schools, literacy was high (91-97% in the North, 81% in the South), private and community schools proliferated, and people cared about education and acted on their desire to learn and have their children learn.

Walter Williams has amassed a body of work on government schools.

https://www.npr.org/sections/ed/2018/08/27/640323347/the-school-shootings-that-werent

LA Johnson/NPR

How many times per year does a gun go off in an American school?

We should know. But we don’t.

This spring the U.S. Education Department reported that in the 2015-2016 school year, “nearly 240 schools … reported at least 1 incident involving a school-related shooting.” The number is far higher than most other estimates.

But NPR reached out to every one of those schools repeatedly over the course of three months and found that more than two-thirds of these reported incidents never happened. Child Trends, a nonpartisan nonprofit research organization, assisted NPR in analyzing data from the government’s Civil Rights Data Collection.

We were able to confirm just 11 reported incidents, either directly with schools or through media reports. Read the rest of this entry »

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Universities Cave to Snowflakes – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on January 25, 2017

https://lewrockwell.com/2017/01/walter-e-williams/universities-cave-snowflakes/

Walter Williams tells us a few universities to avoid.

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