NEW YORK – Juan Williams is a black man, and is generally considered a liberal Democrat.
But he’s not afraid to break ranks with other liberals when it comes to the importance of education for minority children, and how some current leaders of the black community are scapegoating and avoiding real solutions to pressing problems.
In a recent column, author Gary Gross noted some strong statements Williams recently made regarding education, the state of the black community and his opinions about several radical black leaders.
Williams is a member of Education Action Group’s Board of Directors. EAGnews is a subsidiary of Education Action Group.
Gross starts by quoting Williams’ statement from a recent segment of “The Five,” a daily Fox News Channel program.
“Two of the worst: civil rights activist and MSNBC host Al Sharpton and Georgetown University Professor Michael Eric Dyson. Their goal: demonize white people, especially conservatives like Bill O’Reilly, so they don’t have to deal with the real problems that continue to plague the black community. Making an older, conservative white guy like O’Reilly a boogie man is easy for these hustlers.
“But do they ever confront the real problems and threats in the black community? No. High murder rates? How about that? What about high dropout rates? What about the breakdown of the family?”
Gross goes on to quote Williams’ response when a co-host of The Five asked him what can be done to address problems in the black community.
“For me, it’s education. I grew up as a poor kid. If it wasn’t for education, I wouldn’t be anywhere so, in other words, I had a tiger mom who said ‘you’re gonna get good grades, you’re gonna stay in school, you’re gonna work, and not only that, you’re gonna achieve. You’re not just gonna hang in there. You’re going to achieve.’
“So if we’re serious about this, we go about taking on the unions, going at school reform, going at charter schools, going at vouchers …”
Gross then quotes a section of Williams’ book “Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America and What We Can Do About It.” Williams writes about what can happen when black families insist on securing a proper education for their children.
“The poverty rate for any black man or woman who follows that (education) formula is a mere 6.4 percent … In other words, by meeting those basic requirements black Americans can cut their chances of being poor by two-thirds … Even white American families have a higher poverty rate than black people who finished high school, got married, had children after 21 and worked for at least one week a year.”
There’s no doubt that Williams will face some harsh criticism for his comments, particularly from those on the political left who prefer the idea of black victimization to black empowerment through education and self-improvement.
But, to his credit, Williams doesn’t seem to care. He understands the obstacles facing the black community, and how they can only be removed by black people who are willing to push beyond the borders of poverty, take control of their lives and create a better future for their children.
Kudos to Williams for offering a dose of truth in an era when the hard truth is generally considered rude or racist.
By Steve Gunn at EAGnews.org