The General Assembly's statement of regret for slavery means absolutely nothing to me.
If anything, it's nothing less than a cheap insult and capitulation of white delegates to
black hustlers. Possibly, the whites who voted in support of the declaration were
mau-maued into it or they felt guilt over our history of slavery. In any case, they should
know that their actions mean little in dealing with the day-to-day plight of many black
Virginians -- which has nothing to do with slavery.
The U.S. murder rate is 5.6 people per 100,000 of the population. In the Commonwealth
of Virginia's capital, Richmond, where the General Assembly meets, the murder rate is 43
people per 100,000 of the population, making Richmond the city with the third-highest
murder rate in the nation, according to a 2005 FBI report.
What about black education in Virginia? According to the National Assessment of
Educational Progress (NAEP), black education is a disgrace. In 2003, 51 percent of black
eighth-graders scored below basic; 49 percent at or above basic; of these, only 11
percent scored proficient. For black fourth-graders, the scores were 34, 66 and 13
In 2002 in reading, 38 percent of black eighth-graders scored below basic, with 62
percent at or above basic and 15 percent scoring proficient. For fourth-graders, the
scores were 53, 47 and 15 percent, respectively.
Below basic is the category the NAEP uses for students unable to display even partial
mastery of knowledge and skills fundamental for proficient work at their grade level.
Given this extreme academic incompetence, one shouldn't be surprised by the 2002
Virginia State Education Profile showing that the median combined SAT score for black
students is a disgraceful 848 out of 1600, 210 points below the white median, and the
white median is nothing to write home about.
The next time the Virginia General Assembly gets into an apologetic mood and wants to
pass another resolution aimed at its black citizens, here are my suggestions: The
Commonwealth of Virginia apologizes to its black citizens for not protecting them from
criminals who prey upon them and make their lives a daily nightmare. The Commonwealth
also apologizes for our government-sanctioned school system that delivers fraudulent
education, thereby consigning many of its black citizens to the bottom rungs of the
DR. WALTER WILLIAMS
...Regrets for Slavery
Both chambers of the Commonwealth of Virginia's
General Assembly passed a resolution saying
government-sanctioned slavery "ranks as the most
horrendous of all depredations of human rights and
violations of our founding ideals in our nation's history;
and . . . the abolition of slavery was followed by . . .
systematic discrimination, enforced segregation, and
other insidious institutions and practices toward
Americans of African descent that were rooted in racism,
racial bias, and racial misunderstanding." The General
Assembly also expressed regret for the "exploitation of
Isn't that nice? I agree that slavery was an
abomination, but I'm going to be even more
generous than Virginia's General Assembly. I
regret the murder of an estimated 61 million
people whom the former USSR executed,
slaughtered, starved, beat or tortured to death. I
also regret the Chinese government's slaughter
of 45 million Chinese; Hitler's slaughter of 6
million Jews; the Khmer Rouge's murder of 2
million Cambodians; the half a million Ugandans
murdered by Idi Amin's death squads; the million
Hutus and Tutsis murdered in Rwanda's
genocidal bloodbath; and slavery that still exists
in the Sudan and Mauritania.
All of these, and many more, are horrible
injustices at least as horrible as the slavery that
existed in the U.S. But after all the regrets and
apologies for injustices, what comes next? Let's
examine Virginia's statement of regret with an
eye toward what it might mean.
I can personally relate to the Virginia General
Assembly's declaration. My great-grandparents
were slaves in the Virginia cities of Chase City
and Newport News.
A released inmate walks out of
prison in Rwanda's capital Kigali
February 19, 2007. Rwanda on
Monday released 8,000 prisoners
accused of involvement in the
country's 1994 genocide,
prompting anger from survivors of
the slaughter who fear new ethnic
killings. REUTERS/Arthur Asiimwe
(RWANDA). (Used by permission)
|This GUEST eCOLUMN is
used by MyBestYears.com
with special permission
from Dr. Walter Williams.
Dr. Williams serves on
the faculty of George
Mason University as
John M. Olin
Economics and is the
author of More Liberty