Juan Williams: Honesty & Insight

by on August 21st, 2006

So, it is, in fact, a matter of values. In a remarkably honest and insightful editorial, Juan Williams builds not only only Bill Cosby’s incisive criticism of the black culture, but actually hearkens back to Senator Patrick Moynihan’s research in the 1960s that provided strong evidence of aberrant cultural behavior in blacks.

Of course Messrs. Moynihan and Cosby were summarily pilloried for their temerity, and it will be fascinating to see whether Mr. Williams will suffer the same fate, or whether his would-be critics will finally be honest with themselves and thank him for his candor and principled approach to a refractory problem.

Those concerned with the plight of minorities, in particular blacks, can only be encouraged by Mr. Williams’ unyielding rhetoric and his insistence that traditional values in the form of postponing sexual intercourse until after marriage, of the strength of two-parent families, and of not succumbing to the culturally divisive coda that affords blacks a ready made excuse for failure.

Indeed, there is a fresh candor in Mr. Williams’ entreaty to his brethren to look inward when examining the painful shortfalls that have effectively consigned them to lives on the lower economic rungs and little hope of progress in the next generation. That they must see in their culture what amounts to a nihilistic indifference and noxious amorality and work to correct it.

But this is a legacy that will not be easily changed because there is such political capital invested in its perpetuation. Because if the Rev. Martin Luther King’s dream of a color blind society can be reached by blacks making self-interested decisions and resisting the powerful temptation to look to the government to redress their ills, many, perhaps most of which are self-inflicted, then the liberals will experience the horror of a collective power vacuum.

Unfortunately, that is what hangs in the political balance. Over the past few decades the sharp-edged black practitioners of ethnic invective who tirelessly sow ill will and distrust have found political pay-dirt in creating civic fissures among various minorities and whites. Theirs is a world where every person is racist and is a proxy for white oppression of the black, where every opportunity to truly bridge the gap is squandered for their craven exploitation of racial politics, which is nothing more than leveraging advantage in the public square.

If a majority of blacks can see in Mr. Williams’ dream the value of dropping their own prejudices about their inbred inability to succeed and look with fresh eyes at an America that is far more free of prejudice than it has ever been, and finally, recognize that success is a fairly simple matter of values and discipline, they will have advanced not only their own chances for a better life, but their children’s as well.

Americans across the entire political spectrum should thank Mr. Williams for his sincerity and courage because his message will not be uniformly received in the positive and heartfelt manner it was intended.

But it’s clearly a sign of progress when a liberal black with a major editorial voice in America sees through the political gauze and recognizes the truth for what it is–and prays that his fellow blacks will begin to recognize it as well.

Mella is Founder and Editor of ClearCommentary.com.

Philip Mella