By Walter Einenkel

June 2, 2023

Professor William Darity is known for his extensive work studying American economic history and advocating for Black reparations. As a Duke University Samuel DuBois Cook Distinguished Professor of Public Policy, he has also pushed for a robust federal job guarantee economic plan. This approach has found favor in the broader public over the past decade.

In May, Darity appeared as the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s 2023 Philip Gamble Memorial guest lecturer. His full lecture, titled “Does everyone lose from racism? Insights from stratification economics,” is worth the watch (down below). During the question and answer section of the lecture, a young man spewed what many would consider a right-wing, neo-libertarian talking point about Black “trends” of “higher crime rates” and “high illegitimacy rates” that would supersede any structural criticism of our country.

Professor Darity deftly dismantled this fact-free “propagandistic method” and asked what exactly “crime” meant to this young man, noting that if it means a “history of violence,” then there is “unquestionably” only one group of Americans who, far and away, have participated in general and racially focused violence at levels unmatched by other groups of Americans.