William Julius Wilson Concepts

William Julius Wilson is a Professor of Social Policy at Harvard University, known for his public stance that favors turning America into a “welfare state”. In his books and public speeches, Wilson strives to explain the low socio-economic status of majority of Black Americans by the fact that they still remain the subjects of subtle racism, even though that such racism now has transformed its form from institutionalized to an economic one. In its turn, it betrays Professor as individual who simply strives to push Liberal agenda even further, while adopting posture of neutral observer.

Even though that Wilson claims his books “Declining Significance of Race”, ”The Truly Disadvantaged” and “When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor”, as such that contain an empirical data, which should provide readers with the insight on adoption of what social policies would correspond to creation of “truly fair” society in America, the truth is slightly different – Wilson’s books can hardly be referred to as such that posses any literary or ideological value, since their ideological premise is based on author’s wishful thinking and on his inability of admitting that the problem of racial tensions in America cannot be discussed simply as the reflection of “capitalist classism”. At the same time, reading Wilson’s books might come in handy within a context of conducting psychiatric research on the subject of Liberal “dreamers” existential inadequateness.

The main thesis of Wilson’s latest book is that it is namely the inability of Blacks in Chicago’s “hood” to find job, which eventually prompts them to adopt an anti-social mode of existence. Had the Blacks been given jobs, they would stop gang-raping White women, pushing drugs on the streets and relying on welfare checks as the solemn source of their income – the old Liberal song that refers to economic circumstances as the single factor behind people choosing in favor of socially productive or counter-productive behavior: “There is a new poverty in American metropolises that has consequences for a range of issues relating to the quality of life in urban areas, including race relations” (Wilson, p. 3).

Given the fact that author appears to be an individual that has absolutely no understanding of basics of evolutionary biology and the social applications of laws of thermo-dynamics, it is quite explainable why he seems to be genuinely puzzled over the fact that today the overwhelming majority of Blacks simply do not want to work, even though that in fifties, 80% of Black Americans used to be fully employed, although that they were receiving very low salaries. Wilson explains this by residents of Chicago’s ghetto being artificially deprived of opportunities to attain social prominence: “Despite being socially integrated, the residents in Chicago’s ghetto neighborhoods share a feeling that they have little informal control over their lives…

A primary reason for this is the absence of a strong organizational capacity or an institutional resource base that would provide an extra layer of social organization in their neighborhoods” (Wilson, p. 20). In other words, more “social workers” need to be hired, in order to try to instill Blacks with the sense of self-respect, which would eventually result in them deciding to get off their rear ends and to begin looking for job. “Underprivileged” Blacks should be encouraged to participate in “discussion groups”, where White “lefties” with pierced noses and lips would be telling them about their “ancient” culture, at the expense of taxpayers.

The policy of “affirmative action” needs to significantly expand its scope, with its ultimate goal becoming the elimination of academic testing in universities and colleges altogether, as “racially biased”, and turning these places of learning into kindergartens, where students should only be preoccupied with “celebration of diversity”, in time free from discussing how to fight world’s injustices. Thus, book’s thesis can hardly be thought of as such that contains new ideas, despite Wilson’s firm belief in the innovative essence of his approach to dealing with Blacks’ inability to break out of vicious circle of poverty.

During the course of research, Wilson largely relies on qualitative method of interviewing Chicago ghetto’s residents, with the obtained quantitative data serving as empirical foundation for conclusions, outlined at the end of the book. Author claims to have interviewed 2.500 respondents, most of whom explain their poverty by “racial prejudices”, on the part of their former employers, which they view as the single most important factor the prevented them from being employed on continuous basis. However, it would be wrong to refer to the methodology utilized by Wilson as such that fully substantiates the academic validity of his book.

There can be no doubt as to the fact that author was well aware of the conclusions; he was going to come up with, even prior the initial phase of his research taking place. Given author’s political affiliation with the “left”, it comes as no surprise that, despite the fact that Wilson claims his study to be spared of politically motivated ideological undertones, “When Work Disappears” appears to be fully dedicated to promotion of the idea that “race does not matter”, even though that the objective reality of living in “multicultural” America points out at something entirely opposite.

As we have stated earlier, book’s findings are meant to substantiate author’s stance on the matters of socio-political importance. Therefore, we cannot really refer to them as the product of an independent empirical study. We can say that in his book, Wilson’s goal was to explain the inability of Black residents of the “hood” to lead normal lives as such that relates to inefficiencies of social infrastructure rather then to these residents’ racial affiliation.

This is the reason why author comes up with a variety of explanations, in regards to the fact that generations of Blacks in ghetto often live like animals, while trying to stay as far as possible from discussing who these people are, in racial context of this word. The reason is simple – if one happens to spend some time exploring the relation between people’s ethnicity and their mode of existence, book’s conclusions will collapse like a stack of cards. Let us generalize Wilson’s findings and conclusions, so that we can reveal their metaphysical wrongness in the next part of this paper:

  1. Black Americans continue to be subjected to racism, although in more subtle “economic” form, which nevertheless, does not lessen its negative social impact. The inability to find job, on the part of ghetto’s residents, results in them being unable to provide their children with good education. In its turn, this leads to these kids deciding in favor to making quick money out on the street, when it is only the matter of time, before they end up in jail. Thus, the generational circle of poverty never ends.
  2. Living in ghetto, prevents majority of Black children from considering careers other then the career of drug dealer, because of the social environment that surrounds them from the time when they are born. Ghetto is not just part of the city where garbage is being freely dumped onto the street and where people smoke crack openly in front of the “projects” – it is a society within a society, with its own rules of social conduct, which do not relate to the mentality of White citizens. This is the reason why Blacks who were raised in ghetto often appear to be spiritually alienated from the rest of society: “Individuals in the inner-city ghetto can hardly avoid exposure to many kinds of recurrent and open ghetto-related behavior in the daily interactions and contacts with the people of their community. Through cultural transmission, individuals develop a cultural repertoire that includes discrete elements that are relevant to a variety of respective situations” (Wilson, p. 60).
  3. The realities of Globalization create economic preconditions for American manufactures to move their production lines to the countries of Third World. Given American Blacks’ traditional association with performing “blue collar” tasks, the fact that there are less and less jobs available in Chicago area (these jobs are being moved to China), Blacks are now having a hard time while looking for permanent employment.
  4. There is a Black racism, which is directed against Blacks. In his book, Wilson comes up with numerous examples of Black employers refusing to hire Black workers as “lazy” and “worthless”. Therefore, social workers must be entrusted with the mission of helping Blacks to get rid of racial prejudices, in regards to each other.

These findings bring Wilson to discussion of what needs to be done, in order to lessen ghetto’s Blacks racial secularization. Author’s conclusions, regarding the possible methods of reducing ghetto’s socio-economic tensions are as follows:

  1. Federal Government must increase minimum wages. This will allow employed ghetto’s Blacks not only to be able to afford paying for “rocks” and for child support, but will also encourage them to engage socially productive activities.
  2. Ghetto’s residents must be provided with the access to universal healthcare programs, regardless of whether they are paying taxes or not. This will allow them to derive more pleasure out of “celebrating diversity”, because they will be less likely to die from drug overdosing, during the course of the process.
  3. The Chicago’s inner city public transportation needs to expand its range of operations, which will allow ghetto’s Blacks to commute between city’s different parts more easily and to even benefit the residents of “White suburbia” with their presence. Somehow, author comes to conclusion that, once a Black person from ghetto is able to make its way to work on “loosers’ cruiser”, it will significantly increase such person’s sense of self-respect.
  4. The extensive network of job information centers must be established in ghetto’s areas, so that residents may be assisted, while looking for jobs. In its turn, this will require hiring additional hordes of social workers, psychologists, and “experts on racial relations”. Of course, author does not specify where the funds to finance his “projects” must come from, as it could have put Wilson in awkward situation, while confronting with ordinary working Americans out on the street.

One does not have to be a genius, in order to understand that Wilson’s suggestions can only be referred to as the mental product of a person, not overburdened with intelligence, at best. The main logical fallacy of author’s argumentation is that there was never a shortage of jobs in America, which is why people from all over the world are trying to make their way here, whether legally or illegally, so that they can begin working in sweat shops or start picking cotton for as little $3 an hour, while being entirely happy.

Black Americans’ tendency to slack off from work, whenever is possible, has been noticed since long time ago and it has nothing to do with “racial prejudices”, on the part of White people. In his book “Deep Souths : Delta, Piedmont, and Sea Island Society in the Age of Segregation”, William Harris provides us with numerous recorded accounts of drastic change in former Black slaves’ attitude to work, after they were being granted freedom: “Some of them (the freedmen) are working only half a day and some even less. I don’t think one does a really honest full day’s work… No negro will work if he can help it, and is quite satisfied just to scrape along doing an odd job here and there to earn money enough to buy a little food…Blacks would have to be forced to work; if left to themselves they become idle and useless, and never improve” (Harris, p. 15).

Despite the fact that such opinion can hardly be referred to as politically correct, it does not deprive it of its validity, because the essence of empirical observations of Black’s behaviour in 19th century corresponds to what we witness today.

Therefore, before deciding to write his latest book, Wilson should have tried to explain, at least to himself, why is it that native Africans were never able to evolve beyond the Stone Age, over the course of millennia? Why did not they have a written history, before European settlers had set their foot on “dark continent”? Why is it that after the end of White rule in Africa, African “nations” started to rapidly descend back into primeval savagery? The answer to this is very simple – Black race is at least 300.000 years behind the White race, in terms of evolutionary development. Such “racist” conclusion is actually backed up by an extensive scientific data, in fields of anthropology, biology, history, sociology and psychology.

We might not like this, but it does not change the fact that such data exists and is easily available, if one was only inclined to look for it. The fact is, Black race became fully “specialized” – that it, Blacks can only advance scientifically and culturally, for as long as they are able to maintain close contacts with representatives of leading race, just as pilot-fish, which became fully “specialized” sub-specie that cannot survive without being able to closely “socialize” with sharks.

Once they are being deprived of such contacts, it is only the matter of time, before Darwinian laws of evolution will reduce them to their “natural” status. Apparently, Wilson had never heard of Richard Lynn’s book “IQ and the Wealth of Nations”, which provides us with the clue as to why cannibalism in Africa is a common place occurrence even today. Not many people aware of the fact that citizens’ average IQ rate in Central African Republic, for example, equals 50, whereas American Whites who score lower then 60, during the course of IQ tests, are being declared as mentally deficient.

There can be no doubt that American Blacks are much smarter then their African brethrens; however, it does not change the fact that they continuously need to rely on White assistance, simply to be able to maintain their current living standards. At the time when Wilson was writing his book, Chicago’s industries were booming, with thousands of new jobs becoming available daily, yet author proved himself ignorant enough to call his creation – “When Work Disappears”. Therefore, we cannot consider even a single book’s argument seriously, as its very title actually misleads readers.

If “professor” happened to do some research on the subject of his “expertise”, it would become clear to him that the lack of employment opportunities can hardly be blamed for Blacks’ inability to act as productive members of society. Why do they need to work in the first place, given the fact that it is only the matter of time, before Whites will be forced to open up their wallets to pay the descendants of slaves for “historical injustice”?. Such politicians as Barak Obama now seriously discuss of whether $100.000 per one Black American might be an adequate sum as compensation for slavery. Blacks feel that their socio-political weight in this country grows – they can get away with murders, simply because the color of their skin (O.J. Simpson), they can beat up cops who happened to venture into the “hood”, they can enter universities, without being able to point at America on world’s map.

Therefore, the last thing they need is “job information centers”, where they can be helped to get a job as meat cutters or cotton pickers – Mexicans can do that. Unfortunately, Wilson’s academic credentials did not help him to realize this simple fact.


  1. Bloomfield, A. “”. 2003. Heretical. Web.
  2. Darwin, C. “”. 1995. Infidels. Web.
  3. Harris, W. 2001. “Deep Souths : Delta, Piedmont, and Sea Island Society in the Age of Segregation”. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
  4. Lynn, R. 2002. “IQ and the Wealth of Nations”. London: Praeger Publishers.
  5. Wilson, W. 1997. “When Work Disappears: The World of the New Urban Poor”. New York: Vintage.