Black professors make more than white professors. That’s because we are in demand. I’ll tell you, give me two blacks in institutions of higher learning, one has a Ph.D. from an elite institution and has a certain publication record. You give me a white scholar with the same credentials, and I will take that black scholar.
I maintain that the period during the first half of the 1990s, the period in which rising inequality reached its peak, was a period in which we came very, very close to a demagogic immobilization of racism in this society.
During the Great Depression, African Americans were faced with problems that were not unlike those experienced by the most disadvantaged groups in society. The Great Depression had a leveling effect, and all groups really experienced hard times: poor whites, poor blacks.
Crime, family dissolution, welfare, and low levels of social organization are fundamentally a consequence of the disappearance of work.
My research clearly reveals that if we want to put inner-city workers to work immediately, we just can’t rely on the private sector. They don’t want to touch them; they don’t want to hire them.
Certain people are just saying, ‘Look, I’m a businessperson and I have to run a business effectively and I want people who are going to do the job, who have the training and the education and the personality traits – the soft skills.’
There are many positive things to say about the black community. No question about it.
A lot of joblessness in the black community doesn’t seem to be reachable through fiscal and monetary policies. People have not been drawn into the labor market even during periods of economic recovery.
The worst thing we could do is impose time limits and then expect people to sink or swim once they move off welfare.
Liberals were intimidated by the Reagan administration and did not want to appear naive by talking about programs that called for government support. I just said, ‘The hell with that. I’m out there.’