Who's Responsible for Black Poverty? "Here are my several two-part questions: Is having babies without the benefit of marriage a bad decision, and is doing so likely to affect income? Are dropping out of school and participating in criminal activity bad decisions, and are they likely to have an effect on income? Finally, do people have free will and the capacity to make decisions, or is their behavior a result of instincts over which they have no control? As a black person, I'm glad that the message taught to so many of today's black youths wasn't taught back in the 1930s, '40s and '50s, when the civil rights struggle was getting into gear. The admonishment that I frequently heard from black adults was, "Be a credit to your race." Poverty Nonsense by Walter E. Williams Walter E. Williams is the John M. Olin distinguished professor of economics at George Mason University, and a nationally syndicated columnist.