Walter Williams: Suffer No Fools

On the major social and political issues of our time, economist, author, and columnist Walter Williams is one of America’s most provocative thinkers. He is black, yet he opposes affirmative action. He believes that the Civil Rights Act was a major error, that the minimum wage actually creates unemployment, and that occupational and business licensure and industry regulation work against minorities and others in American business. Perhaps, most importantly, he has come to believe that it has been the welfare state that has done to black Americans what slavery could never do: destroy the black family.

Growing up as a target of racial discrimination, Walter Williams learned long ago to think with his head and not with his heart. That has made all the difference. Currently in post-production, this hour-long program documents the life and ideas of this remarkable American.

Walter Williams' story begins at the Richard Allen Homes, a housing project in North Philadelphia. We return to the projects, and to the public schools where Walter Williams' mother enrolled her two children and on which Walter has commented, "I’ve benefited from receiving all of my education before it became fashionable for white people to like black people. It was back then that I encountered a more honest assessment of my strengths and weaknesses."

It was in the 1960s that Williams realized, "Black people cannot make great progress until they understand the economic system." He was influenced by W.E.B, DuBois, and the Civil Rights Movement and embraced the works of philosopher/economists such as Frederick Bastiat, Friedrich A. Hayek, and Milton Friedman. He then concluded that America needed to heed the words and the ideas of the Constitution. The story of Walter Williams' life unfolds through exclusive, on-location interviews with Williams and many others, referencing those turbulent, discriminatory events of the 1960s that so influenced his thinking and his life.