It didn't take long to hear some unsolicited comments from some friends and acquaintances about the firing by a local television station of a longtime news anchor after she posted Facebook comments regarding the mass shooting at a backyard cookout in Pittsburgh at which four women (one of whom was pregnant) and a man were killed, and three others wounded.
The bloodbath involved 48 reported shots, with the first shooter firing a pistol to herd the victims onto a small back porch, where a second shooter with a rifle shot from behind a fence a few feet away at those trying to escape into the house.
The fired news anchor made the mistake of hazardously speculating on the identity of the shooters: "Young black men, likely teens or in their early 20s. They have multiple siblings from multiple fathers and their mothers work multiple jobs."
Here's what I heard about that comment from an unswerving leftist: "I thought she had inside information. If not, she went too far into typecasting."
And there was this from an unfeeling humanoid, the most unlikely person to be put in charge of a diversity office: "What's the big fuss? The problem is taking care of itself."
More positively, there was this from a business associate, explaining that he knew the fired news anchor: "She's a good and decent person, compassionate, and in no way a racist.
Walter Williams, a professor of economics at George Mason University and a syndicated columnist, who writes frequently on poverty, crime and public policy.
"Hustlers and people with little understanding want us to believe that today's black problems are the continuing result of a legacy of slavery, poverty and racial discrimination," according to Williams, who is black. "The fact is that most of the social pathology seen today in poor black neighborhoods is entirely new in black history."
In a CNSNews.com article last year, "The True Black Tragedy," Williams wrote of the long trend among blacks toward poverty-producing family instability: "Today's black illegitimacy rate of nearly 75 percent is also entirely new. In 1940, black illegitimacy stood at 14 percent. It had risen to 25 percent by 1965, when Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote 'The Negro Family: The Case for National Action' and was widely condemned as a racist."
And so, critics who provided constructive analyses were silenced while the black illegitimacy rate in some cities climbed to 90 percent.
From academia, Williams noted, "devastating nonsense emerged, exemplified by a Johns Hopkins University sociology professor who argued, 'It has yet to be shown that the absence of a father was directly responsible for any of the supposed deficiencies of broken homes.' The real issue, he went on to say, 'is not the lack of male presence but the lack of male income.' That suggests marriage and fatherhood can be replaced by a welfare check." Or by drug sales and robberies.
Instead, Williams continued, government-subsidized female-headed households became a ticket to dependency and destitution while "the poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits since 1994."
And the backyard slaughter at a cookout? "Along with the decline of the black family comes anti-social behavior, manifested by high crime rates," according to Williams. "Each year, roughly 7,000 blacks are murdered, and 94 percent of the time the murderer is another black person."
"The Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that 279,384 blacks were murder victims between 1976 and 2011," Williams wrote. "Using the 94 percent figure, that means 262,621 blacks were murdered by other blacks" during that period.
If "black lives matter," truthful and candid discussions about their killers should not be forbidden and penalized.
Ralph R. Reiland, a columnist with the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and a co-owner of Amel's Restaurant, is an associate professor of economics and the B. Kenneth Simon professor of free enterprise at Robert Morris University in Pittsburgh.
Ralph R. Reiland