Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Just One Black Man’s Thoughts On Walter Block as A Racist

Walter Block

By Victor J. Ward

Professor Walter Block emailed me and asked me to write a few words in support of him. Apparently, some black students believe that Professor Block is a racist. Professor Block wanted me to describe my interactions with him because, of course, my thoughts on the matter may have some sway because I am black.

I have doubts whether or not my opinion will have any impact. But, nothing ventured, nothing gained.

My thoughts about how Professor Block has treated me, a black man:

Professor Block has treated and continues to treat me as a Gentleman and a Scholar.

I have seen Professor Block interact with many different people, some in person, more on video. I have personally interacted with Professor Block. He treated me the way that I have seen him treat all people:

 With respect.

In my case, he also treated me as a Scholar.

He asked me to co-author an article that he would submit to a refereed journal. When I said that I was unworthy, he said, “You are a gifted writer. Don’t hand me that bs about you being inept.”

Do you know how many books Professor Block has written? Do you know how many articles Professor Block has written?

So, when a prolific author tells you that you are a gifted writer, that means something. (I still don’t believe it, but I appreciated and appreciate what he had to say.)

Professor Block also asked me to represent him in his lawsuit against the New York Times. Again, I had to turn him down. Professor Block needed a hard-core Attorney who knew Defamation law. That was not me. He needed the best — or as close to the best as he could get. I did not want him to settle on me because he could do much better.

Nevertheless, he trusted me with something that was near and dear to him.

Again, he has treated me as a Gentleman and a Scholar.

Professor Block loves liberty and freedom. He will talk about those concepts to anyone at any time.

But, Professor Block has a blind spot. I am reminded of a biblical passage where Jesus says: Be innocent as doves, yet shrewd as snakes.

Professor Block loves liberty. That is his dove-like nature. Sometimes, however, he gets on a roll talking about Libertarianism, and he forgets that there are people looking to take him out. He forgets that there are people who want to twist his words and make him look and sound like a racist or a crackpot or a racist crackpot.

Professor Block is not shrewd as a snake because he believes his passion for liberty and the beauty of the intellectual argument for liberty will overcome the evil in the heart of man.

I wish that were true. Sadly, it is not.

If one were to assume that Professor Block held racist views, what difference would that make? How does an Economics Professor’s view on race impact the way that said Economics Professor teaches Economics? Economics is a race-neutral, value-free endeavor to find truth through the lens of the Economic. It is nothing more, nothing less.

Professor Block loves to teach students. I feel sorry for these black students. They have an opportunity to get an education in Economics from a Professor who is a thought leader. They have an opportunity to learn from a Professor who would absolutely love to take an eager student under his wing and teach him or her the beauty of Austrian Economics.

If I were a younger man, and I had the opportunity to learn under Professor Block, I would do so in a heartbeat.

The black students who focus on Professor Block’s view on race are wrong on the facts — Professor Block is not a racist.

If these black students succeed in hurting Professor Block’s ability to teach, the true losers will be these black students and the students of all colors who won’t have the opportunity to learn from such a wise and passionate man.

Just one black man’s thoughts.

Victor J. Ward  first came across libertarianism by reading Murray Rothbard's Ronald Reagan: An Autopsy and Walter Block's Defending the Undefendable. He holds a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and an MBA from Santa Clara University.

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