Race & Liberty in America
Thomas Jefferson, James Forten, Frederick Douglass, Ida B. Wells, Booker T. Washington, Zora Neale Hurston, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, Walter Williams, Shelby Steele . . .
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Independent Outlook is the regular round-table conversation from the Independent Institute that provides timely insights and cutting-edge commentary on the most pressing issues of the day. It features Independents David J. Theroux (Founder and President), Dr. Williamson M. Evers (Senior Fellow), and Dr. Graham H. Walker (Executive Director), as well as additional Independent Institute fellows.
In this fourteenth episode of Independent Outlook, Independent Research Fellow Jonathan J. Bean joins with Williamson Evers and Graham Walker to examine the people and ideas of the anti-racist, classical-liberal tradition of individual liberty and equality, demonstrating how it has inspired individuals to boldly advance race relations in the United States. Rooted in the Judeo-Christian natural-law tradition, classical liberals have advocated freedom from governmental interference, abolition of prejudicial law, equality under a uniform rule of law guaranteed by the Constitution, and market-based entrepreneurial opportunity.
The discussion covers the antislavery movement, post-Civil War reconstruction, Progressive Era, Republican era of the 1920s, the Great Depression and World War II, and the civil rights era. Citing such influential Americans as Thomas Jefferson, James Forten, Frederick Douglass, Ida B. Wells, Booker T. Washington, Zora Neale Hurston, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thomas Sowell, Clarence Thomas, Walter Williams, Shelby Steele, plus those others too often ignored, Drs. Bean, Evers and Graham demonstrate the major impact of classical-liberal thought as the basis for the movements for liberty and human dignity and how it has helped shape both law and public opinion.
Graham H. Walker
is Executive Director and Assistant Editor for The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy
at the Independent Institute. He received his Ph.D. in public law and government from the University of Notre Dame. Dr. Walker has served as Associate Professor of Politics at Catholic University of America, Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, Visiting Scholar in Social Science at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, NJ), Senior Research Scholar at the Witherspoon Institute, Headmaster at Oaks Christian School, Vice President for Academic Affairs at Oklahoma Wesleyan University, Visiting Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, President at Patrick Henry College, Legislative Aide to former Congressman David Stockman, and Fellow at the Presidio Institute.
Williamson M. Evers
is a Senior Fellow, Director of the Center on Educational Excellence, and Assistant Editor for The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy
at the Independent Institute. Dr. Evers received his Ph.D. degree in political science from Stanford University, and he has served as the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Education for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development from 2007 to 2009; Senior Adviser to U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings during 2007; and former Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution. In addition, he was a member of the Hoover Institutions Koret Task Force on K-12 Education from its beginning in 1999 until it wrapped up in 2014. From July to December 2003, he served in Iraq as Senior Adviser for Education to Administrator L. Paul Bremer of the Coalition Provisional Authority.
William J. Watkins, Jr. is a Research Fellow at the Independent Institute and author of the Independent books, Crossroads for Liberty: Recovering the Anti-Federalist Values of America's First Constitution and Reclaiming the American Revolution: The Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions and Their Legacy. He received his B.A. in history and German summa cum laude from Clemson University, his J.D. cum laude from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and his LL.M. with merit from the University of London. Mr. Watkins is a former law clerk to Judge William B. Traxler, Jr., of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and he is the President of the Greenville, SC, Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society. He has served as a prosecutor and defense lawyer, and has practiced in various state and federal courts.