September 24, 2017, 4 p.m. CT
Jason Riley’s thesis is that government efforts to help the black underclass – efforts which began in earnest in the 1960s with the War on Poverty and various Great Society programs – have a poor track record.
He will discuss why many of the socio-economic gains that occurred among blacks in the first half of the 20th century wound up stalling or being reversed in the second half, even as major civil rights legislation passed and black political clout grew enormously. He will include his thoughts on why this should inform policy decisions going forward, but rarely does.
Riley is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a columnist for the “Wall Street Journal,” where he worked for more than 20 years writing opinion pieces on politics, economics, education, immigration and race, among other subjects. He’s a commentator for Fox News, where he’s appeared for more than a decade.
He is a frequent public speaker.
After joining the Journal in 1994, Riley was named a senior editorial page writer in 2000 and a member of the editorial board in 2005. He became a member of the Manhattan Institute in 2015. In 2008 he published the book “Let Them In,” which argues for a more free-market oriented U.S. immigration policy. In in 2014 he release his is second book, “Please Stop Helping Us,” about the track record of government efforts to help the black underclass. His next book, “False Black Power?” is an assessment of race relations in the Obama era and will be published later this year.
Born in Buffalo, N.Y., Riley earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He has worked for “USA Today” and the “Buffalo News.”