Thomas Sowell's blog

Who is ‘racist’?

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Whatever the ultimate outcome of the case against George Zimmerman for his shooting of Trayvon Martin, what has happened already is enough to turn the stomach of anyone who believes in either truth or justice.

An amazing proportion of the media has given us a painful demonstration of the thinking — and lack of thinking — that prevailed back in the days of the old Jim Crow South, where complexion counted more than facts in determining how people were treated. Read More»

Racial quota fallout

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Many years ago, I learned of an episode in the life of a promising young black man that is relevant to things happening now. He had been educated at a good school, and went on to receive degrees at good colleges and universities. Then he went for a Ph.D. in mathematics at one of the leading departments in that field.

When he encountered difficulties, his professors essentially wrote his doctoral thesis for him. No doubt they felt good about doing something to help a promising young black man, and perhaps took pride in doing so. But what about his pride? Read More»

Mascot politics

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Dr. Victor Davis Hanson’s quietly chilling article, “Two Californias,” in National Review Online, ought to be read by every American who is concerned about where this country is headed. California is leading the way, but what is happening in California is happening elsewhere— and is a slow poison that is being largely ignored. Read More»

Lessons of history: Most either don’t learn or miss the obvious

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It used to be common for people to urge us to learn “the lessons of history.” But history gets much less attention these days and, if there are any lessons that we are offered, they are more likely to be the lessons from current polls or the lessons of political correctness.

Even among those who still invoke the lessons of history, some read those lessons very differently from others. Read More»

Obama’s speech: Back to the future

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Those who are impressed by words seem to think that President Barack Obama made a great speech to Congress last week. But, when you look beyond the rhetoric, what did he say that was fundamentally different from what he has been saying and doing all along?

Are we to continue doing the same kinds of things that have failed again and again, just because Obama delivers clever words with style and energy? Read More»

Forgotten stars

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Three recent sports biographies — two about baseball stars Stan Musial and Hank Greenberg, and another about boxing great Joe Louis — are not only interesting in themselves, but also recall an era that now seems as irretrievably past as the Roman Empire.

They also raise questions about who is remembered and why. Read More»

July 4th: The Constitution vs. Progressives

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The Fourth of July may be just a holiday for fireworks to some people. But it was a momentous day for the history of this country and the history of the world.

Not only did July 4, 1776 mark American independence from England, it marked a radically different kind of government from the governments that prevailed around the world at the time — and the kinds of governments that had prevailed for thousands of years before. Read More»

Our country is moving from government of laws to whims of men

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When Adolf Hitler was building up the Nazi movement in the 1920s, leading up to his taking power in the 1930s, he deliberately sought to activate people who did not normally pay much attention to politics. Such people were a valuable addition to his political base, since they were particularly susceptible to Hitler’s rhetoric and had far less basis for questioning his assumptions or his conclusions.

“Useful idiots” was the term supposedly coined by V.I. Lenin to describe similarly unthinking supporters of his dictatorship in the Soviet Union. Read More»

Proven: Government intervention prolonged the Great Depression

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Sometimes you can read a book that will change your mind on some fundamental issue. Rarely, however, is there just one page that can undermine or destroy a widely-held belief. But there is such a page — page 77 of the book “Out of Work” by Richard Vedder and Lowell Gallaway. Read More»

Playing freedom cheap

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If eternal vigilance is the price of freedom, incessant distractions are the way that politicians take away our freedoms, in order to enhance their own power and longevity in office.

Dire alarms and heady crusades are among the many distractions of our attention from the ever increasing ways that government finds to take away more of our money and more of our freedom.

Magicians have long known that distracting an audience is the key to creating the illusion of magic. It is also the key to political magic. Read More»