Thomas Sowel Quotes

The thuggish gutter words and brutal hoodlum lifestyle of 'gangsta rap' musicians are not merely condoned but glorified by many white intellectuals- and 'understood' by others lacking the courage to take responsibility for siding with savagery....Even such a modern ghetto creation as gangsta rap echoes the violence, arrogance, loose sexuality, and self dramatization common for centuries in white redneck culture and speaks in exaggerated cadences common in the oratory of rednecks in both the antebellum South and those parts of Britain from which their ancestors came. -- P. 55 / 59

Much discussion of the decisions of businessmen in general by intellectuals proceeds as if employers, landlords, and others operating under the systemic pressures of the marketplace are free to make arbitrary and capricious decisions based on prejudice and misinformation–as if they were intellectuals sitting around a seminar table–and pay no price for being mistaken. — P. 188

Could slavery have been ended by the Civil War if television cameras had shown daily scenes of the horrors of Sherman‘s march through Georgia or the appalling sufferings of civilians in besieged Vicksburg? -- P. 258

Ironically, when some blacks in the twentieth century began repudiating what they call 'slave names,' they often took Arabic names, even though Arabs over the centuries had enslaved more Africans than Europeans had. -- P. 163

Power lies at the end of a spectrum of causal factors which include influence, individual discretion, and systemic interactions whose actual outcomes were not planned or controlled by anyone. -- P. 151

programs, is met by further claims that this shows the signs of racism of the larger society overflowing into the schools. -- P. 84 - 85

If the tyranny of visions can prevail in questions of war and peace- which is to say, life and death questions for both individuals and societies- it should hardly be surprising that the same tyranny can prevail in visions of social and economic activities. -- P. 119

Moral principles cannot be separated from their consequences in a given context. -- P. 155

The case for the political left looks more plausible on the surface but is harder to keep believing in as you become more experienced. -Chapter: "Left Vs. Right"

On issue after issue, the morally self anointed visionaries have for centuries argued as if no honest disagreement were possible, as if those who opposed them were not merely in error but in sin. -- P. 103

History is the memory of the human race. For an individual to wake up some morning with no memory would be devastating. -- P. 276

In general, the expansion of the white settlers into Indian territory in North America was directed primarily toward taking over the land itself, rather than acquiring Indians as subjects of the government or as vassals of white landowners or of European ecclesiastical establishments, as happened in much of Spanish America. -- P. 298 - 299

Black-owned banks in the United States have tended to have high rates of failure and the surviving black banks have tended to invest outside their community even more than white banks. . .Here too, often 'the poor pay more' because they live in neighborhoods with higher costs of providing those goods and services. -- P. 111 - 112

Education and acculturation in general spread very unevenly among American Negroes- first reaching the house servants and later the field hands, first the free then the slaves, first the mulattos and then the blacks. These large historical social disparities within the African origin population of the United States were reflected in the fact that some American Negroes graduated from college before slavery was abolished...Throughout the era of slavery, free mulattos in the Western Hemisphere tended to distance themselves socially from blacks, both slave and free...the elite among American Negroes tended to remain, for generations after emancipation, a distinctly lighter-complexioned and socially exclusive group. -- P. 164 - 165

If the politicization of race could lead to barbarism and genocide among Germans, no other peoples or society can be presumed to be immune. However catastrophic the politicization of race may be in the long run, from the point of view of individual leaders it is a highly successful way to rise from obscurity to prominence and power. -- P. 35

A 1996 study found that four-fifths of all the American millionaires studied earned their fortunes within their own lifetimes. -- P. 53

Another major difference between private and governmental institutions is that, no matter how big and successful a private business is, it can always be forced out of business when it is no longer satisfying its customers — whether because of its own inadequacies or because competing firms or alternative technologies can satisfy the customers better. Government agencies, however, can continue on despite demonstrable failures, and the power of government can prevent rivals from arising. — P.13

Letters from teachers continue to confirm the incompetence which they deny. A teacher in Montana says that my criticisms of teachers are "nieve." No, that wasn't a typographical error. He spelled it that way twice.

States that spend more per pupil in the public schools do not generally have any better educational performance to show for it. -- P. 11

Edward, for example, was a popular name in Virginia and in Wessex, from which many Virginians emigrated, but the first forty classes of undergraduates at Harvard College included only one student named Edward. It would be nearly two centuries before Harvard admitted anyone named Patrick, though this was a common name in western Pennsylvania, where the Scotch-Irish were settled. -- P. 82