Thomas Sowel Quotes

The covert methods by which affirmative action has been foisted on a society that rejects it, the vengeful manner in which busing has been imposed without regard for the welfare of children, and the lofty contempt of a remote and insulated elite for the mass of citizens whose feelings and interests are treated as expendable, or dismissed as mere 'racism,' provide the classic ingredients of blindness and hubris that have produced so many human tragedies. However much history may be invoked in support of these policies, no policy can apply to history but can only apply to the present or the future. The past may be many things, but it is clearly irrevocable. Its sins can no more be purged than its achievements can be expunged. Those who suffered in centuries past are as much beyond our help as those who sinned are beyond our retribution. To dress up present-day people in the costumes and labels of history and symbolically try to undo the past is to surpass Don Quixote and jeopardize reality in the name of visions. To do so in ways that harm the already disadvantaged is to skirt the boundaries of sanity and violate the very claims of compassion used to justify it. -- P. 119

-the crucial factors in the cost of discrimination have been the presence or absence of competition and whether those making the decisions have been spending their own money or someone else‘s money. -- P. 178

Being non-judgmental in one direction is part of the double standards surrounding the 'politically correct' social agenda on many campuses. For example, homosexuals are free to publicly proclaim the merits of their lifestyle, as they see it, but anyone who publicly proclaims the demerits of that lifestyle, as he sees it, is subject to serious punishment. -- P. 182

-what is called 'sensitivity' often involves being less sensitive, in order to be more ideologically in fashion. -- P. 83

The extent to which there are additional costs associated with unsegregated hiring is an empirical question, and no doubt varies from place to place and from time to time. However, even during the Jim Crow era in the American South, blacks were seldom paid less by an employer for doing the same job as white employees. Rather, black were excluded from certain higher paying jobs that would have put them on the same plane as whites. -- P. 87

As many have warned in the past, freedom is unlikely to be lost all at once and openly. It is far more likely to be eroded away, bit by bit, amid glittering promises and expressions of noble ideas. -- P. 184

Three small republics clustered together on the Baltic Sea- Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia- have populations that are collectively not as large as that of Tokyo. Yet these three little nations began the process of secession which ultimately dismembered the largest nation on earth. The formal decision was made by the presidents of the three Slavic republics- Russia, Ukraine, and Byelorussia- without the participation of the dozen other republics or of Mikhail Gorbachev, president of the union that now disappeared under him. -- P. 236

Whatever moral principle each of us believes in, we call justice, so we are only talking in a circle when we say that we advocate justice, unless we specify just what conception of justice we have in mind. -- P. 3

Groups with a demonstrable history of being discriminated against have, in many countries and in many periods of history, had higher incomes, better educational performance, and more 'representation' in high-level positions than those doing the discriminating. -- P. 20

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

end in divorce, based on such statistics, would be like saying that half of the population died last year id deaths were half as large as births. -- P. 59

-specialists are not solipsists. They are simply aware of the limitations of the human mind, and of the implications of those limitations, as the anointed so often are not. -- P. 205

It is not only theoretically possible to have more discrimination where there is less bias or prejudice, and less discrimination where there more bias and prejudice, this has in fact happened in more than one country. The degree to which subjective attitudes are translated into overt acts of discrimination depends on the costs of doing so. Where those costs are very high, even very prejudiced or biased people may engage in little or no discrimination...Personal costs can lead to actions either more adverse or less adverse than the individual‘s own beliefs or feelings. -- P. 168 - 169

-clearly neither racial discrimination nor racial inferiority can explain similar differences between whites in the North and the South in earlier centuries. This should at least raise questions about such explanations when applied to blacks of a later era who inherited the culture of white Southerners. -- P. 25

The tendency to dismiss all unfavorable conclusions about any group as racism or as prejudice, stereotypes, or other manifestations of ignorance overlooks the fact that often those with the most unfavorable opinion of a group are in closest contact with them, while those with a more favorable view know them lass well and often from a greater distance. -- P. 365

The rule of law- 'a government of laws and not of men'- implies rules known in advance, applied generally, and constraining the rulers as well as the ruled. Freedom implies exemptions from the power of the rulers and a corresponding limitation on the scope of all laws, even those of democratically elected governments. -- P. 151

In the west, racism was promoted by slavery, rather than vice versa. -- P. 195

Those with the vision of the anointed are seldom deterred by any question as to whether anyone has the knowledge required to do what they are attempting...the question for the anointed is not knowledge but compassion, commitment, and other such subjective factors which supposedly differentiate themselves from other people. The refrain from the anointed is we already know the answers, there‘s no need for more studies, and the kinds of questions raised by those with other views are just stalling and obstructing progress. 'Solutions' are out there waiting to be found, like eggs at an Easter egg hunt. -- P. 110

What a student can judge is how well the professor conveyed the information in the course- how clearly the material was presented and how interesting it seemed- but what the student is not equipped to judge is what information and conflicting analysis was left out. -- P. 96

As of 1989, for example, black, white, and Hispanic Americans of the same age (29) with the same I.Q. (100) all earned between $25,000 and $26,000. -- P. 371