Thomas Sowel Quotes

-as in other expressions of cosmic visions, results are not the test. Taking a moral stand is the test. -- P. 104

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"

With all of its intellectual and material accomplishments, Mayan civilization could hardly be considered humanitarian. One of its central priorities was war and one of its chief priorities in war was the capture, torture, and slaughter of enemy soldiers and leaders...While atrocities have occurred around the world, this was a society in which such behavior was not simply accepted, but systematized and celebrated. -- P. 267

If something went wrong, someone was to blame, preferably someone with a 'deep Pocket' from which to pay damages. Often these deep pockets were nothing more than an aggregation of much shallower pockets, whether of taxpayers or of stockholders. -- P. 172

Most of the white population of the American South as a whole came from not only what has been loosely called the 'Celtic fringe,' but also from that fringe at a particular time and a particular time and a particular stage of its cultural evolution...The fringe of British civilization from which they came was notable not only for its poverty and backwardness, but also for its lawlessness and violence...In short, the pattern of ruthless violence directed by Southern whites against blacks originated long before there were any racial differences involved and in fact before the people of the Southern backcountry had boarded the ships in Britain which took them to their new homes in the American South. -- P. 76 - 77

The central assumption behind busing was perhaps no where better expressed than by Los Angeles Judge Paul V. Egly, when he declared that minority students would be 'irreparably damaged' if busing were even delayed, and that his task was to 'make the most efficient use of increasingly scarce white students as possible' by spreading them around for the benefit of the many minority youngsters who constituted a majority of the city‘s school children. 'Kipling‘s doctrine of 'the white man‘s burden' was now transformed into a judicial doctrine of the white child‘s burden- a doctrine that came very close to fighting racism with racism. -- P. 69

When the U.S. Supreme Court declared in 1954 that separate schools were inherently inferior, within walking distance of the Court was an all-black public school whose performance had equaled or surpassed that of white schools in the District of Columbia for more than 80 years. -- P. 83

Social reformers, seeking to unsort people who have sorted themselves, often assume that housing segregation patterns will endure indefinitely, through inertia, without outside intervention. History and logic undermine that belief. -- P. 106

The United States has been ethnically diverse for more than a century. Yet, successive massive waves of immigrants have arrived on these shores and become Americans without any such programs as have been proposed by the multiculturalists. -- P. 72

The vision of the anointed is one in which ills as poverty, irresponsible sex, and crime derive primarily from ‘society,’ rather than from individual choices and behavior. To believe in personal responsibility would be to destroy the whole special role of the anointed, whose vision casts them in the role of rescuers of people treated unfairly by ‘society’. — P. 203

In effect, the college athlete in big-time sports is buying a lottery ticket and paying for it with his body and with four years of his life. He may also pay for it through the corrosive cynicism generated by participating in the various shabby tricks designed to maintain his eligibility to play, pretending to be a student while avoiding the demands of real education. -- P. 241

If one goes through enough numbers, one will eventually come upon some statistics that seem to fit one‘s vision. These are what might be called 'Aha!' statistics. Other statistics which suggest opposite conclusions bring no 'Aha!' but are more likely to be glided over and forgotten. -- P. 34

-power is the ability to restrict people‘s options and freedom is an exemption from having one‘s options restricted in such matters as religion or the expression of ideas. -- P. 176

Among individuals who are actively in the labor force, only 5 percent of those who were in the bottom 20 percent in income in 1975 were still there in 1991, compared to 29 percent of those in the bottom quintile in 1975 who had risen to the top quintile by 1991. -- P. 146

The most fundamental fact about the ideas of the political left is that they do not work. Therefore we should not be surprised to find the left concentrated in institutions where ideas do not have to work in order to survive. — Chapter: "The Survival of the Left"

It is difficult to survey the history of racial or ethnic relations without being appalled by the inhumanity, brutality, and viciousness of it all. But there are no more futile or dangerous efforts than attempts to redress the wrongs of history. . . This may be frustrating and galling, but that is no justification for taking out those frustrations on living human beings-or for generating new strife by creating privileges for those who are contemporary reminders of historical guilt. -- P. 251

Thus the institution of slavery, existing on every continent and going back thousands of years, is often discussed as if it were peculiar to Western civilization when, in fact, even the African slave trade was carried on by Arabs for centuries before Europeans took part, and continued for at least another century after the European slave trade to the Western Hemisphere ended. . . At the heart of the story was the West‘s ending of slavery in its own domains within a century and maintaining pressure on other nations for even longer to stamp out this practice. Instead, the West has been singled out as peculiarly culpable for a worldwide evil in which it participated, when in fact its only real uniqueness was in ultimately opposing and destroying the evil. -- P. 149 - 150

Teenage pregnancy was declining, over a period of more than a dozen years, before so- called 'sex education' programs spread rapidly through American schools in the 1970s. Teenage pregnancies then rose sharply, along with federal expenditures on 'sex education' programs and 'family-planning' clinics, many located in schools. -- P. 63

It is not visions that are dangerous. What is dangerous are insulated visions. -- P. 141

When the anointed say that there is a crisis this means that something must be done–and it must be done simply because the anointed want it done. This word becomes one of many substitutes for evidence or logic. — P. 182