Thomas Sowel Quotes

A whole new class of intellectuals has arisen to supply a history geared to what people currently wish to believe, rather than to the record of the past. . . To allow those with a purely instrumental view of history to erase the national memory, or to record over it the ideological fashions of the day, is to discard an anchor in reality, and to set sail with light ballast and a reckless optimism. -- P. 227

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

Many of the words and phrases used in the media and among academics suggest that things simply happen to people, rather than be being caused by their own choices and behavior. Thus there is said to be an ‘epidemic’ of teenage pregnancy, or of drug usage, as if these things were like the flu that people catch just by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. — P. 198

The Eugenics movement sought to limit the reproduction of 'inferior' individuals and races, so as to prevent the lowering of the national intelligence in future generations. Planned Parenthood was founded not simply as an organization for limiting the size of families in general but more particularly to reduce the reproduction of the black population in the United States, as Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger herself noted. -- P. 193

For a particular minority group to become dominant in retailing or money-lending, whether at a high or a low economic level, means that their behavior pattern must be fundamentally different from that of the surrounding population. -- P. 72

This (liberal) vision so permeates the media and academia, and has made such major inroads into the religious community, that many grow into adulthood unaware that there is any other way of looking at things, or that evidence might be relevant to checking out the sweeping assumptions of so-called “thinking people”. Many of these “thinking people” could more accurately be characterized as articulate people, as people whose verbal nimbleness can elude both evidence and logic. This can be a fatal talent, when it supplies the crucial insulation from reality behind may historic catastrophes.” — P. 6

While the top ten corporate executives earned an average of $59 million each in 2004, the top ten celebrities earned an average of $119 million each that same year- twice as much. -- P. 141

Europeans became mass traders of African slaves largely by purchase from Africa‘s more powerful tribes and empires. -- P. 195

If I could offer one piece of advice to young people thinking about their future, it would be this: Don't preconceive. Find out what the opportunities are.

People who pride themselves on their "complexity" and deride others for being "simplistic" should realize that the truth is often not very complicated. What gets complex is evading the truth.

Back in 1973, the equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a sex discrimination lawsuit against Sears, based solely on statistical disparities, rather than on any women who claimed that a man of lower qualifications than her own was hired or promoted when she was not...The court pointed out that the EEOC 'did not present in evidence even one specific instance of discrimination' in a company with hundreds of stores from coast to coast. -- P. 81

Equal opportunity' laws and policies require that individuals be judged on their qualifications as individuals, without regard to race, sex, age, etc. 'Affirmative action' requires that they be judged with regard to such group membership, receiving preferential or compensatory treatment in some cases to achieve a more proportional 'representation' in various institutions and occupations. -- P. 38

-criminal activity in general has tended to vary inversely with the risk of imprisonment. -- P. 48

Although Hispanics have overtaken blacks numerically as part of the population, blacks still receive more doctorates than Hispanics. While the Asian American population is only a fraction of the size of either the black or Hispanic population, Asian Americans receive more doctorates than Hispanics and nearly as many as blacks. -- P. 155

Only God could have a free choice- and only on the first day of creation, since He would be confronted on the second day by what He had already done on the first. -- P. 223

Ironically, many of the bitter-end defenders of the current public school system and its educational dogmas are also in favor of preferential admissions of minority students to colleges and universities. In other words, having denied minority children an opportunity to develop the kinds of intellectual skills that would make lower admissions standards for them unnecessary, they then send minority students on to institutions where they are less likely to meet course standards designed for better prepared students- and where most minority students do not last long enough to graduate. -- P. 244

Initially, the Ottoman Empire was one of the more tolerant states towards those with different religions- certainly more tolerant than contemporary medieval Europe was toward Jews or toward Christians with heterodox views...Only after the later conquests of the sixteenth century did the Ottoman Empire have a Moslem majority and it was then that intolerance toward non-Moslems developed...In this earlier, expanding, and all- conquering era, the Ottoman Empire was confident in its mission to spread Islam, its superiority as a culture, and its military invincibility...Long disdainful of European civilization, whose more backward regions it encountered in Eastern Europe and the Balkans, The Ottoman Empire made no real effort to stay abreast of developments in Western Europe and was consequently surprised and shocked when the Western Europeans eventually overtook them in both cultural and military terms...It was in this atmosphere of defeat, danger, and disillusionment that the Ottomans turned against their own subjects, whom they now resented as political traitors. -- P. 193 - 194

It is one thing to be bitter because one cannot feed one‘s children and something very different to be resentful because one cannot afford designer jeans or expensive watches that keep no better time than cheap watches. -- P. 27

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

Failure to use tax money to finance things not liked by the taxpaying public is routinely called 'censorship.' -- P. 123