Dr. Thomas Sowell: A Tangled Web Of Racial Politics

In this post-racial America that was supposed to be Barack Obama’s hallmark, we find that things have not changed one little bit. Dr. Sowell reminds us that the recent Supreme Court decision which vailidated the complaints of several New Haven firefighters who were denied promotion because they were white may have been a good decision because it was fair, but also that the decision was a rare case of sanity in an insane political world.

In his latest column for Town Hall, he writes:

The original Civil Rights Act of 1964 was very straightforward in forbidding discrimination. But, even before that Act was passed, there were already people demanding more than equality of treatment. Some wanted equality of end results, some wanted restitution for past wrongs, and some just wanted as much as they could get.

Those that want equality of end results or simply to get as much as they can without having to work for it are the problem. Instead of making themselves better people, they play the race card or the victim card in the hopes of gaining something for little or no labor on their part.


Opponents of the Civil Rights Act said that it would lead to racial quotas and reverse discrimination. Advocates of the Act not only denied this, they wrote the language of the law in a way designed to explicitly prevent such things. But judges, over the years, have “interpreted” the Civil Rights Act to mean what its opponents said it would mean, rather than what its advocates put into the plain language of the legislation.

A key notion that has created unending mischief, from its introduction by the Supreme Court in 1971 to the current firefighters’ case, is that of “disparate impact.” Any employment requirement that one racial or ethnic group meets far more often than another is said to have a “disparate impact” and is considered to be evidence of racial discrimination.

The problem is that there is no evidence of such racial discrimination in these cases. Having grown up in predominantly black Prince George’s County, Maryland, I have seen this up close. I went to public school with all my black peers. We all attended the same classes and were presented with the same study material. Those that scored better on the exams were those who applied themselves and made an effort to learn. Those that didn’t do so well were those who were lazy and didn’t do the work that was required of them.

It is that latter group that is most likely to play the race card or the victim card claiming some sort of discrimination when the truth is that they simply didn’t want to work.

Why does this mentality survive today?

Read on:

The dogma survives because it is politically useful, not because it has met any test of facts.

That’s it. No other reason. It is easy for leftists with political aspirations to buy votes by jumping on the victimology bandwagon and then promising to help those “victims” through government intervention. In other words, they promise to make other people pay by redistributing wealth.

But it is amazing that while minorities claim racial dicrimination in most areas, you won’t ever hear them complain about it in other areas, such as sports. Dr. Sowell gives us some good insight on that:

Does anybody seriously doubt that blacks usually play basketball better than whites?

So, why aren’t their any complaints of racial discrimination in the NBA or even the NFL? Because it would strip away the illusion of victimization.

If the Dems and other leftists were serious about transforming America into a “post-racial” society, their first step should be to tell all those who would play the race card to be quiet.

You can access the complete column on-line here:

A Tangled Web
Dr. Thomas Sowell
July 7, 2009


2 Responses

  1. I don’t believe I have ever disagreed with Dr. Sowell’s opinions. Wish he were on the Supreme Court! BB

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: