Thomas Sowell on race and politics


Author: Joshua Thompson

The wonderful Thomas Sowell, has a four-part series titled,  "Race and Politics," over at  I find Sowell to be one of the most insightful authors on race in America.  I highly reccommend all four posts.  Here is an excerpt from part 2:

Not only the media and politicians, but intellectuals and even the highest courts in the land, presume discrimination when some groups are "under-represented" in an employer's workforce or are "over-represented" among children disciplined in school. Tests that show some groups more proficient than others are declared to be "culturally biased." Higher infant mortality among some groups are assumed to be society's fault for not providing "access" to prenatal care for all.

A major factor in the housing boom and bust that created the present economic predicament was massive government intervention in the housing market, supposedly to correct discrimination in mortgage lending.

How did they know that there was discrimination? Because blacks were turned down for mortgage loans at a higher rate than whites.

It so happens that whites were turned down for mortgage loans at a higher rate than Asian Americans, but that fact seldom made it into the newspaper headlines or the political rhetoric. Nor did either the mainstream media or political leaders mention the fact that black-owned banks turned down black mortgage loan applicants at least as often as white-owned banks did.

There was never the slightest reason to expect the different racial or ethnic groups in the United States to have the same credit ratings or the same behavior or performance in any other way, when both racial and non-racial groups of various sorts have for centuries had radically different patterns of behavior and performance in countries around the world.

The difference between per capita income in Eastern Europe and Western Europe has long been greater than the difference in per capita income between blacks and whites in America.

Yet, despite the fact that group differences have been the rule— not the exception— in all sorts of times and places, many people in these places and times have pointed to such disparities in their own country as evidence of something strange, if not sinister.

Click here for the rest.  Also: Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IV.