Liberalism Versus Blacks


There is no question that liberals do an impressive job of expressing concern for blacks. But do the intentions expressed in their words match the actual consequences of their deeds?

San Francisco is a classic example of a city unexcelled in its liberalism. But the black population of San Francisco today is less than half of what it was back in 1970, even though the city’s total population has grown.

Severe restrictions on building housing in San Francisco have driven rents and home prices so high that blacks and other people with low or moderate incomes have been driven out of the city. The same thing has happened in a number of other California communities dominated by liberals.

Liberals try to show their concern for the poor by raising the level of minimum wage laws. Yet they show no interest in hard evidence that minimum wage laws create disastrous levels of unemployment among young blacks in this country, as such laws created high unemployment rates among young people in general in European countries.

The black family survived centuries of slavery and generations of Jim Crow, but it has disintegrated in the wake of the liberals’ expansion of the welfare state. Most black children grew up in homes with two parents during all that time but most grow up with only one parent today.

Liberals have pushed affirmative action, supposedly for the benefit of blacks and other minorities. But two recent factual studies show that affirmative action in college admissions has led to black students with every qualification for success being artificially turned into failures by being mismatched with colleges for the sake of racial body count.

The two most recent books that show this with hard facts are “Mismatch” by Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor, Jr., and “Wounds That Will Not Heal” by Russell K. Nieli. My own book “Affirmative Action Around the World” shows the same thing with different evidence.

In all these cases, and many others, liberals take positions that make them look good and feel good — and show very little interest in the actual consequences for others, even when liberal policies are leaving havoc in their wake.

The current liberal crusade for more so-called “gun control” laws is more of the same.

Factual studies over the years, both in the United States and in other countries, repeatedly show that “gun control” laws do not in fact reduce crimes committed with guns.

Cities with some of the tightest gun control laws in the nation have murder rates far above the national average. In the middle of the 20th century, New York had far more restrictive gun control laws than London, but London had far less gun crime. Yet gun crimes in London skyrocketed after severe gun control laws were imposed over the next several decades.

Although gun control is not usually considered a racial issue, a wholly disproportionate number of Americans killed by guns are black. But here, as elsewhere, liberals’ devotion to their ideology greatly exceeds their concern about what actually happens to flesh and blood human beings as a result of their ideology.

One of the most polarizing and counterproductive liberal crusades of the 20th century has been the decades-long busing crusade to send black children to predominantly white schools. The idea behind this goes back to the pronouncement by Chief Justice Earl Warren that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.”

Yet within walking distance of the Supreme Court where this pronouncement was made was an all-black high school that had scored higher than two-thirds of the city’s white high schools taking the same test — way back in 1899! But who cares about facts, when you are on a liberal crusade that makes you feel morally superior?

To challenge government-imposed racial segregation and discrimination is one thing. But to claim that blacks get a better education if they sit next to whites in school is something very different. And it is something that goes counter to the facts.

Many liberal ideas about race sound plausible, and it is understandable that these ideas might have been attractive 50 years ago. What is not understandable is how so many liberals can blindly ignore 50 years of evidence to the contrary since then.

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  • Jeff

    Clear and concise. I get into discussions on youtube with people who name call Sowell. In order to know that they don't know anything about the man, all I have to do is ask them "How is his argument wrong?". They either don't respond, or just continue with name calling.

    • Asher

      Thomas Sowell is one of the smartest black men, who is not indebted to this government. When you see blacks in Detroit lining up for government housing, using food stamps, not working, and expecting everything to be given to them, you know that we truly have a dependant populace of black folks, who have been dumbed down and made dependant by the government, for their votes. Alveeda King, Dineen Borelli, Angela McGlowan, and many others do not fall for the dependancy routine by the government, they are proud, educated, honorable people. Pretty sad that possibly the culture, the street gangs, violence and capability of this race could have been different with some sound policies to create jobs, educate and advocate a moral society with some help from the teachers who have also been liberal.

      • Leonard

        What do you mean, "smartest black men?" I think you mean one of the smartest men.

        • ssohara

          I agree, Leonard! I recently bought Sowell's book on Economics – he makes a hard subject comprehensible to ordinary people. To me, that is a clear sign of genius.

  • davarino

    Thanks Thomas. Its unfortunate you are not the spokesperson for the black community instead of Jackson or Sharpton. Bill Cosby and others have stuck their heads up trying to help and look what happens. The left destroys their credibility. Their is no discussion about what would really help, just more of the same old stuff that doesnt work. When will the black community have the epiphany that they are being used?

  • Brujo Blanco

    There are many forces at work that are transforming this country into a communist dictatorship. The repeal of.the 22nd Amendment will open.the door for a president for life and that would.be barrack Obama. The elimination.of.the 2nd Amendment if done.by executive order will lead.to.the eliminatio of.ther rights. Obama is testing us to see.how.far he can go with his lawlessness. Racial.divisions.are.a.major.factor in this movement. As one. Right disappears the other rights will fall like dominoes.

  • dionissismitropoulos

    "But who cares about facts, when you are on a liberal crusade that makes you feel morally superior?"

    Just like stray dogs piss their urine on trees to mark their territory, so does the western radical Left piss their ideology on their respective societies to mark their moral victory.

    The difference between the stray dogs and the radical Left is that the former don't hate the trees – let alone that they are cute and adorable.

  • Asher

    Once you allow the Leftists to take over, its pretty hard to get back Freedom and a prosperous productive society. Abandoning God has comlicated every issue, and left us on our own!

  • Johnconrad

    Bill Cosby?

    Haven't heard about him in years. He must be retired – right?

    • damon beckett

      ol' Bill is still supporting liberals and fooling conservatives.

      • Cat K

        I knew someone (happen to be Black) who worked for/ with Cosby some time ago and came away disturbed & disgusted by his overt nasty anti-Semitism. It was really over the top, she said. Cosby said a few sensible things about the Black community, yes, but I can never forget my friend's upset at the hatred she was exposed to from Cosby.
        &Thomas Sowell rocks! He seems like such a nice thoughtful person. Imagine a guy like that in the White House! And a country on an honest sensible path….well we can dream, can't we?

  • Alex Kovnat

    Regarding gun control, I like to argue that if you ban handguns, you'll be making criminals of some who already are. But you'll also be making criminals out of, for example, a 77 year old black woman who keeps her trusty revolver by her bedside or in her purse to protect herself from hoodlums.

  • Questions

    I've read a lot of Sowell's books and enjoy them. But here he gets it wrong. The title of this piece should be "Liberalism Versus Whites." Because it's whites, far more than blacks, who get the shaft.

  • jrscho62

    With the Trevyon Martin case, I have realized that liberals are cruel to the core of their existence. Liberals ignore the carnage in the black communities because they cannot gain anything politically from the deaths there. Trevyon Martin, however, can be used to gain political leverage. As Dr. Sowell points out, liberals don't connect their actions with the pain and suffering they cause. Or as Einstein said, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Liberals are insane.

    • RAS

      I could write a book about the hypocrisy of the "Lilly white, feel good Liberal," especially the damage they and their party have done to both Black and White Americans alike. Having grown up only blocks from the school that I think Dr. Sowell speaks of (I believe he is referring to Dunbar High School) I have experienced the racial divide first hand. I have also overcome the effects of that divide. Consequently, I don't harbor the guilt and suffer the nonsense that affects so many Liberals (what a poor title for such an arrogant group of people). They really don't have a clue. They have not only destroyed the Black Family but have virtually enslaved millions through dependency on the Government plantation. As long as a majority of Black America look to Liberals and charlatans like Jesse Jackson and King Obama instead of accomplished Black Americans like Thomas Sowell and Clarence Thomas they will continue to decline as a society and suffer. As will we all.

    • Jim_C

      "With the Trevyon Martin case, I have realized that liberals are cruel to the core of their existence. Liberals ignore the carnage in the black communities because they cannot gain anything politically from the deaths there."

      Because conservatives have long been oh so concerned with the carnage in black communities, right?

      • marsconi

        Well, conservatives believe in blacks being able to protect themselves and their families as all Americans should be! Do you?

        Perhaps you are not aware if it but originally the Republican Party (of Lincoln) was the Abolitionist party and the Democrats were almost 100% against abolishing slavery!

        The Left and Liberals have a sordid past when it comes to bigotry. Remember it was the Progressives who gave Hitler his ideas for the death camps (think eugenics!) If you read any of what Margret Sanger (think Planned Parenthood!) said and wrote you will find that she despised the poor including, especially, Jews and Blacks. Even today, where are abortion clinics popping up in big numbers? The inner city, of all places! Yes, lets cull the poor blacks! Yeah! I know of no conservatives who feel this way! If anything, they celebrate when they see blacks succeed! Do you?

      • RedWhiteAndJew

        Because conservatives have long been oh so concerned with the carnage in black communities, right?

        "You are dealing in stereotypes and broad-brush fallacies."

        http://frontpagemag.com/2013/walter-williams/are-

  • Ghostwriter

    While integration could have been handled better than it was,it was still a worthy idea. The problem is that people like Jim_C don't want to see the problems some of their ideas have created. There have been people like Booker T. Washington who wanted to show that black people can do well and show others that they can be responsible members of society. It's a shame that so many black people listen to people like Al "The Loudmouth" Sharpton and those like them. They've done the black community a lot of damage. Hopefully,they'll one day learn not to trust them and listen to more responsible people instead of the racial demagogues that have brought the black community nothing but poverty and enormous social problems.

  • jp4

    Conservatives, like Dr. Sowell have been writing about this for years in attempt to illustrate the hypocracy of the left and that people need to realize that all of their feel good programs have failed. Look at who is behind school choice. People who sincerely care about a good educational opportunity for poor kids who deserve at least that and look who is opposed to just that opportunity. Did you actually read Dr. Sowell?

  • marsconi

    Thomas, you are brilliant and I suspect many, if not most, blacks agree with you but will not do so publicly because they don't want to give "whitey" that ammo. Truth is that the Left does not give a damn about blacks. In fact, if you look hard at someone on the Left you likely will find a bigot!

    If the Left cared at all about Blacks, they would be gun advocates given that, overwhelmingly, studies show guns are a "social benefit". i.e. Allowing law abiding people to carry concealed guns saves lives!! Moreover, the communities that benefit the most from the relaxing of carry and conceal gun laws are the poor communities since they are the most crime ridden.

    My assumption is that the Left (and many Liberals) are all about gun confiscation; not public safety! They are well aware that a public that is well armed (and not grossly out gunned) is difficult to control! The founders were well aware of this fact and is the motivation for placing the 2nd Amendment in the Constitution. It is a corner stone of insuring freedom! The Liberal ideological goal of a gun free society (which is controllable) far out weighs the deaths of a few black thugs who are only killing themselves anyway! They are scum so who cares about them!! Anyway, this is (my take on) the Left and Liberal view! My gut is also that they are frightened to think that blacks (even law abiding ones) have easy access to legal guns!! Talk about bigotry!!

  • carrie

    Why is it only white schools must be integrated ? Why would a white teacher be superior for a black student ?
    Instead of giving black communities a reason to work and improve their lives and communities – better schools,libraries ,education etc- democrats bussed kids around enough to annoy parents so they would shut up and threw welfare at those left behind.

    They destroyed family structure with increased welfare benefits for single mothers.They damaged the basic family function of men,leaving them with irresponsible and unstable futures .

    Gun control will hurt poor black communities terribly . The legal gun owners will be at the mercy of the violent criminal element who with or without guns will continue their lifestyle.

    • Mary Sue

      Gun control ALREADY HAS hurt black communities terribly. What do you think caused the people in the ghettos of Chicago, New York, Detroit, etc to live in fear of gang members while being able to do precisely bugger-all about it?

  • Mary Sue

    The biggest problem is Liberals, in attempting and failing miserably to dispossess gang members of firearms, have disarmed the very people the gangs prey on. The law-abiding ones, that is. The culture of helplessness causes them to vote Democrat more and more, waiting for the pie in the sky promises to be fulfilled.

  • fanlad

    Our culture of entitlements, dependency, and welfare from our government have laws and principles of unintended and intended consequences. One consequence, as pointed out by Mr. Sowell, is that more minority families, over time, have more single parent households and less two parent households. Not a good consequence for these families and children of these families, as these principles are passed on from one generation to the next. And not a good consequence for our society as a whole.
    What is troubling, is that this type of social engineering, seems to be intentional.
    Our government now has become the father figure for millions of households and for millions of individuals, adrift in a further dependent entitlement society.