Who Is Racist?

jesse_jackson_and_al_sharptonI am so old that I can remember when most of the people promoting race hate were white.

Apparently other Americans also recognize that the sources of racism are different today from what they were in the past. According to a recent Rasmussen poll, 31 percent of blacks think that most blacks are racists, while 24 percent of blacks think that most whites are racist.

The difference between these percentages is not great, but it is remarkable nevertheless. After all, generations of blacks fought the white racism from which they suffered for so long. If many blacks themselves now think that most other blacks are racist, that is startling.

The moral claims advanced by generations of black leaders — claims that eventually touched the conscience of the nation and turned the tide toward civil rights for all — have now been cheapened by today’s generation of black “leaders,” who act as if it is all just a matter of whose ox is gored.

Even in legal cases involving terrible crimes — the O.J. Simpson murder trial or the charges of gang rape against Duke University students — many black “leaders” and their followers have not waited for facts about who was guilty and who was not, but have immediately taken sides, based on who was black and who was white.

Among whites, according to the same Rasmussen poll, 38 percent consider most blacks racist and 10 percent consider most whites racist.

Broken down by politics, the same poll showed that 49 percent of Republicans consider most blacks racist, as do 36 percent of independents and 29 percent of Democrats.

Perhaps most disturbing of all, just 29 percent of Americans as a whole think race relations are getting better, while 32 percent think race relations are getting worse. The difference is too close to call, but the fact that it is so close is itself painful — and perhaps a warning sign for where we are heading.

Is this what so many Americans, both black and white, struggled for, over the decades and generations, to try to put the curse of racism behind us — only to reach a point where retrogression in race relations now seems at least equally likely as progress?

What went wrong? Perhaps no single factor can be blamed for all the things that went wrong.

Insurgent movements of all sorts, in countries around the world, have for centuries soured in the aftermath of their own success. “The revolution betrayed” is a theme that goes back at least as far as 18th century France.

The civil rights movement in 20th century America attracted many people who put everything on the line for the sake of fighting against racial oppression. But the eventual success of that movement attracted opportunists, and even turned some idealists into opportunists.

Over the generations, black leaders have ranged from noble souls to shameless charlatans. After the success of the civil rights insurgency, the latter have come into their own, gaining money, power and fame by promoting racial attitudes and actions that are counterproductive to the interests of those they lead.

None of this is unique to blacks or to the United States. In various countries and times, leaders of groups that lagged behind, economically and educationally, have taught their followers to blame all their problems on other people — and to hate those other people.

This was the history of anti-Semitic movements in Eastern Europe between the two World Wars, anti-Ibo movements in Nigeria in the 1960s, and anti-Tamil movements that turned Sri Lanka from a peaceful nation into a scene of lethal mob violence and then decades-long civil war, both marked by unspeakable atrocities.

Groups that rose from poverty to prosperity seldom did so by having racial or ethnic leaders. While most Americans can easily name a number of black leaders, current or past, how many can name Asian American ethnic leaders or Jewish ethnic leaders?

The time is long overdue to stop looking for progress through racial or ethnic leaders. Such leaders have too many incentives to promote polarizing attitudes and actions that are counterproductive for minorities and disastrous for the country.

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.

  • objectivefactsmatter

    “The time is long overdue to stop looking for progress through racial or ethnic leaders. Such leaders have too many incentives to promote polarizing attitudes and actions that are counterproductive for minorities and disastrous for the country.”

    Amen.

    • MidwestMother

      Amen.

  • ElizabethMC

    Black leaders would be dinosaurs if not for their phony war of white racism against blacks. They have to fan the flames of racism for their own survival.

    • chihova

      lmfao…….only a white person can say this with a straight face.

      • objectivefactsmatter

        In your estimation Mr. Sowell is “white?” Who is racist?

        • MidwestMother

          It is occurring to me as I read the hateful notes here that many don’t know who the author of the article is. They should google his name and find out.

      • OfficialPro

        are you a low information voter?

      • moneekwa

        Booker T Washington said it too:

        “There is a class
        of colored people
        who make a business
        of keeping the troubles,
        the wrongs and the
        hardships of the Negro race
        before the public.

        Some of these people
        do not want the Negro
        to lose his grievances
        because they do not want
        to lose their jobs.

        There is a certain class
        of race-problem solvers
        who don’t want the patient
        to get well. “

  • DebRollin

    Looks like these two will be in charge of instigating the mob riots.

    • MarilynA

      The Justice Department is in charge of the mob riots. Taxpayer paid FBI personnel have been in Florida recruiting, bussing in agitators, and stirring up l*nch mobs to take to the streets when the acquittal is announced. They are even calling for the assassination of George Zimmerman.

      • DebRollin

        Yes, We have a totally lawless government. The police chief, Bill Lee was fired by the City Council because he said there was not enough evidence against Zimmerman to jail him. Several attorneys said there was no case here, thats pretty obvious, the prosecution could not prove their case. Zimmerman should have defended himself no matter who attacked or what color they were. This was all organized by the DOJ to cause riots and division. As you can see the DOJ are not for justice…they will be on a vendetta against Mr. Zimmerman now.

      • DebRollin

        Its Alinsky’s rules for radicals infiltrating the institutions of American society, take power from the Haves and give it to the Have nots. The issue is always the revolution. The organizers eats, dreams, and sleeps only one thing, and that is to build the mass power base of what he calls the army. The demagogic standard of the revolution is democracy, which upends all social hierarchies, including those based on merit. Democracy means getting those who are in out. Mobilize the poor and oppressed as a battering ram to bring down the system.

        • MarilynA

          The problem with redistributing the wealth to the have nots is that they do not want what the haves have. They just dont’ want anyone else to have any more than they have. This is proven by the fact that when given decent housing and other assets they destroy them or let them deteriorate for lack of maintenance and upkeep. Just look at how the proliferation of Food Stamps has caused the epidemic of obesity in this country. It’s mostly the disadvantaged that are clinically obese because they no longer have to get up off their rears and exert themselves to get food.

          • DebRollin

            Yes, Obesity, gangs, drugs, and more time to spend causing chaos. The government should be promoting responsible behavior and independence to have a much happier productive society. When people get everything given to them, they don’t appreciate the cost of things or genuine achievement on their own merits…pretty sad really.

  • JeffWRidge

    Sadly, there is money and power to be gained by keeping groups of people angry at each other. Angry people are not thinking when they act. They are reacting to whatever it is that makes them angry. This can be exploited for fun and profit.

    • MidwestMother

      Amen

  • Melinda Craig

    We got to the point where every thing we do is determined by what it can do to help blacks, screw everyone else. now that enough blacks are in high places and are doing the hiring they can effectively eliminate the white man from the job market. even in government jobs when a black is in charge of hiring he only hires blacks for the job

    • asa2222

      I have ridden the bus here in Chicago at least twice every workday for the past 10 years. So several thousand bus rides. During that time I am pretty sure I saw no more than 10-15 white bus drivers. Definitely no more than 20.

    • bluffcreek1967

      Exactly! Don’t think for one minute that once all those ‘minorities’ gain important positions in all of society, they they’re going to be as accommodating and ‘tolerant’ as the white man. It will be payback time. They will look for themselves, for their own racial interests and not that of the white man. Whites have made utter fools of themselves through the lies of multiculturalism.

      • Moto

        The reward for all this diversity and welfare debt we’ve been racking up supporting “minorities” will be the displacement and disenfranchisement of our people, followed by their literal extermination. Even if blacks were zealously attempting to implement affirmative action for whites and take care of them, the task would be impossible for them. They can’t even feed themselves in their own countries or in their ghettos in ours.

        The picture isn’t as rosy as all that, though, turns out blacks can be pretty racist themselves. They don’t do anything as humane as hanging people without a trial though, they prefer to put a tire filled with lighter fluid around your neck and set it on fire.

  • glpage

    It is probable that there will always be some level of tension between ethnic groups, I doubt it will ever go away completely. That said, it seems to me that having the issue of race in our faces constantly is not helping the situation. If people would not think in racial terms and instead think in people terms we all would be better off.

    • MidwestMother

      Amen. Thank you for saying that.

  • Arty Cohn

    We now have that the head of the US Justice department, Holder, has shown himself to be highly prejudiced, indicting whites while exonerating blacks, for the same type of crimes.

    After the 1964 civil rights legislation, instead of pushing towards more complete racial neutral regulation, many left-wing legal activist groups pushed towards regulations that emphasized racialism. School busing and college quotas were some of the actions pushed. The concept of diversity was elevated, and efforts to treat individuals equally and fairly were rejected

    • MarilynA

      Don’t forget affirmative which has in effect blocked white males from participating in skilled and high tech jobs. Those who get the college positions aren’t capable of doing the work so we are having to import tecks and engineers. We have effectively reached third world status. We just don’t know it yet.

      • OfficialPro

        And they justify it with “well it’s not really discrimination if a white male gets blocked from University because he has white privilege and everybody will treat him as more competent than any minority male (or white woman) and the world is the white man’s oyster so he can get favors for being white while the black man or woman can’t.”

        We do need a lot more people in the skilled trades that don’t learn their things in college, but that’s not the way to go about encouraging it.

    • MidwestMother

      Good point. Thank you.

  • Melinda Craig

    The democraps could care less about how many cr@ckers die on their watch, just look at how many murdering somalians they brought in for more votes? who in their right mind would want murders in their community yet the democreaps and black leaders put a stop to whites immigration while increasing black hatians and africians that come into the communities and breed like rats and murder at even faster rates all the while run in fear while black leaders clap in approval of killing the devils .

    • chihova

      this wasnt racist at all….not one bit.

      • ziggy zoggy

        Actually, you are extremely racist.

      • Moto

        Who cares? You guys said saying the word “golf” was racist not too long ago.

        I don’t care what’s racist. I care what’s good for my people, and why not? Eric Holder’s looking out for “his people”.

        That’s actually much scarier for you than if I were a full-fledged racist who wanted to return to the days of keeping blacks in bondage.

        If that were the case, and there were a few more who thought like me, you’d think it was the greatest thing since sliced bread, like how you’re cool with Muslims murdering homos and women who were raped.

        • OfficialPro

          don’t worry, that person’s definition of racism is f***ed up. It’s not an actual real world definition, it’s a persuasive redefinition.

          • Moto

            Their entire worldview is made up of things like literal interpretations of hyperbolic statements made 50 years ago by hysterical radicals who are now dead.

            They also think all women were literally chattel property 60 years ago despite an inability to produce a bill of sale for any non-black women at any point in this country’s history.

            The lack of evidence becomes evidence of the pervasive cultural conspiracy they’ve hallucinated. How come these morons get to go to college and foist this idiotic crap on us, and poor whites have to go to trade school because they can’t afford college like moronic rich whites and their pets, the “minorities”,who receive unfair advantages?

      • OfficialPro

        Your college education was clearly a waste of somebody’s money, probably taxpayers’. Protip: Women’s and Ethnic studies have no value at all whatsoever in the real world and are only good for brainwashing people into drinking the purple poisoned Jim Jones style Koolaid while confusing regular people with insane theories.

  • chihova

    this must be a right wing conservative website. now blacks are the racist ones and whites are the victims. lmfao!!!!!!!!!!!!! did everyone wake up in bizzaro world?

    • newsel

      Very insightful…Google “Polar Bear Attacks”….

    • ziggy zoggy

      31% of Blacks believe Whites are less racist, while only 24% are stupid enough to believe Whites are more racist. Whine to them about it.

    • OfficialPro

      Did we wake up in bizarro world? No, you did, when you bought into the Ethnic Studies Identity Politics claptrap that makes NO LOGICAL SENSE AT ALL. You got suckered in by insane bipolar sociopathic university professors that don’t know what they’re talking about when it comes to the real world and sit in their ivory tower thinking of ways to implement Saul Alinksy’s agenda on the young skulls full of MOOSH that attend the average University.

      I ain’t buying your Identity Politics Persuasive Redefinition of the word “racism”. Racism is the belief that one race is superior to another. Forget all that claptrap leftist garbage illogic that you learned in college either in ethnic/women’s studies or freaking ENGLISH OR MATH from an insane professor that should never have been tenured.

      And the rest of us aren’t buying it either. You can’t just redefine words like that. It’s a deliberate tactic fully intended to stifle the debate by confusing your opponents, and it’s not going to effing work. Not here.

  • AlbertoinDumbo

    Sowell is not an idiot, why is he writing for this rag?

    • ziggy zoggy

      Because he is not interested in writing for idiots?

    • OfficialPro

      what’s your point?

  • otherles

    In the state of Florida, a jury refused a demand for a human sacrifice.

    The Left stands by and cheers as every new manifestation of barbarism
    rises and slaughters good people and innocent children. The chattering
    classes willingly support and serve the enemies of mankind and viciously
    slander and condemn those who dare to raise a hand in defense of the
    defenseless. They sit in their coffee houses cooking up conspiracy
    theories about how Conservatives are planning to exterminate their own
    particular fringe group.

    But if the conspiracy theories of the Left were true they would all be
    dead. If Conservatives dealt with the adherents of Liberalism the way
    the Left has dealt with humans in general whenever the Left has obtained
    power, there wouldn’t be any Liberals left standing. Of the
    universities and the urban centers of Liberalism there would be nothing
    left but smoking ruins, and there would be mass graves from coast to
    coast.

    We need to face the fact that the present day Left, like the barbarians
    who plagued civilization before them, are essentially parasites. Control
    of the productive population is essential for their survival and well
    being. Compulsion is inherently necessary to the parasite manner of
    existence. Those who resisted had to be killed as an object lesson for
    others.

    The Left Marxist barbarians, not only need material support they also
    need spiritual support as well. They need to feel that their victims are
    not only submitting to them today but will do so tomorrow as well.

    Barbarian chieftains and tribal witch-doctors demanded degrading and
    often dangerous acts of worship from their subjects, up to and including
    human sacrifice, in order to assure themselves that they would still
    have a roof over their heads and food to eat the next day. Those refused
    to obey were assaulted or killed.

    In the meeting places of the Left the demand is for unquestioned
    agreement without regard to the actual facts of reality. The Leftists
    are the first to demand censorship lest they be identified as frauds and
    subsequently bounced out of their comfortable fantasy worlds, no longer
    insulated from a real world that demands real thought and real labor.

    The Left, being dependent upon others for their sustenance, must stand
    in opposition to the society of rational consent and openly support
    systems of compulsion, because to do otherwise is to condemn themselves
    to death.

  • handsomedan

    I AM A WHITE MALE . I ROOTED FOR MLK WHEN HE MARCHED THROUGH CHICAGO IN THE ’60′s . I WANTED TRUE EQUALITY AMONGST THE RACES . BUT NOW , SADLY FOR ME , BECAUSE OF THE SHARPTONS , THE FARRAKHANS , THE JESSE JACKSONS , THE CHARLES BARRONS AND ALL OF THE OTHER RACIST ANTI SEMITES JUST HANGING AROUND WAITING FOR SOMETHING RACIAL TO HAPPEN SO THAT THEY CAN THREATEN THE COUNTRY WITH MAYHEM AND RIOTS !! WELL, AND I’M ASHAMED TO SAY IT BUT , I THINK THESE PEOPLE THAT I MENTIONED PREVIOSLY HAVE MADE ME A RACIST . I FEEL SHAME , BUT I HONESTLY DONT BLAME MYSELF !!!! THANKS ALOT YOU GUYS FOR DOING YOUR SHARE TO DESTROY A COUNTRY !! ONE MORE THING ; IF YOU SEE ME WALKING DOWN THE STREET , YOU WOULD BE WISE TO CROSS TO THE OTHER SIDE , CAUSE I’M REALLY PISSED !!!!!!!!

    • Gettingby

      I too find racism creeping into my heart and mind. The waves of propaganda are relentless, hate this-love that, support this-condemn that, and think this-not that. The issues and problems that each of of us and the world are forced to contend with or have an opinion about are endless and seemingly infinitely unsolvable. It becomes a 24/7 job just not to drown and life almost seems a secondary thing. Staying current on world events is spirit killing.

      You supported equal rights in the sixties You were right to do so! The shame you feel is the Creators way of saying “you are on the wrong path” Don’t let the actions of evil men or factions steal that heart/mindset from you. Racism is and always will be wrong!

      • MidwestMother

        Amen. Thank you.

    • bluffcreek1967

      What’s happening is that you’re starting to wake up, becoming more race conscious than you have ever been before. Don’t let your hatred and disgust prevent you from channeling it to something constructive on behalf of the white race, the very people who erected western civilization and whom blacks and Leftists do their best to destroy.

    • Moto

      “BUT I HONESTLY DONT BLAME MYSELF !!!!”

      You should,it’s your fault. What did you think was going to happen? You had better schooling back then,ours has sucked for some time now, thanks to lowered standards for blacks. You don’t have the excuse of being ignorant of what happened to Rome and Greece because of “diversity” and “multiculturalism”.

      • handsomedan

        IT WOULD BE NICE TO HAVE A MOTHER AND FATHER IN THE SAME HOUSE TO TEACH YOU THE REAL IMPORTANCE OF SCHOOL !!! HERE IN CHICAGO WHERE THERE ARE SO MANY ROTTEN TEACHERS AND FAILING SCHOOLS , THE SINGLE MOTHER DOES’NT WANT TO TRANSFER HER CHILDREN TO A BETTER SCHOOL , WHY ?? THANK THE PUBLIC COMMIE UNIONS FOR THAT !! MAKES ZERO SENSE , KEEPING THE CHILDREN IN FAILING SCHOOLS . TRANSFER THEM TO GOOD SCHOOLS WITH GOOD TEACHERS !!!! WHY IS THIS A PROBLEM ?? REALLY . WHATS THE PROBLEM?

        • Moto

          What’s the problem?

          Common Core.

          Ever heard of it? You should have. It’s part of the legacy you fought for. Soon, there will be no “good schools” left, as what is required by federal law, that you fought for, to be taught is nothing but unprovable and indeed obviously false goodthink that unfairly slanders and comically misrepresents the society that we live in and our founding fathers built in an attempt to explain away black underperformance despite the equality of opportunity (and even unfair advantages) which they receive.

          You can’t escape the Law of Unintended Consequences by moving to another neighborhood, any more than you can escape the Law of Gravity.

  • JimG33

    To Chihova and AlbertoinDumbo

    The Google search to do on this subject is White Girl Bleed a Lot. Scroll down to find Prof. Sowell’s review of this book on NRO. You also might search for the selfie videos on YouTube. Some say blacks can’t be racist, as they have no power. Any one has the power to lynch, and it doesn’t even take a rope.

    And Chihova both I and the good Prof. have been black longer then you’ve been alive.

    And AlbertoinDumbo you might want to do some research on the life of David Horowitz, you might learn something. Though I don’t think that’s possible.

  • MidwestMother

    Thank you for this article, Professor Sowell.

  • OfficialPro

    It’s like Chris Rock said. “Who’s more racist? White people, or black people? Black people. Because, we haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate black people, TOO! Everything white people don’t like about black people, black people reaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaally don’t like about black people!”