Home Contact Register Subscribe to the Beacon Login

Thursday, January 24, 2019


Economist Dr. Thomas Sowell’s broad research and deep intellect effectively strikes down long-prevailing assumptions and conventional wisdom about slavery, black education, ghetto culture, and much more in his heavily documented book “Black Rednecks and White Liberals.” His work is a collection of six long essays each comprising a chapter. In a sense, Dr. Sowell offers an historian’s minority report by contradicting contemporary “multicultural” silliness.

The underlying premise of his book asserts the similarity of human nature across cultures. We are all subject to the same flaws that have dominated humanity since the fall of Adam and Eve. We are all subject to envy, hatred, and prejudice and are all capable of cruelty and injustice.

Dr. Sowell is the Rose and Milton Friedman Senior Fellow on Public Policy at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He previously taught at Cornell, UCLA, Amherst, and other universities. He has taught and written about economics, a wide variety of social issues, and intellectual controversies. His twenty-five years of research coupled with the research of others plus keen observation have resulted in his books including “Economic Facts and Fallacies,” “Migrations and Cultures,” “Basic Economics,” and “Applied Economics.”

Cutting to the chase, Dr. Sowell sheds light on mistaken beliefs espoused by pretentious white liberals who pose as “friends” of blacks. In doing so they have done more to hurt blacks on their downward slide to self-destruction than they have helped them. They do this by foisting on blacks a false notion of “black culture.”

“Black culture” never came from Africa. Dr. Sowell documents that this “culture” was never authentically African but was in fact absorbed from the white rednecks who made up the bulk of the white southern population prior to the Civil War. These whites, in turn, came from the “Celtic fringe” outside the cultural heartland of England, as their behavior on both sides of the Atlantic showed. They came from the almost lawless regions of Scotland, Ireland, and northern borderlands of England.

According to Dr. Sowell, the myths that incorrectly portray what is called “black culture” becomes an excuse to justify the uneducated, uncouth, rowdy, risky, promiscuous, and unambitious behavior of the ghetto dwellers. In turn, race-hustlers and white liberals of the “blame-everything-on-whitey” mind set wrongly cite racism, discrimination, and oppression as the cause of black inner city woes. To speak out against this behavior risks being branded a “racist” or “Uncle Tom.” This prevailing left-wing narrative became a highly destructive force resulting in government programs meant to “level the playing field.” Instead, they have been wrong-headed and counterproductive. He attributes much of the blame to the failure of the public education system in general and black education in particular.

Focus with Dr. Sowell on slavery for a moment. He has spent his adult life demolishing victim narratives as excuses for bad behavior. Sociologists, historians, and politicians would have us believe that slavery was unique to the American south. As Dr. Sowell details, the institution of slavery has been popular in most cultures and practiced around the world for thousands of years. Europeans, Asians, Africans, South Americans, and Native Americans have all practiced slavery. Those touting the conventional wisdom would have us believe the institution was originated by and limited to the U.S. south.

Dr. Sowell describes many additional examples of disastrous associations brought on by economic success, work ethic differences, and identity politics. The financial success of the Chinese, Lebanese, Albanians, Jews, and Tamil minorities embedded in other cultures resulted in discrimination, slaughter, and exile of the successful minorities by the not-so-successful majorities when incited by the politically powerful. This book was not written from the perspective of the aggrieved, but from a broad standpoint taking into account the omnipresence of slavery in the world from time immemorial and the major role predominantly white people played in putting an end to it.

Although not discernable from the title, the book includes chapters on German Nazis and Jews. Given the right mix of events, the human flaws mentioned above could flourish and once again produce a catastrophe akin to the rise of the Nazis.

His final chapter distinguishes true history as opposed to mere visions. His point is that claiming an inability to write history objectivity too often becomes a red herring. To quote Sowell, “The only choice is between discussing what actually happened in the past and discussing notions projected into the past for present purposes.” Too often, white liberals exercise the latter and call it history. The author Alex Haley who wrote the fictional but influential book “Roots” practiced this form of non-contextual “history” in Dr. Sowell’s view.

In the end, Dr. Sowell’s book seeks to dispel myths and debunk rhetoric of those who seek to divide the world with a false and uninformed world view.


Dennis M. Patrick can be contacted at (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

Click here to email your elected representatives.


No Comments Yet

Post a Comment


Upload Image    

Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?