A Few Uncomfortable Truths by Amanda S. Green
It is no secret that I’m a Thomas Sowell fangirl. I have been for a long time. But, over the course of the last few years, I’ve read everything by him I could get my hands on. If I could, I’d make him required reading for everyone, especially for every student in public school and in college. Unfortunately, I don’t have that power. The best I can do is share my love for his work and hope you do the same.
I plan to do a series of posts about his newest book, Discrimination and Disparities, over the next few weeks. Before I do, however, I want to share with you a site I discovered this morning as well as a few of my favorite Sowell quotes (and my thoughts on them).
Before I get to the site, let me start with this: I hate Twitter with a purple passion. I do my best to avoid it, using it only to share links to blogs and books. I don’t Tweet “discussions” or get into debates over there. There are better things to do with my time.
So imagine my utter joy and disbelief to find a Twitter account that is dedicated to posting a quote every day from Professor Sowell. Part of me was stunned to find the site—and to know Twitter hasn’t yet taken it down. After all, Professor Sowell does Not fit the narrative most social media platforms are dedicated to. He tells it like it is, using facts and data to tear down the “approved” narrative.
If you haven’t discovered “Daily Quotes from Thomas Sowell” bookmark the page now. You won’t be sorry.
The pinned post has one of my favorite quotes from Sowell:
If there is not equality of outcomes among people born to the same parents and raised under the same roof, why should equality of outcomes be expected—or assumed—when conditions are not nearly so comparable?
Think about that for a moment. I have no doubt we all know families where children were raised together and turned out very differently. I’m not talking merely having different personalities but different drives, moral compasses, etc.
For example, when I was born, my mother worked at the hospital in the small Oklahoma town she and my dad lived it. Dad grew up there (and I’m forever grateful they moved to TX as soon as they could). One of the women Mom knew was a sweet little lady who worked in “Housekeeping”. She and her husband didn’t have much but they made sure they provided their two sons with a safe and loving home. They worked hard to insure the boys went to school and, when the time came, had every opportunity to go to college if they wanted.
But, from early on, there were differences between the boys, no matter what their parents did to give them the same opportunities and love. One was the son every parent wants: kind, loving, dedicated, hard-working, will to step up and answer the call to serve his country. The other, well, wasn’t. He was lazy, unmotivated, wanted everything handed to him and stole from those closest to him.
One son didn’t wait for his draft number to come up (this was in the midst of the Vietnam War). He went down to the Army recruitment office and enlisted. He proved to be as dedicated and motivated in the Army as he had in school and at home.
His brother, not so much. He did everything he could to avoid the draft.
Guess which son ended up making the ultimate sacrifice?
These two were raised under the same roof, with the same values and expectations, the same love and discipline. Yet they were very definitely not equal on so many different levels.
So, as Professor Sowell asked, how can we expect equality of outcomes when circumstances between people are different?
Economics, home life, education, moral compass, intellectual ability, natural talent are all factors that will impact that so-called “equality”, something those preaching such a need for uniformity forget. I don’t know about you, but I’d rather have that inequality of outcomes, warts and all, instead of the Stepford Wives sort of society the progressives seem to prefer.
Another of my favorite Sowell quotes was posted the other day:
Increasing numbers of educators and the intelligentsia seem to have devoted themselves to undermining or destroying a sense of personal responsibility and making “society” responsible instead.
Going hand-in-hand with it is this quote:
Demagogues have always aimed their messages at the unthinking and the uninformed. Unfortunately, today that includes many of our college students.
Think about those two quotes and what we’ve been seeing, especially in public education, over the last few decades. We’ve witnessed a move away from teaching our children there are consequences to their actions—or inactions. We’ve seen them being taught that “every child is special” and “every child is a winner”. While the sentiment behind those statements is good, the reality is it has turned out a generation or more of young adults and teens who believe they should be allowed to do or say whatever they want when they want. They haven’t been taught there are times when they won’t be the best at something or won’t be able to get what they want.
By failing to teach them how to fail, and how to then pick themselves up and move on, we have done them a great disservice. We are reaping the consequences now. Want an example? Just look at some of our newer members of Congress. Ocasio-Cortez wants everything to be free, forgetting that if the government funds it, we are the ones footing the bill. There are others who would have us abandon our allies and embrace those who want to see our country not just fail but be totally defeated. When those who know better push back, these special little darlings cry “foul” and accuse us of being “bullies” or prejudiced.
And why? Because we dare remind them of the reality of their desires.
Sowell also doesn’t shy away from topics that have made him no friends in most liberal circles. Here’s another quote I wish the other side would not only read but consider with an open mind.
Dependence was seen as the key to holding the slaves down. It’s ironic that same principle comes up in the welfare state a hundred years later.
You can hear the cries of outrage now, can’t you? The liberals who continue to perpetuate the welfare state refuse to recognize that they are simply perpetuating the problem and, in many ways, making it worse. There is little to no incentive for too many “in the system” to get out. When states try to limit assistance or tie it to actively taking steps to get “off the dole”, the cries of outrage ring out loud and long. The media picks up the outrage and amplify it.
There is so much Sowell writes about that not only makes sense but points out how we have to stop the downward spiral certain parts of our political leadership has put us on. It is up to us to figure out the best way to do so. But the first hurdle is recognizing the problem. Then we need to understand the history of the problem. After that, we can start to determine the best way to undo the damage that has already been done.
Sowell isn’t afraid to speak the hard truths. I wish there were more like him, willing to step out of the shadows and face the attacks from the “right thinkers” because he refuses to walk in lock-step to their narrative.