Thomas Sowell Asks "Who Is Racist?"

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Thomas Sowell, via Jim Quinn's Burning Platform blog,

I 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.

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NOTW777's picture

president obama has set back race relations 200 yrs

Say What Again's picture

None of this matters because the bernanke will hand over another $85B this month to the prime dealers, who will quietly transfer that money to the executive committee by way of bonus.

Everything else is just noise in the system.

Beam Me Up Scotty's picture

We are all slaves.  Most don't know who the real masters are.  Blacks think its whitey.  And whitey doesn't even realize he's a slave too.

Say What Again's picture

and ES makes new highs, even as I type.

We're back to the scenario where ANY piece of news is BULLISH (or should I say BULLSHIT)

Cortez the Killer's picture

The rise of Nigger culture is responsible for the decline of American society

Sorry to burst your bubble, Nig.

w apologies to Thomas Sowell and decent black folks everywhere

Oh regional Indian's picture

"American Soiety" was built on the back of slave labour, black, irish and chinese.

Not to mention genocide. Of humans and animals.

Karma, Cortez.


Oldwood's picture

That must be why millions have walked, sailed and swam to get here over the years, just to be murdered and oppressed. America, still the cleanest dirty shirt. Maybe what we need is a caste system for you to feel more comfortable.

hivekiller's picture

That's another myth. Most of the "slaves' were indentured servants - most of whom were white.

Slavery was endemic in Africa but typically when slaves were taken, the women were incorporated into the slaveholder's family and the males were killed. Once the transatlantic slave market opened up, there was a use for those black men.


Cult_of_Reason's picture

Feudal serfdom in Europe was not far removed from slavery; though, serfs had some rights (vs. Roman Empire slaves). The last country to abolish serfdom was Russia, in 1861. Muslims took Christian slaves, and some Christian countries held Muslims in slavery. Only after the discovery of America, slavery became largely race based.

BTW, feudal lord-vassal principles have survived in the US. Our government (ruler or lord) and people (ruled or vassals) is the feudalism.

Meat Hammer's picture

I think it's a good time for some levity...on topic.  Clayton Bigsby if you need him

Dingleberry's picture

Everyone hates white culture.....until they turn on a light or engine, flush a toilet or eat something besides an enemy's heart for dinner.

Maybe we should let people live like they did before whitey came along.  They would probably enjoy wiping their asses with their bare hands.

Cult_of_Reason's picture

American society is already rotten to the core.


augustusgloop's picture

moronic comparison: 

Asian American and Jewish "ethinic" leaders: well, Jews are what 2% of US and yet 11% of Senate (wiki), 5% of House, 30% of Supreme Court. Economics-Bernanke, Greenspan--'nough said. Jews don't need ethnic leaders because Jews define the broader culture. Jewish culture is preparation for modern culture (Not sure if apocraphyl or not, but Einstein was supposed to have said that Jews occupied so many university slots in Germany because, "Jews have been studying for entrance exams for 2000 years.") Jews are the culture as talmudic study, rational thought & discourse is roughly equal to the skills required to excel in modern society. 

Every other culture has ethnic leaders- Chavez, blah blah blah. 


otto skorzeny's picture

LOL- it has everything to do with their natural "brilliance".

Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Cortez, "Trash" people come in all shapes, sizes, languages, cultures, faiths and pigmentation.  I'm not trying to be PC, but merely constructive when I say:

Attaching an unpopular and emotionally charged label on any group is not necessary (since no new insight is offered), nor productive (as it does not move the yardsticks forward).  All you are inviting is a mud-fest.  If you enjoy that sort of thing.

Anusocracy's picture

They should have used an image of Frank Gorshin form the Star Trek episode Let That Be Your Last Battlefield.

g'kar's picture

Good episode. They were at war because the black/white sides of their faces were opposite. Trippy. It really pointed out the pettiness of the race thing.

Dre4dwolf's picture

Thats how you keep the slaves from attacking the master, you pit the slaves against eachother.

White vs. Black.


Sadly, Whites are now the ones suffering from racism.

Blacks are so blinded by hate that they think this is a "good thing"

And whites honestly (most of them) don't give a shit what color you are so long as you don't go after their money.


See, Whites don't care about racism.

Whites care about keeping their land and resources and having the freedom to do what they please with their "stuff"


Black people have an agenda to "screw over" white people by making them "suffer" one way or another, blacks do this by playing the "race card", everytime something doesn't go their way they blame it on whitey.

When something goes wrong with in a white guys life:

Fuck wtf , how the fuck did I get into this situation, suma bitches screwed me over.... o well... ill just downsize , sell the car, find a cheaper apartment... work an extra job.


When something goes wrong with a black guys life:

Fucking white assholes takn whats mine and shit, Ima show white sumabitches whats what, *proceeds to rob a gas station and complains about racism and oppression when officers beat him half to death for shooting a teller.


See the difference?

White people deal with their problems.

Black people blame someone else.


O/C these are gross exagerations, (go ahead you can call the view "racist") , but as far as I am concerned its not racist if its true.

Black people love watermellon and fried chicken.

White people like other white people and would prefer to live in white neighborhoods because of the stigma about black neighborhoods (high crime etc...)

White people wana feel safe, they want to go to bed and keep both eyes closed.

Black people sleep with the door open because someone stole their door three nights ago, along with their left sneaker and half a kit-kat bar left on the counter.


Its just the way shit is, it aint no ones fault, shits just fucked up because these clowns play us off against eachother.


If you black people are looking for someone to blame.

Blame the bank for not lending you money to start a business or go to school.

Blame the bank for forclosing on the house you paid into for 9 years.

Blame the bank for mailiing you 100 credit cards and then suggesting that you make only the minumum payments for 20 years.

Blame the bank for fucking printing money and making the measly 8$ -4$ the govt takes worth only 90cents at the store in purchasing power.




Look, white people wana unify with black people, but black people are the ones keeping us out, its like we are white people knocking on the door of black people, we even brought cake and watermellon, but you black people are so paranoid that you wont let us in, you just think of us as seperate, while most of the white people think of us as all one race (humans).


there are black people that are human, and white people that are human and they are just both human.

then there are black people that think of themselves as "black" and your white and we don't mix.

Sure there are white "racists" too, but those fuckers are soo old and there are soo few of them, that they dont really even fucking matter anymore.

The real progress is going to be made when whites and blacks unify to beat the banks.

They trynna catch me ridin dirty's picture

But it's not "just noise in the system."  The same ones who are behind the Fed and international finance are also trying to squeeze whites out of existence.  That is plain to see.

Reason being, most likely, because whites are the only ones capable of putting a stop to their plan for One World Government from Jerusalem.

Skateboarder's picture

And professional work culture 10,000 years.

Shell Game's picture

'president obama has set back race relations 200 yrs'

After Al Sharpton's work that would put us at about 800 AD....

Morla's picture

People like Sharpton, Piers Morgan, Crump, etc are the real ones fanning the flames and keeping racism alive. Obama himself, on the other hand, hasn't done much of anything at all. The government kept lying, scamming, and making ridiculous promises while Obama stood there smiling and nodding. That's about it.

All this focus on Obama is unhealthy, and everyone should stop. I used to be like that about Bush and, believe me, it's not an intellectually productive position to take.

otto skorzeny's picture

O's a front man like the real power in the mafia use to deflect heat. At least he is spurning Bibi's advances in the ME- for now.

Morla's picture

You downvotes have too easy a scapegoat in Obama, it is clouding your judgement and narrowing your gaze. Snap out of it, man.

Stuart's picture

When Obama made the Trayvon being a 'son' comment, he legitimized the racial divide on this case.  He owns the racial divide fall out for that reason.  If Trayvon was white, would he have said this, in fact would anyone of have even heard about the case.  Doubt it. 

macholatte's picture



EVERYTHING Obama is about race and how to polorize and politicize and gain advantage from it.


Morla's picture

Obama's subtle when he does this, and I think not terribly important to this discussion. When a fire is raging I tend to focus on the guys (Al Sharpton, Piers Morgan, Ben Crump etc) who are running around with super-soakers full of gasoline and flare guns than the guy who's surreptitiously sprinkling a little gasoline here and there while keeping up appearances.

Dingleberry's picture

The one rule (and only one that matters in this realm) is that REALITY TRUMPS DREAMS.  

Take note, you stupid fucking liberals.  



Dingleberry's picture

The one rule (and only one that matters in this realm) is that REALITY TRUMPS DREAMS.  

Take note, you stupid fucking liberals.  



Sopra Tutt1's picture

Of course Mr. President set back race relations 200 yrs, what do you think, he'd have to obey a Contitution written by a bunch of slave owners? No baby, no way... it's payback time bitches. Sell gold buy fiat and move to a gated community.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture



+ 1

Yes, I was just about to write the same.  The Tylers have chosen well this evening.

Seasmoke's picture

It's why the zebras do not hang out with the will never work

Schmuck Raker's picture

I always think of racism as 'tribalism', or 'culturalism'.

Basically, most of us are still afraid of someone whose different.

There was a time when that was a necessary survival reaction. But not now. (Well.... mostly.)


"Race" is only just a function of geography. No more than that. Generally, if you look at large enough groups of people, you'll find they are pretty much the same.


buyingsterling's picture

Take a nice long stroll in any black neighborhood and then get back to us.

Shell Game's picture

Tom nails it. Excellent read..

q99x2's picture

Planet earth this is the Universe speaking.

Morons. All of you. You're getting an asteroid sent your way if you don't wise up.

Hulk's picture

Dear Universe, there is a tall monument, 555 feet tall ,capped with a pyramid, on the east coast of the United States with a big crack in it.


That is all for now...

theliberalliberal's picture

Australian Aboriginals are on their horse about being recognised in the Australian Constitution.  The consitution should be written for all people,  to make sure all are treated the same.

geeez,  carry on about how special and different you are,  and then when someone says "you're different" label them a racist.

Bear's picture

I am special and different ... I am the Bear (and maybe a racist)

Hongcha's picture

The Zimmerman verdict was highly significant.  The One and his crew wanted this one badly.  I have not, in my 52+ years, ever seen one common schmuck set upon by the ganglands of power (White House, DOJ, media, the Lexus Liberals).  The overwhelming denigration of this man, the collective bootheel to the face, was remarkable.  I saw what was happening when I finally saw a photo of the grown-up Trayvon, dead-eyed gangsta, not the 10-year-old every single MSM outlet was running.

The utter ruthlessness of the attack upon an everyday American, by the highest office in the land on down, is truly breathtaking.

The One wanted this for several crucial reasons:

1.   Further gun control propaganda;

2.   Further race agitprop to strengthen his perceived constituents;

3.   Cement martial law or the gradual setting of it.

This was a very good result for freedom-loving Americans of any race.  And it exhibited again and even moreso the brazen corruption and brutality of the current Admin.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

+ a billion

Very good, very erudite.

P.T.Bull's picture

Duke university soccer team, tawana brawley. It happens all the time.

Hongcha's picture

Yes indeed P.T. and Sharpton spearheaded the Brawley farce as well; the hate-filled racist pusbag that he is.  

Bollixed's picture

Al Charlatan: probably the only brother with a 3 inch penis...

Tulpa's picture

I'm failing to see how a conviction helps BO.  He needs a pissed-off Dem base in 2014 to drive turnout and save the Senate, especially since he's completely alienated the independents, and the acquittal probably helps way more with that.