Liberalism vs 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.

  • Winston Blake

    Judaic Bolshevist Mammonism (Baphomet) is just as much of a devil as Mahomet.

    The false prophet ecclesiastics would have men believe that taking sides in the conflicts between devils is the path to Salvation.

    Forcing everyone to buy Obamacare from Wall Street insurance companies owned by the big banks makes no sense at all.

    “Occupy” exactly what?

    The Golden Calf has grown up to be a hollow Bronze Bull.

    Consider Shakespeare’s language in Othello and Iago in this soliloquy…

    ‘The Moor is of a free and open nature that thinks men honest that but seem to be and will be tenderly led by the nose, as ásses are.’

  • Edwin Alexander

    Well written as usual Mr. Sowell, Regards.

  • dougloss

    “What is not understandable is how so many liberals can blindly ignore 50 years of evidence to the contrary since then.”

    On the contrary, it’s easily understandable. The left’s ideas and positions aren’t arrived at by rational thought or examination of the results of their actions. They are instead articles of faith, held as axioms rather than hypotheses. For the left, these positions hold the same regard as does religious views for the rest of the populace. Their political philosophy really is a form of secular religion rather than reasoned-out ideas based on particular underlying principles.

  • writeby

    Nicely said. Indeed, religion is the Left’s source of such.

    The philosophy of the (New) Left–in academe, postmodernists, multiculturalists, etc. (i.e., nihilists); in politics, welfare statists, socialists or Marxists–is the culmination of several thousands of years of bad philosophy, beginning with the Idealism of Plato.

    Plato’s Idealism posited a supernatural realm of perfect Forms and counseled folks to “get together” to form the Ideal State:

    “The best ordered state will be one in which the largest number of persons … most nearly resembles a single person. The first and highest form of the State … is a condition in which the private and the individual is altogether banished from life, and things which are by nature private, such as eyes and ears and hands, have become common, and in some way see and hear and act in common, and all men express praise and blame and feel joy and sorrow on the same occasion, and whatever laws there are unite the city to the utmost …” (Plato’s _Republic_ & _Laws_ c. 370 BCE)

    Later, Plato’s metaphysics would help Augustine of Hippo forge the formal philosophical structure of Christianity.

    During the Age of Enlightenment, David Hume would destroy (in men’s minds) the immutability of the Law of Causality. Most critically, though, Hume would divorce (in men’s minds) fact from value (is-ought dichotomy), thus placing morality outside the realm of reason.

    Thanking Hume for his cue, German Idealist, Immanuel Kant–who sought to save religion from reason–would go on to destroy (in men’s minds) the immutability of the Law of Identity. As well, he would distill Judeo-Christian ethics into a lethal brew: self-immolation in the name of nihilism.

    (Kant’s philosophy, though he had help, is, more than any other, responsible for the madness into which the West is sinking today.)

    Finally, Hegel (the patron saint of the Nazis, communists and New Left) would provide the nuts & bolts of totalitarianism; later, pragmatists like James & Dewey would add the icing of expediency, which they claimed was the standard by which one measured what was true and “what worked.”

    The result?

    1. A primacy of consciousness metaphysics, which consciousness was either the super-consciousness of a deity (religion) or the collective consciousness of a super organism called, society (Hegel).
    2. An emotionalist epistemology, which emotionalism–whether religious or “secular”–was faith.
    3. A self-destroying morality, to achieve either immortality–beyond the grave–or to gain prosperity–for the generation-after-next.
    4. A political system of tyranny, either a religious one–monarchical or theocratic (e.g., Islamic)–or a “secular” one (e.g., fascist, Nazi, communist).

    All that adds up to a single hard fact: Religion makes socialism not only possible, but–most importantly–gives it its moral sheen.

    More precisely, if you like:

    “It is the religious metaphysics of Neo-Platonic Idealism, the emotionalist religious epistemology of faith and the Judeo-Christian ethics of self-sacrifice that make the irrational politics of socialism possible.”

  • Tim Jaggers

    Conservatives look at a black person and see someone who can accomplish anything they set their mind to with hard work and perseverance. Liberals look at the same person and see someone who can’t accomplish anything without the government’s help.

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