Thomas Sowell

Someone who stood in the black studies section of a major bookstore for 20 minutes reported that not a single white person entered that section during that time. Why would anyone want to put books where only a fraction of the public is likely to look -- especially if it is a book on a subject of no special interest to that particular fraction?

It is bad enough that bookstores engage in the racial profiling of authors. But so do some publishers.

The ridiculous lengths to which publishers can carry racial profiling was demonstrated to me when copies of my recently published book Basic Economics: A Citizen's Guide to the Economy. were sent out to Jet magazine, the Amsterdam News and other black publications. Only after I complained were copies then sent to the Wall Street Journal and other publications dealing with economics.

I had naively believed that publishers were not only in the business of publishing books but also of selling them. But apparently keeping up with fads is considered more important.

The mindless political correctness of the racial bean counters has invaded and corrupted one institution after another. A recent advertisement in the Chronicle of Higher Education lists a job as "Vice-Provost for Diversity and Equal Opportunity." In other words, this job is being campus quota czar. You have reached the holy grail of "diversity" when you have black leftists, white leftists, female leftists and Hispanic leftists as professors.

Major corporations across the country have their affirmative action officials and many also have "diversity consultants" who come in and harangue the employees with the politically correct party line on race. Not since the days when the Nazis spoke of "Jewish science" has the idea been so widespread that race is destiny as far as ideas are concerned.

Only such an underlying assumption could create even the semblance of rationality to the notion that you are promoting "diversity" of viewpoints by having people of different skin colors on campus or in business -- or with their books in different parts of bookstores.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate