Thomas Sowell

A thousand disclaimers made -- or even believed -- by the supporters of the slavery memorial that this is not about victimhood will not make the slightest difference to the actual outcome. Race hustlers will make sure that it becomes a symbol of victimhood.

The Jesse Jacksons and the Al Sharptons will work tirelessly to make a slave memorial a symbol of victimhood and an argument for reparations, quotas and other handouts, long after those who created this memorial have moved on to other things. Meanwhile, the white backlash will grow, mocking all the pious talk about "healing" and "reconciliation."

Do people who make these kinds of proposals ever bother to look at what has actually happened? Racial polarization has already reached the point in our schools and colleges where there are now all-white proms and different college graduation parties for students of different races.

These are not hangovers from the past. These things -- not to mention "white studies" programs and skinheads -- are now being found in places where they didn't exist 20 or 30 years ago. These are backlashes like those in other countries where governments have singled out particular ethnic groups for special treatment.

We cannot just keep shutting our eyes to such things. Endlessly repeating the magic mantra of "diversity" will not make these realities go away. Building a government-sponsored source of racial divisiveness will only make matters worse.

Thomas Sowell

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

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