Thomas Sowell

 In today's climate, too many teachers think they are doing black students a favor by feeding them grievances from the past and telling them how they are oppressed in the present -- and how their future is blocked by white racism. These are the kinds of friends who do more damage than enemies.

 Why endure all the hard work, self-discipline and self-denial that a first-rate education requires if The Man is going to stop you from getting anywhere anyway? People who have been pushing this line for years are now suddenly surprised and dismayed to discover that many black students across the country regard academic striving as "acting white."

 Many young blacks likewise regard speaking correct English, or even observing the rules of polite society, as "acting white." White liberals often cheer them on in their self-destructive behavior or at least "understand" them and defend them.

 Blacks have, in effect, been adopted as mascots by many white liberals. Mascots serve to symbolize something for others but the actual well-being of the mascot himself is seldom a major concern. Blacks have long been used by the left to indict American society.

 People like Barbara Ehrenreich get their jollies saying clever things to needle American society, whether on race or other issues. The actual consequences of their liberal vision for blacks themselves get remarkably little attention.

 So what if the social pathologies in the black community grew far worse after liberal doctrines became government policies in the 1960s? The vision is what matters to the left  -- and the opportunities it presents for them to be clever with words.


Thomas Sowell

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

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