Thomas Sowell

 It was a lawyer's full-employment act, creating another legally recognized victim group, empowered to claim special privileges, at other people's expense, in the name of equal rights. Nor could such legislation make the usual claim that it was coming to the defense of the poor and the downtrodden. Golf courses are not the natural habitat of the poor and the downtrodden.

 One of the plaintiffs in the golf-course lawsuit is a former managing partner in a large law firm. He says, "I just want the same opportunity as everyone else" to "get out and play 18 holes with my friends and colleagues."

 Equal opportunity does not mean equal results, despite how many laws and policies proceed as if it does, or how much fashionable rhetoric equates the two.

 An example of that rhetoric was the title of a recent New York Times column: "A Ticket to Bias." That column recalled bitterly a time before the Americans with Disabilities Act, when a woman in a wheelchair bought a $300 ticket to a rock concert but was unable to see when other people around her stood up. This was equated with "bias" on the part of those who ran the arena.

 Even now, decades after this incident, the woman in the wheelchair declares, "true equality remains a dream out of reach." Apparently only equality of results is "true" equality.

 A recent publication of the American Historical Association shows this same confusion when it says that doors "are largely closed" to people who want to become historians if they didn't graduate from a top-tier college. In other words, unequal results proves bias that closed doors, according to this rhetoric.

 Confusion between equal opportunity and equal results is a dangerous confusion behind many kinds of spoiled brat politics.

Thomas Sowell

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

Creators Syndicate