Thomas Sowell

Again, the dangers may not be immediate. But they can be catastrophic when they catch up with us -- and catch us unprepared. We recovered from Pearl Harbor at enormous cost, including the needless deaths of American soldiers, fighting for their lives with obsolete military equipment against enemies with state of the art weapons.

But even such sacrifices, which brought us time to catch up during the Second World War, may not even be enough in a nuclear age.

What can be done now, to head off the many dangers in our current political policies and attitudes? There is not much we can do about demographic trends. But the changing composition of the American population is not, in itself, the fundamental danger. After all, vast millions of immigrants crossed the Atlantic for generations on end, and began the process of becoming Americans. Millions of black people likewise began that process after being set free.

Demography is not destiny. But the history of Balkanized and polarized societies in the 20th century is a history of horrors that we dare not ignore.

We are not at that terrible point yet. But that is the direction in which we are headed, under the spell of magic words like "multiculturalism" and "diversity," which have become substitutes for thoughts, even among those who pride themselves on being "thinking people."

Our whole educational system, from the elementary schools to the universities, is permeated with ideologies of group grievances and resentments, painting each group into the corner of its own separate subculture, instead of drawing them into the mainstream of the American culture that made this the greatest nation on earth.

Unless this fashionable Balkanization is stopped, demography can become destiny -- and a tragedy for all.


Thomas Sowell

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

Creators Syndicate