Thomas Sowell

Both these young men -- and many others -- have learned all too well the lessons taught by race hustlers, in their social version of the laws of aerodynamics, which said that they could not rise.

You don't hear about racial "leaders" like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson among Asians or Asian-Americans. Here and there you may see some irresponsible academics peddling that line in the classroom -- some of whom are of Asian ancestry, since no race of human beings is completely lacking in fools.

But they do not get the same attention, or draw the same following, as race hustlers operating in black or Hispanic communities. By and large, Asian youngsters rise and fly.

Other groups in times past also arrived on these shores with very little money and often with very little education, at least during the immigrant generation.

A poem by Carl Sandburg, back during that era, referred to a Jewish fish peddler in Chicago: "His face is that of a man terribly glad to be selling fish, terribly glad that God made fish, and customers to whom he may call his wares from a pushcart."

This fish peddler probably had not gone to college, and so had no one to tell him that he couldn't make it, and that his children couldn't rise, because this was such a terrible country.

No one can claim that there was no anti-Semitism in America, any more than they can claim that there was never any anti-Asian discrimination. There was plenty of both. But that is very different from following "leaders" whose message would only keep them grounded, after the skies were open to them as never before.

Thomas Sowell

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

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