Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Thomas Sowell Explains

Amidst the din the voice of reason emerges.

While many politicians and pundits are trying to excuse the rioting that took place in Baltimore last week, Thomas Sowell points to the facts.

It is certainly not the first time he has done so. While politicians and pundits are pushing a guilt narrative that excuses all bad behavior by African-Americans, Sowell offers a dose of reality:

We are told that such riots are a result of black poverty and white racism. But in fact — for those who still have some respect for facts — black poverty was far worse, and white racism was far worse, prior to 1960. But violent crime within black ghettos was far less.

Murder rates among black males were going down — repeat, down — during the much-lamented 1950s, while it went up after the much celebrated 1960s, reaching levels more than double what they had been before. Most black children were raised in two-parent families prior to the 1960s. But today the great majority of black children are raised in one-parent families.

When you state that one group of people need not observe the same standards and follow the same rules as everyone else, they don’t. When you excuse their criminal behavior, they engage in more criminal behavior. When you believe that their rioting is a justifiable rebellion against the entrenched while power structure, they will continue to riot. If  you are an ideologue, you believe that the continued bad behavior shows that you were right all along.

Sowell explains it well:

You cannot take any people, of any color, and exempt them from the requirements of civilization — including work, behavioral standards, personal responsibility, and all the other basic things that the clever intelligentsia disdain — without ruinous consequences to them and to society at large.

Non-judgmental subsidies of counterproductive lifestyles are treating people as if they were livestock, to be fed and tended by others in a welfare state — and yet expecting them to develop as human beings have developed when facing the challenges of life themselves.

Statistics show that black married couples do not, as a rule, live in poverty. Much of the problem comes from homes that are led by a single mothers. One suspects that the media cannot bring itself to identify the problem as the lack of fathers. Don’t its leaders believe that mothers and fathers are interchangeable, that they are all just social constructs?

In Sowell’s words:

One key fact that keeps getting ignored is that the poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits every year since 1994. Behavior matters and facts matter, more than the prevailing social visions or political empires built on those visions.


Dennis said...

One would do well to read the many books penned by Mr. Sowell. i admit that he is one of my favorites. "Wealth, Poverty and Politics," "Intellectuals and Race," Race and Culture." "Economic Facts and Fallacies," "On Classical Economics," "Basic Economics," et al.
Mr. Sowell is a very prolific writer who lays out the economic foundation on a wide variety of issues.
He puts the lie to most of the accepted dogma of the Left who to me are the true racists. he should be required reading in academe which is why he never will be.
It is no secret that I am a believer in tough love. If one truly cares about people then one has to be willing to expect, demand, the same standards for everyone. Years in the military have demonstrated that everyone has the capability to succeed no matter who or what they happen to be. One only creates less than adults by giving people a pass on the challenges of life.
My first real mentor was a black NCO who occasionally "chewed" me out. He did more for the improvement of my considerable talent, now you know why he had to set me straight every so often, than those who showed me preference.
Nothing is gained by not expecting the best out of everyone. Nothing is better for a person than knowing they have the wherewithal to meet life's challenges. To do otherwise is to cheat, maybe racist and sexist, them of a full life.
Thomas Sowell gives one of the better analysis I have seen for Baltimore, et al.

Stirge said...

Its not the poverty that causes them to riot. Its the people.

Sam L. said...

See also Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

He has many greats, Dennis. But my two favorites are "A Conflict of Visions," demonstrating the difference between Stage 1 and Stage 2 thinking; and also "Intellectuals and Society," which illustrates the nonsensical intellectual ramblings that Stuart points out in his other post today. Both are excellent reads.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

And yes, Sam L., "Defining deviancy down" remains alive and well... and is accelerating.

Dennis said...

When there was a lot of feminist marching in the street I began to notice that I saw many of the same faces. It was not long after that that I found out that these were paid protestors, most of whom came from Canada. In fact few American women were in on the street protesting except when the "media" was there. This is somewhat understandable when one realizes this was driven by , mostly, upper class women at the expense of lower class women and me. Upper class men saw a way to limit the competition they received fro men who could challenge them.
Fast forward to current times and we see much the same thing. Any analysis begins to demonstrate that many of the protesters are NOT from the areas where these riots take place and are paid organizers. The sad part is that the people who may have legitimate grievances are quickly over powered by the outside agitators who have a far different agenda than those at the local level.
Note here one sees a cadre of upper class blacks who are using, actually keeping others in poverty, the people they claim to want to help. Does anyone really believe that the power structure wants to change the status quo. They cannot afford for people to get out of the "ghetto" because their source of graft would dry up.
It should surprise no one that most of this happens in the "Blue Hell States" and where democrats are in control of the power structure. It is a clear indication of the danger of Leftist ideas and the damage it does. The leftist Oligarchy.

Ares Olympus said...

I've wondered about the false facts promoted in some of these cases of killings by police, and whenever I'd bring them up to someone, namely someone of the "social justice" persuasion, they'll never admit a deception, and just shift to a different aspect of the case.

So at one level could see "Facts don't matter" and that was disturbing enough, but I wondered why. And as best I could tell is comes down to "patterns" and "symbols". So its like solidarity - every act of violence or oppression by a white person against a black person is a symbol for ALL current and historic acts of violence and oppression.

And like Sowell, if you try the "patterns" game in reverse, like the decline of married parents and active fathers in the lives of children, then that's dismissed as "victim blaming".

It does seem often like the Left and the Right is a battle between Feminine and Masculine, and the feminine doesn't know what do to with unruly young men.

And you can consider the inconvenient African proverb "if you do not initiate your young men into the tribe, they will come back and burn down the village just to feel the heat."

So perhaps there is something inherently dangerous and uncivilized about maleness, and the same wildness that creates riots of cowards also creates soldiers who can defend our land against foreign invaders.

So I'm sure the women of these communities would love to have the adult men "step up" and teach these youth how to be men, but if the adult men have failed to find their initiation, what do they have to teach? And if they are all "someone else's children", then what is our responsibility?

And you can read things like some black communities have someone from every family who has been to prison, and the youth can see those men are respected, so figure their path initiation is also to be sent to prison? There's strange logic in there somewhere.

And there's also strange logic that tells young men to not care how many women they get pregnant and whom they have no interest in fathering. Big men are those who pass on their genes, right?

And then we have black football players getting into legal trouble for beating their young boys with branches, just like their daddies did to them, to keep them inline and respectful of adult authority. So are they wrong for being harsh, or are "we" wrong for interfering in fatherly tough love?

And now science has more "victim blaming" of a sort, saying beating kids reduces their gray matter in their brains, leading to less capable people.

And supposedly all studies say there is no net positive effect of corporal punishment in the long run, and there's always better ways, even if those better ways take 10 times more time, and most parents don't have the time or will to follow through.

I can't guess what's the best path through this. Apparently we have to ask young black women to not "give in" to young black men and demand they prove themselves to be capable responsible adults before having kids. And if 100% of poor black women did this, perhaps most would never have kids, and the rest of us wouldn't have to worry about the next generation of looters and rioters? Problem solved?

Ares Olympus said...

I was curious about the "black women's perspective" and by luck one appeared, at least commenting on the mother who beat on her son dressed up to riot:
...Last week, in a viral clip of the Baltimore uprising, we saw Toya Graham, a black mother, snatch her son from the crowd.

Yes, it has led to plenty of debate about corporal punishment. Did she need to smack him upside his head? I don’t know. But she was doing what she felt she had to. “I didn’t want to see him become another Freddie Gray,” she said. Dating back to slavery, black moms have had to hold a strong grip on their children’s behavior. Only a foolish mother would risk boosting her child’s self-esteem to the point where he might be perceived as uppity by whites. Tough love is what it’s called today. Back then, it was the only love that could keep a black kid safe.
most black moms would not smack around our insolent offspring. We are, today, far more enlightened. And I can attest to the fact that, no matter how many whippings Mama laid on me, I still acted out. None of the welts stuck.

But her words did. Lines like: “You better act like you’ve got some sense,” which was a gentle reminder to call on the wits the good Lord gave you. They echo in my ears, helping to make me a more confident mom of my own three children.
For some reason, we black moms command respect. It’s just one of many reasons I have always been happy with my life as a black woman.
Certainly, white women have their mothers’ wisdom to fall back on, too. But nowadays too many have been manipulated into thinking that wisdom is something to be found in a book. So they read, research and hire coaches to teach them how to parent.
I know I don’t have to be a baby whisperer, toddler whisperer or anything other than my natural self to understand their needs. I usually know how to keep it together.

When all else fails, I know how to go someplace and sit down.

The author [YLONDA GAULT CAVINESSMAY] of the forthcoming book “Child, Please: How Mama’s Old-School Lessons Helped Me Check Myself Before I Wrecked Myself.”

So it sounds like she's being the leader for black women to trust their instincts in raising children. Unfortunately she doesn't seem to have much to say about modern fathers participation in this experiment, or whether marriage matters.