Thomas Sowell has written a four part essay covering many aspects raised at the intersection of race and politics. In Part I, Sowell notes that:
Few combinations are more poisonous than race and politics. That combination has torn whole nations apart and led to the slaughters of millions in countries around the world. . . .
Sowell takes Obama to task for leading us deeper into racial politics and condemns the left's unjustified playing of the race card as very dangerous politics indeed.
In Part II, Sowell explains that historically, racial groups with different cultures, sophistication and eduction have varied widely in their degree of success at different points in history. That is actually the norm - and it is not indicative of racism.
In Part III, Sowell notes:
Today's racial dogmas are no more realistic, when they try to dismiss or downplay behavioral and performance differences among racial and ethnic groups, blaming different outcomes on the misdeeds of others. Nothing is easier to find than sins among human beings. But the fatal misstep is to assume that those sins must be the reason for the differences we see.
Sowell goes on to note that historical injustices often proved a boon in disguise. He points to how Western Europe suffered brutally under the yoke of Rome, yet because of Rome, their societies were able to advance much faster through the Middle Ages and Rennisance. Likewise, "the fact that people of African ancestry in the United States have a far higher standard of living than the people of African ancestry still living in sub-Saharan Africa, is due to injustices and abuses inflicted on black Americans' ancestors. " As Sowell concludes:
Causation and morality are two different things, however much they get confused today by politicians and the media."
Lastly, in Part IV, Sowell takes on the evils of multiculturalism:
One of the most ominous developments of our time has been the multicultural dogma that all cultures are equal. It is one of the many unsubstantiated assertions that have become fashionable among self-congratulatory elites, with hard evidence being neither asked for nor offered.
But, however much such assertions minister to the egos of the intelligentsia and the careers of politicians and race hustlers, the multicultural dogma is a huge barrier to the advancement of groups who are lagging economically, educationally and otherwise.
Once you have said that the various economic, educational and other "gaps" and "disparities" of lagging groups are not due to either genes or cultures, what is left but the sins of other people?
Sins are never hard to find, among any group of human beings. But whether that actually helps those who are lagging, or just leads them into the blind alley of resentment, is another question. . . .
Multiculturalism enshrines the sins and grievances approach — and paints the poor into a corner, where they can nurse their resentments, instead of advancing their skills and their prospects. The beneficiaries are politicians and race hustlers.
Do read all four essays. It is Sowell at his best.