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Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality de Thomas…
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Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality (1984 original; edició 1985)

de Thomas Sowell

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
1784119,005 (4.19)1
Thomas Sowell takes a tough, factual look at whether the Civil Rights movement has lived up to its hopes or its rhetoric. In the decades since the historic Supreme Court decision on desegregation, who has gained and who has lost? Which of the assumptions behind the civil rights revolution have stood the test of time, and which have proven to be mistaken or even catastrophic to those who were supposed to be helped? Armed with vast statistical research, Sowell deftly refutes the key assumptions on which the Civil Rights movement (as we know it today) was erected: "that discrimination leads to poverty and other adverse social consequences and...that adverse statistical disparities imply discrimination." He surgically probes the fundamental racial issues, e.g., affirmative action and busing, women's issues, and the Equal Rights Amendment.… (més)
Membre:maryh10000
Títol:Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality
Autors:Thomas Sowell
Informació:Harper Perennial (1985), Edition: Reprint, Paperback
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:****
Etiquetes:race relations, Libertarianism

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Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality? de Thomas Sowell (1984)

  1. 00
    The State Against Blacks de Walter E. Williams (HistReader)
    HistReader: These book accentuate the other. The State Against Blacks is referred to several times in Thomas Sowell's book, but the later addresses a completely different aspect of the never ceasing civil rights struggle. Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality? lends an understanding to how Dr. Williams's book is right on.… (més)
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Sowell makes good arguments for civil rights as negative rights vs. "outcomes", and makes a case for different outcomes for individuals or groups without requiring either discrimination or genetic inferiority. He also does a good job of identifying costs to various interventions. ( )
  octal | Jan 1, 2021 |
Another book deemed controversial by economist Thomas Sowell. In it, he parses the figures used by civil rights "advocates" to portray America as no better today than it was in 1830. Yet honest examination of numbers and true comparisons show racial and gender situations were actually improving on their own, prior to the 1960s and 70s.

He also touches on advocates' aversion to recognize unintended consequences as they strive for "equality." Dr. Sowell inadvertently exposes the advocates as treating "minorities" as helpless victims, much like sociologist George Fitzhugh did in his pro-slavery stance. ( )
  HistReader | Dec 5, 2012 |
Written a while back, but still relevant. A devastating analysis of affirmative action and contemporary civil rights orthodoxy. ( )
  Eagleduck86 | Aug 21, 2011 |
When heavy artillery is needed in the fight against collectivist propaganda, then it's time to wheel out Thomas Sowell. Now in his late seventies, this distinguished economist and political philosopher has devoted much of his career to combating the myths of political correctness.

A prime example is his 1984 book, "Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality." In this monument to common sense, Sowell examines the disastrous turn in the American civil rights movement from equality of opportunity to equality of results.

Equality of opportunity is represented by the landmark 1954 lawsuit, Brown v. Board of Education, in which the U.S. Supreme Court struck down racial segregation in the public schools. The spirit of equal opportunity also was present in the formulation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Sowell brings several examples of Congressional sponsors of the bill (such as Hubert Humphrey) assuring their colleagues and the public that the legislation would not introduce quotas, preferences, or any other results-oriented mandate. The only target was to be intentional discrimination, and the burden of proof would be on the complainant.

It did not take long, however, before the Supreme Court began its crusade to re-introduce racial considerations into education and other spheres of American life. In the 1968 case of Green v. County School Board of New Kent County, the Court ruled that a Virginia school district was in violation of the Brown decision because its schools were still either predominantly white or predominantly black--even though families now had the choice of sending their children to any school they desired. In other words, racial barriers had been dismantled, and equal opportunity was in force.

But the results of the school district's new rules were not in keeping with the vision of Brown, said the Court. And thus the decision in Green paved the way for that great social catastrophe, the forced busing of children to achieve racial balance.

Three years later, in 1971, we witness the advent of quotas, as the Department of Labor issued "goals and timetables" to

"'increase materially the utilization of minorities and women'...Employers were required to confess to 'deficiencies in the utilization' of minorities and women whenever statistical parity could not be found in all job classifications, as a first step toward correcting this situation. The burden of proof--and remedy--was on the employer. 'Affirmative action' was now decisively transformed into a numerical concept, whether called 'goals' or 'quotas'."

This approach was soon rubber-stamped by the Supreme Court in the Weber case, in which the Civil Rights Act was stretched and distorted to allow affirmative action as we now know it.

All of this, asserts Sowell, was latent from the outset in the "civil rights vision of the world," which interprets statistical disparity as the work of discrimination and various "root causes." According to this view, the so-called under-representation of blacks (or women or Hispanics or the victim group du jour) in a given domain is ipso facto evidence of discrimination, regardless of the intent of the authority in question. If a department of physics at a major university does not have a single black faculty member, then racism is lurking somewhere, even if no qualified black person ever submitted a resume.

Sowell thoroughly deconstructs the madness behind this obsession with statistical disparity and its endless harvest of victim claims. Aggregate statistics on income prove nothing about underlying causes. An ethnic group can be poor in conditions of complete equality, or well-to-do in conditions of extreme adversity. The émigré Chinese communities are a classic case. Says Sowell:

"Throughout southeast Asia, for several centuries, the Chinese minority has been--and continues to be--the target of explicit, legalized discrimination in various occupations, in admission to institutions of higher learning, and suffers bans and restrictions on land ownership and places of residence...Yet in all these countries, the Chinese minority--about 5 percent of the population in southeast Asia--owns a majority of the nation's total investments in key industries...In Malaysia, where the anti-Chinese discrimination is written into the Constitution, is embodied in preferential quotas for Malays in government and private industry alike, and extends to admissions and scholarships at the universities, the average Chinese continues to earn twice the income of the average Malay."

Sowell also tackles the myth that women are underpaid and targets of discrimination in the workplace. When all the feminist hype is stripped away, we see that women are paid the same wages for the same work. True, women on average earn less then men, but this is due to (a) their greater tendency to work part-time; (b) interruptions in career due to the demands of motherhood; and (c) type of chosen profession.

If we compare apples to apples, that is, men who have never married to women who have never married,

"...an entirely different picture emerges. Women who remain single earn 91 percent of the income of men who remain single, in the age bracket from 25 to 64 years old. Nor can the other 9 percent automatically be attributed to employer discrimination, since women are typically not educated as often in such highly paid fields as mathematics, science, and engineering...This virtual parity in income between men who never marry and women who never marry is not a new phenomenon, attributable to affirmative action. In 1971, women who had remained unmarried into their thirties and who had worked since high school earned slightly higher incomes than men of the very same description. In the academic world, single women who received their Ph.D.'s in the 1930s had by the 1950s become full professors slightly more often than male Ph.D.'s as a whole."

A particularly biting testament against the travesty of affirmative action comes from Sowell's own personal experience. In the book's epilogue, he answers his critics. One of their many attacks is that Sowell (who is black) allegedly benefited in his own career from affirmative action. The fact that a scholar of Sowell's stature must rebut such a demeaning slander is a chilling reminder of the extent to which the apostles of the victim industry--from Supreme Court Justice William Brennan to Senator Barack Obama--have polluted American culture with their intellectual dross.

We can only sigh with Thomas Sowell as he writes:

"If there is an optimistic aspect of preferential doctrines, it is that they may eventually make so many Americans so sick of hearing of group labels and percentages that the idea of judging each individual on his or her own performance may become more attractive than ever." ( )
  GaryWolf | Mar 7, 2009 |
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Thomas Sowell takes a tough, factual look at whether the Civil Rights movement has lived up to its hopes or its rhetoric. In the decades since the historic Supreme Court decision on desegregation, who has gained and who has lost? Which of the assumptions behind the civil rights revolution have stood the test of time, and which have proven to be mistaken or even catastrophic to those who were supposed to be helped? Armed with vast statistical research, Sowell deftly refutes the key assumptions on which the Civil Rights movement (as we know it today) was erected: "that discrimination leads to poverty and other adverse social consequences and...that adverse statistical disparities imply discrimination." He surgically probes the fundamental racial issues, e.g., affirmative action and busing, women's issues, and the Equal Rights Amendment.

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