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Filtering History (Thomas Sowell)
GOPUSA ^ | April 27, 2010 | Thomas Sowell

Posted on 04/26/2010 7:37:49 PM PDT by jazusamo

Many years ago, I was surprised to receive a letter from an old friend, saying that she had been told that I refused to see campus visitors from Africa.

At the time, I was so bogged down with work that I had agreed to see only one visitor to the Stanford campus-- and it so happens that he was from Africa. He just happened to come along when I had a little breathing room from the work I was doing in my office.

I pointed out to my friend that whoever said what she heard might just as well have said that I refused to go sky-diving with blacks-- which was true, because I refused to go sky-diving with anybody, whether black, white, Asian or whatever.

The kind of thinking that produced a passing misconception about me has, unfortunately, produced much bigger, much longer lasting, much more systematic and more poisonous distortions about the United States of America.

Slavery is a classic example. The history of slavery across the centuries and in many countries around the world is a painful history to read-- not only in terms of how slaves have been treated, but because of what that says about the whole human species-- because slaves and enslavers alike have been of every race, religion and nationality.

If the history of slavery ought to teach us anything, it is that human beings cannot be trusted with unbridled power over other human beings-- no matter what color or creed any of them are. The history of ancient despotism and modern totalitarianism practically shouts that same message from the blood-stained pages of history.

But that is not the message that is being taught in our schools and colleges, or dramatized on television and in the movies. The message that is pounded home again and again is that white people enslaved black people.

It is true, just as it is true that I don't go sky-diving with blacks. But it is also false in its implications for the same reason. Just as Europeans enslaved Africans, North Africans enslaved Europeans-- more Europeans than there were Africans enslaved in the United States and in the 13 colonies from which it was formed.

The treatment of white galley slaves was even worse than the treatment of black slaves picking cotton. But there are no movies or television dramas about it comparable to "Roots," and our schools and colleges don't pound it into the heads of students.

The inhumanity of human beings toward other human beings is not a new story, much less a local story. There is no need to hide it, because there are lessons we can learn from it. But there is also no need to distort it, so that sins of the whole human species around the world are presented as special defects of "our society" or the sins of a particular race.

If American society and Western civilization are different from other societies and civilization, it is that they eventually turned against slavery, and stamped it out, at a time when non-Western societies around the world were still maintaining slavery and resisting Western pressures to end slavery, including in some cases armed resistance.

Only the fact that the West had more firepower than others put an end to slavery in many non-Western societies during the age of Western imperialism. Yet today there are Americans who have gone to Africa to apologize for slavery-- on a continent where slavery has still not been completely ended, to this very moment.

It is not just the history of slavery that gets distorted beyond recognition by the selective filtering of facts. Those who go back to mine history, in order to find everything they can to undermine American society or Western civilization, have very little interest in the Bataan death march, the atrocities of the Ottoman Empire or similar atrocities in other times and places.

Those who mine history for sins are not searching for truth but for opportunities to denigrate their own society, or for grievances that can be cashed in today, at the expense of people who were not even born when the sins of the past were committed.

An ancient adage says: "Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof." But apparently that is not sufficient for many among our educators, the intelligentsia or the media. They are busy poisoning the present by the way they present the past.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: courage; slavery; sowell; thomassowell
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1 posted on 04/26/2010 7:37:50 PM PDT by jazusamo
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To: abigail2; Amalie; American Quilter; arthurus; awelliott; Bahbah; bamahead; Battle Axe; ...
*PING*
Thomas Sowell

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Recent columns
The Limits of Power
Republican‘s Lamentable Legacy: Easy-To-Confirm Court Nominees
Race and Politics: Part IV

Please FReepmail me if you would like to be added to or removed from the Thomas Sowell ping list…

2 posted on 04/26/2010 7:38:57 PM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

Hits the nail on the head.


3 posted on 04/26/2010 7:42:37 PM PDT by GeronL (http://libertyfic.proboards.com << Get your science fiction and fiction test marketed)
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To: jazusamo

Great article. There must be many like Sharpton and Jackson who despise Sowell, because he speaks the truth.


4 posted on 04/26/2010 7:42:41 PM PDT by rlmorel (We are traveling "The Road to Serfdom".)
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To: All
Please bump the Freepathon and donate if you haven’t done so!

5 posted on 04/26/2010 7:42:48 PM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

The modern plantation owners of the American left ain’t gonna like this.


6 posted on 04/26/2010 7:43:06 PM PDT by Hoodat (For the weapons of our warfare are mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.)
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To: rlmorel; GeronL

Exactly, Sharpton, Jackson and those like them ignore the fact Dr. Sowell even exists.


7 posted on 04/26/2010 7:44:47 PM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

Thomas Sowell sees clearly and honestly.


8 posted on 04/26/2010 7:45:34 PM PDT by EternalVigilance (I don't believe in athiests.)
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To: jazusamo

I would bet the entire farm that liberals who don’t know who Thomas Sowell is will be up at arms because some RACIST angry white ‘teabagger’ wrote this!

They’re pretty ignorant, the lot of them, aren’t they?

Spot on, Mr. Sowell.


9 posted on 04/26/2010 7:46:03 PM PDT by pillut48 ("Stand now. Stand together. Stand for what is right."-Gov.Sarah Palin, "Going Rogue" ><>)
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To: jazusamo

In my reading of the Bible, I came to realize how much more humane slavery was than the alternative: killing all your enemies (men, women, children and all their animals, too). The conquerors brought home the spoils of war, which included human chatel. For a lot the people enslaved, their lives were improved because life on most of the planet was pretty harsh. African Americans who travel back to their home continent realize this, just ask Muhammed Ali and others who will tell the truth. I look at the lives of women across the planet today, and I would not trade places with any of them. America - the last hope for freedom on the planet. I sure hope we don’t screw it up.


10 posted on 04/26/2010 7:47:32 PM PDT by Sioux-san
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To: jazusamo

Thanks for the the ping to the truth from Dr. Sowell once again jaz.


11 posted on 04/26/2010 7:48:04 PM PDT by rockinqsranch
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To: jazusamo
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

The Life of Reason, Vol. I, Reason in Common Sense, George Santayana
12 posted on 04/26/2010 7:48:37 PM PDT by Oceander (The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance -- Thos. Jefferson)
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To: Sioux-san

exactly.

By the way, some free blacks in the old south (Louisiana mostly) owned slaves too. There is a book called “Black Masters” all about that.


13 posted on 04/26/2010 7:49:27 PM PDT by GeronL (http://libertyfic.proboards.com << Get your science fiction and fiction test marketed)
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To: Sioux-san

Excellent points!

The turkey in the White House right now is working hard to screw it up.


14 posted on 04/26/2010 7:52:10 PM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

I guess that explains why I have never heard either one of them even mention his name.

Stout guy, Sowell.


15 posted on 04/26/2010 7:52:35 PM PDT by rlmorel (We are traveling "The Road to Serfdom".)
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To: jazusamo

I love this man!!!


16 posted on 04/26/2010 7:54:32 PM PDT by hstacey (Army Mom...)
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To: jazusamo

Sowell BTT. Slavery is rampant in Islamic history. It is, after all, where both the Mamluks and Janissaries came from.


17 posted on 04/26/2010 7:56:09 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: jazusamo

I love this guy.


18 posted on 04/26/2010 7:58:04 PM PDT by ryan71 (Let's Roll!)
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To: jazusamo
An ancient adage says: "Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof.

Matthew 6 verse 34:

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

19 posted on 04/26/2010 8:00:06 PM PDT by Graybeard58 (No Romney,No Mark Kirk (Illinois), not now, not ever!)
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To: jazusamo

I never miss reading Thomas Sowell, like Steyn, like VDH
he never misses the mark.


20 posted on 04/26/2010 8:00:44 PM PDT by tet68 ( " We would not die in that man's company, that fears his fellowship to die with us...." Henry V.)
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To: jazusamo

Well ain’t that a coincidence, I don’t go sky-diving with whites!


21 posted on 04/26/2010 8:01:39 PM PDT by 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten
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To: jazusamo

“If American society and Western civilization are different from other societies and civilization, it is that they eventually turned against slavery, and stamped it out, at a time when non-Western societies around the world were still maintaining slavery and resisting Western pressures to end slavery, including in some cases armed resistance.

Only the fact that the West had more firepower than others put an end to slavery in many non-Western societies during the age of Western imperialism. Yet today there are Americans who have gone to Africa to apologize for slavery— on a continent where slavery has still not been completely ended, to this very moment.”

And the very people who were the only ones to call it immoral and wrong are the ones who are to be punished.

Thanks Dr Sowell once again for stating the truth.


22 posted on 04/26/2010 8:02:26 PM PDT by Bhoy
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To: jazusamo

Bravo again!


23 posted on 04/26/2010 8:08:22 PM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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To: rlmorel

Don’t you just dream of having SOWELL for President? I know I do. That or Walt Williams.

And it’s not simply a desire for “revenge” by having a (real) black man in office.

I honestly can’t think of a white guy I’d rather have as president now.


24 posted on 04/26/2010 8:13:04 PM PDT by the OlLine Rebel (Common sense is an uncommon virtue./Technological progress cannot be legislated.)
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To: All

Sowell is a national treasure and should be required reading for every citizen. A voice of total clarity.After reading this piece I got depress seeing how far down the whole race thing has gotten , how scum like Sharpton and Jackson have degraded our society and how history has been used for propaganda. Half the country wouldn’t even be able to read this article never mind understand it.


25 posted on 04/26/2010 8:13:46 PM PDT by sonic109
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To: jazusamo

Dr. Sowell turns 80 on June 30th. If my mind at that age is half as sharp as his, I will take it and be happy!


26 posted on 04/26/2010 8:16:15 PM PDT by Our man in washington
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To: jazusamo
Barak Hussein Obama bows to the Emperor of Japan. Obama carried tapes of Jeremiah Wright's "white man's greed runs a world in need"--

Obama's crew are slavedealers. His little trip home in 2006 on behalf of the Raila Odinga "We Barbecue Followers of the Cross"--

Did Obama question the Japanese Emperor regarding reparations for the Chinese vis-a-vis that little "Rape of Nanking" matter--

Did he broach the "Korean comfort women" issue--

My line gave blood at Little Anna River May 25, 1864; somehow I think Obama's on the wrong side--

He rather approved of Japanese genocide--having expressed distaste at "that whole deck-of-the-Missouri-thing"--

What a mad mess is the mind of a Narcissist--

Medved at this hour: Africa practiced slavery for a thousand years before contact with Europe.

It is vile--but is a fire which Gasoline-Hussein refuses to extinguish--why not intercede in Darfur--


27 posted on 04/26/2010 8:17:37 PM PDT by PhilDragoo (Hussein: Islamo-Commie from Kenya)
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To: Our man in washington

Very well said, I’d settle for a little less than half. :)


28 posted on 04/26/2010 8:19:47 PM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: PhilDragoo

Thanks Phil, good post!


29 posted on 04/26/2010 8:22:32 PM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo
George Santayana's words ring true:

Those Who Forget History, small version
30 posted on 04/26/2010 8:26:51 PM PDT by Oceander (The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance -- Thos. Jefferson)
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To: jazusamo

Someone should send Sowell’s articles to Obama every time they come out .Just to show him what an asshole he really is and what a nobody he is next to Sowell.
Brilliant.


31 posted on 04/26/2010 8:27:36 PM PDT by sonic109
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To: 2 Kool 2 Be 4-Gotten

32 posted on 04/26/2010 8:33:35 PM PDT by Gil4 (Sometimes it's not low self-esteem - it's just accurate self-assessment.)
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To: sonic109

A great idea but I doubt Obama would read even a few words. I’ve a list (56) of Dr. Sowell’s columns where he’s been moderate to highly critcal of Obama from the time he started campaigning to present, he really rips him in many. :)


33 posted on 04/26/2010 8:35:32 PM PDT by jazusamo (But there really is no free lunch, except in the world of political rhetoric,.: Thomas Sowell)
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To: jazusamo

SMACK!!!


34 posted on 04/26/2010 8:41:28 PM PDT by gogeo ("Every one has a right to be an idiot. He abuses the privilege!" Groucho Marx)
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To: jazusamo

He wouldn’t read it as it don’t fit Marxist ideology.


35 posted on 04/26/2010 8:48:27 PM PDT by sonic109
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To: jazusamo
Those who mine history for sins are not searching for truth but for opportunities to denigrate their own society, or for grievances that can be cashed in today, at the expense of people who were not even born when the sins of the past were committed.

Truer words were never spoken, and indeed Sowell has gentled his message quite a bit.

The larger lesson needs to be about how Marxists abuse all forms of learning (sc. "Lysenkoism") to promote, relentlessly and pitilessly, their power-seeking snake oil.

36 posted on 04/26/2010 9:04:18 PM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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To: PhilDragoo
...."that whole deck-of-the-Missouri-thing"-- ....

Oh, I don't think he approves of the Japanese and their war crimes so much .....

....as that he just can't stand the idea of a great victory by those damned white people...... he'd have preferred a Japanese, a Chinese, anybody's victory over the American Beast People.

JMHO.

What's that written across his forehead in your graphic? Can't quite make it out w/ my poorer graphics.

37 posted on 04/26/2010 9:13:22 PM PDT by lentulusgracchus
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To: lentulusgracchus
NOT ABOUT ME
38 posted on 04/26/2010 9:17:54 PM PDT by PhilDragoo (Hussein: Islamo-Commie from Kenya)
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To: tet68
I never miss reading Thomas Sowell, like Steyn, like VDH he never misses the mark.

bump

39 posted on 04/26/2010 9:42:56 PM PDT by mcenedo (lying liberal media - our most dangerous and powerful enemy)
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To: jazusamo
The inhumanity of human beings toward other human beings is not a new story, much less a local story. There is no need to hide it, because there are lessons we can learn from it. But there is also no need to distort it, so that sins of the whole human species around the world are presented as special defects of "our society" or the sins of a particular race.

Moral clarity FTW!

40 posted on 04/26/2010 11:53:56 PM PDT by GOP_Raider (<----Click over there for a special message from GOP_Raider)
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To: jazusamo
The message that is pounded home again and again is that white people enslaved black people.

Yes! -- a lot of people (especially young people) have the impression that slavery was an invention of the American South, unique in human history.

41 posted on 04/27/2010 2:32:10 AM PDT by maryz
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To: jazusamo

I wish liberals would read Sowell. Maybe after reading what he has to say, they would shut up and think.

Europeans and Americans ended slavery. No credit for that. Five or more generations later, the liberals are still playing on the guilt trip in order to undermine western civilization. And replace it with what?

They have this hazy idea of a future Utopia. Ignoring the examples of the past, they lay the groundwork for the next Stalin or Mao. Nature abhors a vacuum. A tyrant will gladly fill the Utopian vacuum of the left if they succeed in bringing down western civilization.


42 posted on 04/27/2010 3:21:35 AM PDT by Rocky (REPEAL IT!)
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To: jazusamo

Thomas Sowell is at the top of my list for people I’d like to have a good long dinner conversation with.


43 posted on 04/27/2010 3:58:40 AM PDT by XHogPilot (A thief might rob you, but politicians can rob your family for countless generations.)
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To: jazusamo

Thomas Sowell is an American treasure. May he live to be 200!


44 posted on 04/27/2010 4:31:19 AM PDT by Travis McGee (---www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com---)
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To: jazusamo; NFHale

thanks jaz, i was gonna paste a paragraph ‘nugget’, but every one was worthy of the bump...


45 posted on 04/27/2010 4:32:52 AM PDT by Gilbo_3 (Gov is not reason; not eloquent; its force.Like fire,a dangerous servant & master. George Washington)
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To: Rocky

“Europeans and Americans ended slavery. No credit for that. Five or more generations later, the liberals are still playing on the guilt trip in order to undermine western civilization. And replace it with what?”

Venesuela


46 posted on 04/27/2010 4:33:58 AM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (Support our troops....and vote out the RINOS!)
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To: rlmorel

“There must be many like Sharpton and Jackson who despise Sowell, because he speaks the truth.”

Evil me have always despised good ones. Good men point out what evil men could have been. That must be hard to swallow.


47 posted on 04/27/2010 4:36:06 AM PDT by stephenjohnbanker (Support our troops....and vote out the RINOS!)
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To: maryz

A few years ago, I taught seventh grade social studies which spent about a quarter of the curriculum on Africa. When I would tell my prodominantly balck classes about slavery continuing, they never believed me. I found a Lonely Planet travel video that actually went to a slave trading post, and though they wouldn’t show any slaves for sale on camera, they did show some people who claimed to be runaway slaves in hiding. Very informative for American kids.
Oh, the slave traders?
You guessed it; no southern accents, and not a white person around except the narrator.


48 posted on 04/27/2010 4:41:55 AM PDT by Rutabega (European 'intellectualism' has NOTHING on America's kick-a$$ism!)
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To: lentulusgracchus; tet68; jazusamo
I never miss reading Thomas Sowell, like Steyn, like VDH he never misses the mark. - tet68
I am enamored of Mark Steyn's latest gem:
Nevertheless, we should be grateful to [Comedy Central's] jelly-spined executives for reminding us that the cardboard heroes of the American media are your go-to guys for standing up to entirely fictitious threats. But for real ones? Not so much.
Those who mine history for sins are not searching for truth but for opportunities to denigrate their own society, or for grievances that can be cashed in today, at the expense of people who were not even born when the sins of the past were committed.
The people - whether intellectuals, intelligentsia, journalists, or politicans - who do this have no courage to deal with real villains. So in order to set themselves up as cardboard heroes, they pick easy fights with harmless people.

49 posted on 04/27/2010 5:37:17 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion ( DRAFT PALIN)
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To: GeronL; Tolik

I agree! Nailed it!


50 posted on 04/27/2010 8:08:03 AM PDT by Arthur Wildfire! March (Weakening McCain strengthens our borders, weakens guest worker aka amnesty)
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