The Blue State Conservative

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Top 20 Quotes From Thomas Sowell About Race

If Thomas Sowell quotes were a wall and this article were a dart, it would be impossible to randomly throw toward a target and not come away with moral sagacity in the form of a poignant statement. Even the horrid display of athleticism from Scottie Smalls would result in being close enough to the clarion wisdom that emanates from Sowell.


The Blue State Conservative regularly produces its Top Lists of some sort. They are never scientific and rarely produce consensus. Such is the nature of these lists. Nevertheless, they still communicate important ideas and also serve as a vehicle for starting a bigger conversation. I missed a quote? The reader knows a better one? Comments below eventually achieve a fuller picture.


Again, a veritable cornucopia of digestible quotes comes from the tomes of Sowell’s decades-long genius, his innumerous televised appearances (interviews, debates, etc.), and witticisms based on societal observations. This list will never be complete, as he has written and spoken more than I could hope to assimilate in two lifetimes. 


Before getting into the list with specific references toward race and racism, let me start with some of my favorites. An introduction to these three alone could make a conservative out of most of us.


Number 1: “There are 3 questions that would destroy most of the arguments of the Left. The first is – compared to what? The second is – at what cost? And the third is – what hard evidence do you have?


Number 2: “Would you bet your paycheck on a weather forecast for tomorrow? If not, then why should this country bet billions on global warming predictions that have even less foundation?


Number 3. “I have never understood why it is “greed” to want to keep the money you have earned but not greed to want to take somebody else’s money.


Nobody cuts through failed intellectualism and modern bulldung like Sowell. Here are my Top 10 quotes on race and racism from arguably the most underappreciated, albeit greatest philosopher, of the 20th and 21st centuries.


Top 20 Quotes on Race From Thomas Sowell


#1. “The word ‘racism’ is like ketchup. It can be put on practically anything – and demanding evidence makes you a ‘racist.’”


#2. “Racism is not dead, but it is on life support — kept alive by politicians, race hustlers and people who get a sense of superiority by denouncing others as ‘racists.’”


3. “What is called Black History Month might more accurately be called “the sins of white people” month.”


#4. “When people get used to preferential treatment, equal treatment seems like discrimination.”


#5. “Can you cite one speck of hard evidence of the benefits of “diversity” that we have heard gushed about for years? Evidence of its harm can be seen — written in blood — from Iraq to India, from Serbia to Sudan, from Fiji to the Philippines. It is scary how easily so many people can be brainwashed by sheer repetition of a word.”


#6. “Blacks were not enslaved because they were black but because they were available. Slavery has existed in the world for thousands of years. Whites enslaved other whites in Europe for centuries before the first black was brought to the Western hemisphere. Asians enslaved Europeans. Asians enslaved other Asians. Africans enslaved other Africans, and indeed even today in North Africa, blacks continue to enslave blacks.”


#7. “What do you call it when someone steals someone else’s money secretly? Theft. What do you call it when someone takes someone else’s money openly by force? Robbery. What do you call it when a politician takes someone else’s money in taxes and gives it to someone who is more likely to vote for him? Social Justice.”


#8. “If you have always believed that everyone should play by the same rules and be judged by the same standards, that would have gotten you labeled a radical 60 years ago, a liberal 30 years ago and a racist today.”


#9. “It would be very hard for, for example, a basketball owner, no matter how racist he was, to try to operate without Blacks. It would be suicidal.”


#10. “If there is no equality of outcomes among people born to the same parents and raised under the same roof, why should equality of outcomes be expected – or assumed- when conditions are not nearly so comparable?”


#11. “Have we reached the ultimate stage of absurdity where some people are held responsible for things that happened before they were born while other people are not held responsible for what they themselves are doing today?”


#12. “Since this is an era when many people are concerned about ‘fairness’ and ‘social justice,’ what is your ‘fair share’ of what someone else has worked for?”


#13. “When people get used to preferential treatment, equal treatment seems like discrimination.”


#14. “We seem to be getting closer and closer to a situation where nobody is responsible for what they did but we are all responsible for what somebody else did.”


#15. “You cannot subsidize irresponsibility and expect people to become more responsible.”


#16. “The time is long overdue to stop looking for progress through racial or ethnic leaders. Such leaders have too many incentives to promote polarizing attitudes and actions that are counterproductive for minorities and disastrous for the country.”


#17. “I’m so old that I can remember when most of the people promoting race hate were white.” 


#18. “What ‘multiculturalism’ boils down to is that you can praise any culture in the world except Western culture – and you cannot blame any culture in the world except Western culture.”


#19. “If there is any place in the Guinness Book of World Records for words repeated the most often, over the most years, without one speck of evidence, “diversity” should be a prime candidate. Is diversity our strength? Or anybody’s strength, anywhere in the world? Does Japan’s homogeneous population cause the Japanese to suffer? Have the Balkans been blessed by their heterogeneity — or does the very word “Balkanization” remind us of centuries of strife, bloodshed and unspeakable atrocities, extending into our own times? Has Europe become a safer place after importing vast numbers of people from the Middle East, with cultures hostile to the fundamental values of Western civilization?”


#20. “We keep hearing that “black lives matter,” but they seem to matter only when that helps politicians to get votes, or when that slogan helps demagogues demonize the police. The other 99% of black lives destroyed by people who are not police do not seem to attract nearly as much attention in the media.”

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7 thoughts on “Top 20 Quotes From Thomas Sowell About Race

  1. I coincidentally just got back home after picking up Sowell’s “Basic Economics” at the public library. Great primer, especially for any kids heading off to college.

  2. Thanks for posting. Such powerful thoughts put into such beautiful simplicity. A truly great and honorable man.

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