Home
In this issue
April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 8, 2010 24 Nissan 5770

Race and Politics, Part III

By Thomas Sowell




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The blatant and undeniable fact that different racial, ethnic and other groups have had radically different economic and intellectual achievements for centuries, in countries around the world, has led to widely varying theories and widely varying political and other reactions.


A hundred years ago, during the Progressive era in the United States, the dominant explanation was that different genes made different races either more capable or less capable. Similar views prevailed on the other side of the Atlantic, among people on both the left and the right, many of whom urged eugenics, in order to prevent "inferior" groups from reproducing.


The problem with this explanation was that it ignored the great changes in the relative positions of races over the centuries. In medieval times, Europeans could not match the achievements of the Chinese, but in later centuries their relative positions reversed— and there was no evidence of any fundamental change in the genes of either the Chinese or the Europeans.


Much was made of the fact that, within Europe, "Nordics" were prospering more so than the peoples of Mediterranean Europe. But, a thousand years earlier, the reverse was true. A 10th century Muslim scholar pointed out that the farther north you go in Europe, the more pale the people become and the "farther they are to the north the more stupid, gross, and brutish they are."


However much such words might be dismissed or condemned today, there is no reason to say that these words were untrue as of the time they were said. So many things that have been said about race may have had some basis as of a given time, even if the sweeping conclusion that these are immutable traits does not stand the test of time.


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.


FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO INFLUENTIAL NEWSLETTER

Every weekday NewsAndOpinion.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.


The more fundamental question that almost never gets asked is whether there was ever any realistic basis for expecting different racial, ethnic or other groups to all have the same skills and orientations, even if they all had the same genetic potential and there were no injustices.


Those who see differences among groups as being due to environment, rather than heredity, too often think of environment as the current immediate surroundings. But a major part of any group's environment is the culture that they have inherited from the past.


One of a number of factors that has made Western Europeans more prosperous than Eastern Europeans is that Western Europe was conquered by the Romans, so that Western European languages acquired Roman letters, centuries before the languages of Eastern Europe had written versions.


Being conquered by the Romans was one of those historic happenstances with enduring consequences. For those who were conquered, it could be a traumatic experience, for the Romans could be both brutal and oppressive.


Their abuses in Britain caused a massive uprising of the Britons, who were slaughtered by the thousands. Nevertheless, even such a British patriot as Winston Churchill said, "We owe London to Rome."


The enduring cultural advantages that the peoples of Western Europe acquired as a result of being conquered by Rome in no way justifies the Romans morally. But the fact is that the advantages that Roman civilization brought to Western Europe allowed Western Europeans to advance earlier and faster in a wide range of endeavors.


In a similar way, 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.


Causation and morality are two different things, however much they get confused today by politicians and the media.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on JWR contributor Thomas Sowell's column by clicking here.

Up

Thomas Sowell Archives



© 2006, Creators Syndicate

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles