I love you, Thomas Sowell

What an awesome human.

In this article, published in April of 2010, Dr. Sowell pwns the history books you had to read by writing of the Europeans enslaved by North Africans.

Wait – AFRICANS had WHITE slaves?

You mean white people aren’t the source of all evil in the world?

That’s right – welcome to humankind:

“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. “

So no race is inherently better than another?  (Why does that sound familiar?)  Dr. Sowell, being awesome and brilliant, does not extrapolate from this any inherent equality among cultures:

“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.”

So why don’t we learn more about the injustices committed by people of various races against people of various other races?  Well, that’s the question, now, isn’t it?:

“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. “

Why, when there are so many terrible things that have happened, focus on the bad things white people have done to black people?  We need to know about the enslavement of African people, but we need to know about things that happened to other people, too.  I never understood the focus on black/white relations in history class (and the occasional dabbling in Hispanic/white relations).  Based on my US history textbook, you’d think there weren’t any other minorities in large numbers in American until the 80s.  I’d ask about, say, Chinese people, and my teacher would say, “Yeah, they were there” and go on with the lesson because there wasn’t time for anything outside the curriculum.

Why was the curriculum so black and white?  What about the plight of Chinese settlers in the Wild West?

There were Chinese settlers in America back then?  Uh, yeah.  Remember Buford Tannen’s biography in Back to the Future 3?  “Buford Tannen was a notorious gunman, whose short-temper and propensity to drool earned him the nickname “Mad Dog”. He was quick on the trigger and bragged that he killed 12 men, not including any Indians or Chinamen.”

I suppose Americans of East Asian descent are just too hard to peg as victims.  *warning: generalization based on reality ahead* They keep working hard and sending their kids to college and not starting advocacy groups for the purpose of bitching about how the white man has kept them down.  So we’ll just ignore them.

We’ll also ignore the fifty thousand Irish slaves who worked the sugar plantations in Barbados.  Remember learning about Oliver Cromwell?  He was some English dude, right?  Yeah, he was in charge for a while and there was like a civil war or something.  Bet you didn’t learn that the Irish and Scots he didn’t kill he sold into slavery.  Or [indefinite] “indentured servitude.”

It’s interesting the things we don’t learn in school.


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