August 10, 2018

REQUIRED READING: Thomas Sowell’s ‘Discrimination and Disparities’ Is The Book About Racism That America Needs. “Sowell’s calm and calculated look at racial disparity in America is a stunning work of brevity and reason.”

Sowell certainly does not suggest that discrimination doesn’t exist, but he does break it down into two essential categories. The first is discrimination that is based on evidence and can be positive, such as “a person of discriminating taste.” The second is discrimination based on animosity towards a group. Importantly, Sowell divides the first form into two groups. The first takes no notice of race; the second takes race into account, but only based on accurate information.

Sowell is essentially rejecting the progressive premise that there is no difference between racism based in hatred and racism based in accepting racist systems and disparate outcomes. As it turns out, attempts to address evidence-based discrimination that seek to eliminate the discrimination itself can have bad outcomes, especially for those who are members of groups with more negative outcomes.

One example of this he gives is that progressives widely see criminal background checks for employment as racist. But in reality, employers that use background checks employ black workers at a higher rate. This is because without the checks blacks with clean records suffer from the fact that they belong to a group with a higher crime rate. Ideally, one could argue that employers shouldn’t take group tendencies into account, but until that happens, background checks are a solution that actually works.

Yes, but that doesn’t keep Democrat voter groups riled up.

Anyway — Sowell’s latest has gone to the top of my reading list.