Thomas Sowell appeared with Mark Levin on the July 12 episode of Life, Liberty, and Levin to talk about his new book and to share his opinion on the push to fight “systemic racism” in America. Sowell told Levin that he fears America is approaching a point of no return, and that too many Americans have caved in to those attacking the country as systemically racist. Of the term systemic racism, Sowell said, “It really has no meaning that can be specified and tested in the way that one tests hypotheses.”
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Right off the bat, Levin asked Sowell about the rioting that has gone on nightly in America since the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police. “I’m regarded as pessimistic,” Sowell said, “but I was never pessimistic enough to believe that things would degenerate to the point where they are now, where adult human beings are talking about getting rid of the police … what is frightening is how many people in responsible positions are caving in to every demand that is made, repeating any kind of nonsense that you’re supposed to repeat. I do believe that we may well reach a point of no return. I hope, of course, that will never happen.”
Of the term “systemic racism,” Sowell told Levin it reminds him of Joseph Goebbels. “It does remind me of the propaganda tactics of Joseph Goebbels in the age of the Nazis,” he said. “He was supposed to have said, people will believe any lie if it’s repeated long enough and loud enough. And that’s what we’re getting. It’s one of many words that even the people who use it don’t have any idea what they’re saying. Their premise is served by having other people cave in.”
Levin gave Sowell the opportunity to talk about his new book, Charter Schools and their Enemies. “You have a very powerful vested interest in the traditional public schools,” Sowell said, “and charter schools are the greatest threat to that. I was frankly surprised at the magnitude of the difference between students being educated in charter schools and those that are being educated in traditional public schools, in the very same neighborhood, and in the very same building.”
The book contains a wealth of data comparing test results from kids in charter schools versus those in traditional public schools in identical neighborhoods with identical socioeconomic demographics. “In mathematics, something like ten percent of the children educated in the traditional public school passed the test, compared to sixty-eight percent of the kids in the charter school in the very same building.”
Sowell explained that competition is the key to improving educational outcomes in elementary school. “Giving each school a monopoly in its own geographical area,” he told Levin, “means that they don’t even have to compete among themselves. Competition is enormously important because human beings are so fallible. If you insulate people from paying the price of being wrong, you’re going to get a lot of wrong things done. In particular, you’re going to get institutions being run for the benefit of those running the institutions, rather than the clientele they’re supposed to be designed to help.”
“In the case of charter schools,” Sowell told Levin, “it’s like so many other businesses or institutions. No one is assigned to go to a charter school because of compulsory attendance laws. Their students are all volunteers. So the charter schools must produce what will keep the students coming in, or they’ll go out of business.”
He went on to explain that the charter school environment attracts completely different types of people as teachers. Whereas in traditional public schools, it’s almost impossible to fire a teacher, in a charter school all that matters is how well the teacher can teach the children.
Teacher’s unions and the politicians they fund have made charter schools a target for destruction. They have set up arbitrary limits on the number of students who can transfer into charter schools, and refuse to allow charters to use vacant school buildings.
Sowell blasted Joe Biden, saying he fears what would happen if he wins the election. “Just recently,” Sowell said, “Biden said to the teacher’s union that when he becomes president, teachers will be the number one priority in schools, which is an extraordinary statement when you think about it. Children are supposed to be the number one priority.”
The venerable Thomas Sowell, who recently turned 90, is still pointing out the enemies of freedom and fighting them with everything he has. The entire interview with Mark Levin is worth a watch.
Jeff Reynolds is the author of the book, “Behind the Curtain: Inside the Network of Progressive Billionaires and Their Campaign to Undermine Democracy,” available at www.WhoOwnsTheDems.com. Jeff hosts a podcast at anchor.fm/BehindTheCurtain. You can follow him on Twitter @ChargerJeff, and on Parler at @RealJeffReynolds.