Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson: Thomas Sowell

This week on Uncommon Knowledge, Economist and journalist Dr. Thomas Sowell discusses his book, “Intellectuals and Race,” and highlights the pervasive racist views of the Progressive era. Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson is produced by the Hoover Institution for the Wall Street Journal.

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  1. J Flei

    This was truly a great episode.  I look forward to reading Dr. Sowell’s book.

  2. Vectorman

    Peter – Your last question was really the last question!  Does this start a new trend?

  3. The Mugwump

    A number of points:

    “Race” isn’t what people think it is.  The science behind the Human Genome Project will eventually overthrow the entire racial paradigm.  Most people alive today are a product of racial blending, and that includes Europeans despite the surface similarities.  So called African-Americans are in fact a hybrid of black and white as dissimilar to native Africans as Mexicans are to native Spaniards.  Once the full complexity of our genetic heritage becomes general knowledge the old racial categories will be declared obsolete.  Science will eventually have the final say on matters of race.

    What Dr. Sowell calls race should properly be called ethnicity.  If you examine African-American communities across the nation, you will quickly discover a multitude of ethnicities.  I would suggest that the culture of Prince George’s County, Maryland (black entrepreneurial) is as different from the culture of South Chicago (black gangland) as South Chicago is different from the old slave belt (rural agrarian).  The good doctor does, however, recognize something that liberals will never understand:  the problem is not primarily economic, but rather a matter of moral poverty. 

  4. Vice-Potentate
    What Dr. Sowell calls race should properly be called ethnicity.  If you examine African-American communities across the nation, you will quickly discover a multitude of cultural ethnicities.

    To expound on this point, often cultural identities cross traditional racial barriers. For example, trailer parks are pretty much the same everywhere. Just watch Trailer Park Boys. I’m pretty sure its still on Netflix.

  5. The Mugwump

    The example of India actually illustrates how diverse populations can be unified based on external factors.  Great Britain gave to India three gifts that have kept the country unified for  some sixty-five years.  The first is a national language:  English.  “Uneducated” is a term used in India to describe people who are unable to read and speak English.  The second gift was democracy which the Indians have maintained without a break since independence.  The third gift was a national railroad system which is far and away the single greatest factor to creating a unified economy.

    Once again, when we look at India, we find the concept of race to be completely contrived.  How do we justify lumping Koreans and Indians into a single racial category known as Asian?  Ridiculous!  The HGP has determined that India is one of the most racially diverse nations on the planet featuring characteristics from all of the regions surrounding India:  black, white, and yellow.    

  6. The Mugwump

    The reason “race” is so much a part of the American national discourse is that the idea is politically useful.  The various factions in our ruling oligarchy (admit it!) make a living by keeping the different demographic groups divided for purposes of control.  “Race” is only skin deep, but it does have the advantage of being immediately recognizable.  Not only that, some individuals have the option to be whatever race they choose as the current resident in the White House well knows.  Do you suppose Mr. Obama’s fortunes might have been different if he had married a white woman or declared himself bi-racial?  Not much use in that!  The entire idea of race is such a fraud, and I’m quite frankly sick of it.

  7. J Flei
    ~Paules: The example of India actually illustrates how diverse populations can be unified based on external factors.  Great Britain gave to India three gifts that have kept the country unified for  some sixty-five years.  The first is a national language:  English.  “Uneducated” is a term used in India to describe people who are unable to read and speak English.  The second gift was democracy which the Indians have maintained without a break since independence.  The third gift was a national railroad system which is far and away the single greatest factor to creating a unified economy.

    Once again, when we look at India, we find the concept of race to be completely contrived.  How do we justify lumping Koreans and Indians into a single racial category known as Asian?  Ridiculous!  The HGP has determined that India is one of the most racially diverse nations on the planet featuring characteristics from all of the regions surrounding India:  black, white, and yellow.     · 3 hours ago

    Edited 3 hours ago

    Great point!  India is one of the strongest counterexamples to all of the racial politics and anti-colonialism inherent in progressive thinking.