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ELDER: The Shameful Blackout of Thomas, Sowell and Williams

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Posted: August 10, 2017 at 7:00 am   /   by
Originally published on this site

Clarence Thomas, one of nine members of the Supreme Court and the second black to ever join the Court, is not in the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. Asked to explain Thomas’ absence, the chief spokeswoman for the Smithsonian said, “The museum’s exhibitions are based on themes, not individuals.”

Yet the museum plans to add a popular local D.C. television news broadcaster. The museum’s founding director, Lonnie Bunch, said the broadcaster “symbolized that it was really important that America was changing and his presence was a symbol of that change.” And Thomas, raised in poverty to become only the second black to sit on the Supreme Court, is not “a symbol of that change”?

Left-wing blacks — and that’s the overwhelming majority — feel that black conservatives like Thomas do not just have different or wrongheaded or illogical views. Thomas’ views, to them, damage the black community. Never mind that most Clarence Thomas-haters could not identify a single case Thomas decided with which they disagree.

One line of attack against Thomas goes as follows. Thomas “took advantage” of race-based preferences to get into college and law school, but then “turned his back on those behind” by arguing that such preferences violate the 14th Amendment.

What these critics assert is that but for race-based preferences, Clarence Thomas would likely be working the deep-fryer at McDonald’s. Assume, for the moment, that but for race-based preferences, Thomas would not have gotten into the particular schools he attended, College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts, and Yale Law School. But in America thousands of colleges and universities, from community colleges to Harvard, accept students of varying abilities with financial assistance readily available. Surely the driven, hardworking, academically oriented Clarence Thomas could have and would have found admission into schools matching his skills and ability.

Here’s another problem with race-based preferences. Studies document a disproportionately high college-dropout rate for minority students admitted with lower test scores and grades than their peers selected without preferences. How is this mismatching of value to the “beneficiary” if it leads to a higher dropout rate, with the frustrated student giving up and leaving school in debt? The student often blames his failure to succeed at this high level on unfair, if not racist, professors.

The African-American Museum’s discrimination against Thomas provides just one example of the black anti-conservative bigotry. Here’s another. Every year, the black monthly magazine Ebony lists its “Power 100,” defined as those “who lead, inspire and demonstrate through their individual talents, the very best in Black America.” Each year Thomas is conspicuously absent. Apparently, as a sitting black justice on the Supreme Court of the United States, Thomas does not “lead, inspire and demonstrate … the very best in Black America.”

Ebony not only excludes Clarence Thomas but also shuts out prominent conservatives Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams.

As for Sowell, he’s only an economist and writer whom playwright David Mamet once called “our greatest contemporary philosopher.” Sowell, who never knew his father, was raised by a great-aunt and her two grown daughters. They lived in Harlem, where he was the first in his family to make it past the sixth grade. He left home at 17, served as a Marine in the Korean War, graduated magna cum laude from Harvard, earned a master’s degree at Columbia University the next year, followed by a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Chicago.

Sowell, at 87, authored some four dozen books (not counting revised editions) and wrote hundreds of scholarly articles and essays in periodicals and thousands of newspaper columns. In 2015, Forbes magazine said: “It’s a scandal that economist Thomas Sowell has not been awarded the Nobel Prize. No one alive has turned out so many insightful, richly researched books.” Yet, thanks in part to the Ebony shutout, many blacks have never heard of him.

How does Ebony justify excluding economist and writer Walter Williams, former chairman of the economics department of George Mason University, where he still teaches? Raised by a single mother, he lived in Philadelphia’s Richard Allen housing projects. He served as a private in the Army before earning a bachelor’s degree at a state university, followed by a master’s and a Ph.D. in economics at UCLA. Williams has written a dozen books on economics and race, including the inspirational “Up From the Projects: An Autobiography,” and was recently the subject of a documentary about his life.

The exclusion of people like Clarence Thomas, Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams explains why there’s no serious discussion in the black community about government dependency; school choice; the damage done by high taxes, excessive regulation and laws like minimum wage; and why blacks should rethink their allegiance to the Democratic Party.

The failure to acknowledge conservative blacks is a failure to engage their ideas, to the detriment of the community. This is not merely an injustice to them: It is an injustice to all Americans.


Larry Elder is a best-selling author and nationally syndicated radio talk-show host. To find out more about Larry Elder, or become an “Elderado,” visit www.LarryElder.com. Follow Larry on Twitter @larryelder. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2017 LAURENCE A. ELDER

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Last Updated: Wednesday, Aug 09, 2017 11:41:25 -0700

Larry Elder

A “firebrand libertarian” according to Daily Variety, best-selling author, radio and TV talk show host, Larry Elder has a take-no-prisoners style, using such old-fashioned things as evidence and logic. Larry shines the bright light of reasoned analysis on many of the myths and hypocrisies apparent in our system of government, our society, and the media itself. He slays dragons and topples sacred cows using facts, common sense and a ready wit.

Larry hosted, for 15 years, the longest-running afternoon drive-time radio show in Los Angeles, beginning in March 1994. “The Larry Elder Show,” a top-rated daily program from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. on KABC 790, became a nationally syndicated daily talk show for ABC Radio Networks on Aug. 12, 2002. Now Larry is seeking airwave dominance over the morning hours, broadcasting from KABC from 9 a.m. until noon. Known to his listeners as the “Sage From South Central,” Larry sizzles on the airwaves with his thoughtful insight on the day’s most provocative issues, to the delight, consternation and entertainment of his listeners.

In his best-selling book "The 10 Things You Can’t Say in America," Larry skewers the crippling myths that dominate the public agenda. Larry punctures all pretension, trashes accepted “wisdom” and puts everyone on notice that the status quo must be shaken up. In his second book, "Showdown: Confronting Bias, Lies and the Special Interests That Divide America," Larry again takes on the Nanny State, “victicrats” and the politically correct. His latest book, "What’s Race Got to Do with It? Why it’s Time to Stop the Stupidest Argument in America," is being praised as an important, groundbreaking must-read for the future of race relations in America. Elder also writes a nationally syndicated newspaper column, distributed through Creators Syndicate.

Larry was also host of the television shows “Moral Court” and “The Larry Elder Show.” Larry created, directed and produced his first film, “Michael & Me,” a documentary that examines the use of guns in America.

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ELDER: The Shameful Blackout of Thomas, Sowell and Williams