Is truth irrelevant?

(The following is a guest post by Thomas Sowell, a national treasure.)


It is amazing how many people seem to have discovered last Wednesday that riots are wrong — when many of those same people apparently had not noticed that when riots went on, for weeks or even months, in various cities across the country last year.*

For too many people, especially in the media, what is right and wrong, true or false, depends on who it helps or hurts politically. Too many media people who are supposed to be reporters act as if they are combatants in political wars.

Someone once said that, in a war, truth is the first casualty. That has certainly been so in the media — and in much of academia as well.

One of the most grotesque distortions growing out of this carelessness with the facts has been a removal of Abraham Lincoln’s name and statues from various places, on grounds that he saw black people only as property.

Such criticisms betray an incredible ignorance of history — or else a complete disregard of truth.

As a lawyer, Abraham Lincoln knew that there was nothing in the Constitution which authorized him or any other president to free slaves. But he also knew that a military commander in wartime can legally seize the property of an enemy nation. Defining slaves as property gave President Lincoln the only legal authority he had to seize them during the Civil War. And once they were seized as property, he could then free them as human beings.

But, if the Emancipation Proclamation had based its action on defining the slaves as human beings, with a right to be free, the Supreme Court of that era would undoubtedly have declared it unconstitutional.

Millions of human beings would have remained slaves. Would ringing rhetoric be worth that price?

As for the claim that Lincoln did not regard black people as human, he invited Frederick Douglass to the White House.

Gross distortions of history, in order to get Abraham Lincoln’s name removed from schools tells us a lot about what is wrong with American education today.

Many schools are closed because of the coronavirus and the teachers unions. And many schools in minority neighborhoods failed to teach children enough math and English, back when they were still open. So it is incredible that school authorities have time to spend on ideological crusades like removing names and statues from schools.

Such criticisms betray an incredible ignorance of history — or else a complete disregard of truth.

Unfortunately, too many American educational institutions — from elementary schools to universities — have become indoctrination centers. The riots that swept across the country last year are fruits of that indoctrination and the utter disregard for other people’s rights that accompanied those riots.

At the heart of that indoctrination is a sense of grievance and victimhood when others have better outcomes — which are automatically called “privileges” and never called “achievements,” regardless of what the actual facts are.

Facts don’t matter in such issues, any more than facts mattered when smearing Lincoln.

Any “under-representation” of any group in any endeavor can be taken as evidence or proof of discriminatory bias. But those who argue this way cannot show us any society — anywhere in the world, or at any time during thousands of years of recorded history — that had all groups represented proportionally in all endeavors.

In America’s National Hockey League, for example, there are more players from Canada than there are players from the United States. There are also more players from Sweden than from California, even though California’s population is nearly four times the population of Sweden.

Californians are more “under-represented” in the NHL than women are in Silicon Valley. But no one can claim that this is due to discriminatory bias by the NHL. It is far more obviously due to people growing up in cold climates being more likely to have ice-skating experience.

This is one of many factors that produce skewed statistics in many endeavors. Discriminatory bias is among those factors. But it has no monopoly.

Yet who cares about facts any more, in this age of indoctrination?


Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

* Felipe’s note: Last year’s widespread, leftist riots were scarcely reported in the mainstream media, so if you get “informed” by CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, etc., it’s why you are ignorant of them.

Waffles & snowflakes

waffles

WE’RE A HEALTH-conscious couple, and we watch what we eat. It’s partly why we are so slim and beautiful.

Although we love waffles, we rarely eat them because they are not healthy. However, special occasions call for celebration, and we decided Wednesday morning to breakfast on waffles, a Trump fiesta with Canadian maple syrup.

However, just as my child bride was about to turn on the blender and waffle iron, the electricity went out, and it stayed out for an hour due to work in the street.

So we ate the usual cereal, but with a grin. At least I was grinning. My lovely companion still is uncertain about Trump, being Mexican and listening to Mexican news sources, which are just as left-wing as CNN and MSNBC.

There is no Mexican version of Fox or Breitbart.

However, she’s as conservative as I am, and she knows that I always know best, so she’s coming around, slowly.

Mexico has focused entirely on Trump’s border wall and his sometimes ill-phrased statements about Mexicans.

They know nothing about other U.S. issues like tax cuts, veterans’ matters,  federal debt, entitlements, BLM, Islamic terrorism, Mohammedan “refugees,” safe spaces,  PC lunacy, Common Core, joblessness and so on.

Alas, to Mexicans, it’s all about them and their God-given right to sneak across the border whenever they feel like it.

Our waffle extravaganza was delayed one day, but not canceled. We waffled our hearts out yesterday instead.

Like election night, it was very tasty.

* * * *

01_snowflake_1Left-wing snowflakes are in a state of hysteria and meltdown. Here are some hilarious examples:

  1. A guy named Jerry Kang, who is UCLA’s vice chancellor for “equity, diversity and inclusion,” held an event last night to process the shocking election results.
  2. At Cornell University, a “cry-in” was held on the Quad. “I’m quite terrified, honestly,” one snowflake opined.
  3. Thousands of poor losers blocked the entrance to Trump Tower in Chicago. They said they are against fascism, racism and war. Where this stuff is breaking out in the wake of the election is not clear.
  4. Snowflake high school students and teachers, about 1,500 of them,  staged a walkout Wednesday in California to protest Trump’s fair-and-square election victory. They’re just not gonna take it, you hear?
  5. In New York, thousands of leftists took to the streets howling obscenities about Trump’s victory, “rape culture,” racism and all that silly razzmatazz.

I remember the day following the shocking (to conservatives) re-election in 2012 of Weepy Barry.

We were gobsmacked!

But did we stage cry-ins? Did we block entrances to buildings? Did Republican ghetto-dwellers riot in the streets, as happened in Oakland after the Trump victory?

Of course not. We just hoped for a better day.

And here it is!