Monday, December 09, 2013
Noting that "black students scoring far below white students on various mental
tests has become so familiar that people in different parts of the ideological
spectrum have long ago developed their different explanations for why this is
so," Thomas Sowell introduces some
new data that demands different explanations.
The November 9th-15th issue of the distinguished British magazine The Economist reports that, among children who are eligible for free meals in England's schools, black children of immigrants from Africa meet the standards of school tests nearly 60 percent of the time -- as do immigrant children from Bangladesh and Pakistan. Black children of immigrants from the Caribbean meet the standards less than 50 percent of the time.Considered only in racial terms, the low-income result is the opposite of what recent studies in the United States usually find. Sowell has a good hypothesis regarding the differences seen on each side of the Pond:
At the bottom, among those children who are all from families with low enough incomes to receive free meals at school, are white English children, who meet the standards 30 percent of the time. [format edits]
What low-income whites in England and ghetto blacks in the United States have in common is a generations-long indoctrination in victimhood. The political left in both countries has, for more than half a century, maintained a steady and loud drumbeat of claims that the deck is stacked against those at the bottom.This reminds me somewhat of the underlying thesis in Sowell's Black Rednecks and White Liberals, except that he is considering the role that philosophical ideas -- although he stops short of calling them that -- play in shaping a culture. That consideration is the hallmark of Ayn Rand's cultural commentary, and I think that more such analysis can only accelerate the abandonment of the wrong (and not even wrong) beliefs that are guiding so many of us today onto a path of certain ruin.
12-10-13: Corrected a hyperlink,