Race and resentment

Given today’s inadvertent theme, here’s Thomas Sowell on Race and Resentment:

Recent stories out of both Philadelphia and San Francisco tell of black students beating up Asian American students.

. . . Resentments and hostility toward people with higher achievements are one of the most widespread of human failings. Resentments of achievements are more deadly than envy of wealth.

When a distinct group rises to prosperity — Sowell cites “the Lebanese in West Africa, the Indians in Fiji, the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire” — they’ve been hated for it.

Achievements are a reflection on others who may have had similar, and sometimes better, chances but who did not make the most of their chances.

. . . Many of our educators, our intelligentsia and our media — not to mention our politicians— promote an attitude that other people’s achievements are grievances, rather than examples.

Hard-working black students are attacked by black classmates for “acting white.” In Britain, high-achieving white students have been beaten up by lower-class white classmates, Sowell writes.

These are poisonous and self-destructive consequences of a steady drumbeat of ideological hype about differences that are translated into “disparities” and “inequities,” provoking envy and resentments under their more prettied-up name of “social justice.”

In the long run, the victims of resentment are the hoodlums, Sowell writes. The achievers get out and move up; the resentful are trapped.

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