|Subjects||African American culture, Multiculturalism|
|June 25, 2005|
|Media type||Print (Hardcover and Paperback)|
Black Rednecks and White Liberals is a collection of six essays by Thomas Sowell. The collection, published in 2005, explores various aspects of race and culture, both in the United States and abroad. The first essay, the book's namesake, traces the origins of the "Ghetto" African American culture to the culture of Scotch-Irish Americans in the Antebellum South. The second essay, "Are Jews Generic?", discusses middleman minorities; while "The Real History of Slavery" discusses the timeline of abolition of slavery and serfdom. The last three essays discuss the history of Germany, African-American education, and criticism of multiculturalism.
The title essay is based on Sowell's thesis about the origins of the "black ghetto" culture.
Sowell argues that the black ghetto culture is actually a highly dysfunctional white southern redneck culture which existed during the antebellum South. This culture came, in turn, from the "Cracker culture" of the North Britons and Scots-Irish who migrated from the generally lawless border regions of Britain.
In the collection's second essay, Sowell explores the origins of antisemitism among those harboring jealousy toward Jews for their financial and entrepreneurial successes.
Among other historically persecuted "middlemen minorities" were Lebanese and Chinese immigrant merchants. The resentment is due to a perceived "lack of added value" that these middlemen provide, as it is not easily observable.
In the collection's third essay, Sowell discusses slavery. Contrary to popular discussion, which focuses on Western society and whites as the main culprits behind slavery, Sowell argues that slavery was a nearly universal institution accepted and embraced by all races. According to Sowell, the greatest peculiarity of Western Europeans as to slavery is having initiated and empowered slavery's global abolition, rather.
The fourth essay features Sowell's argument that Germany should not be defined solely by the 12-year period of Adolf Hitler's régime from 1933-45. Sowell further argues that Hitler was highly inconsistent in his views toward a unified Germany – while he strenuously argued for annexation of the German-dominated Sudetenland, German-dominated portions of Italy such as Tyrol were ignored as Hitler preferred his alliance with Benito Mussolini.
The fifth essay features Sowell's discussion of the early days of Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C. and its eventual deterioration from its place of prominence in early Black education, which Sowell argues was a direct consequence of the famed Brown v. Board of Education United States Supreme Court decision.
Additionally Sowell argues that, though W. E. B. Du Bois was more activist in his attempts to end Jim Crow laws and other forms of legal discrimination while Booker T. Washington held a more accommodating position, Washington did at times secretly fund and support efforts to end Jim Crow laws.
The final essay features Sowell's criticism of the advantages that multiculturalism is supposed to confer to the society in which it is present.