One of the reasons I am so fond of the writing of Thomas Sowell, is that he takes a subject which most people share common knowledge of, and dissects those beliefs to see if they hold water when scrutinized. When reading Barack Obama’s book “Dreams of My Father”, it became alarmingly obvious to Sowell that Obama is not very well educated on visions other than his own. What Obama lacks is knowledge of history, as Sowell points out in his recent article “Obama’s Dreams”:
[Obama’s] statement in “Dreams from My Father” about how white men went to Africa to “drag away the conquered in chains” betrays his ignorance of African history.
The era of the Atlantic slave trade and the era of European conquests across the continent of Africa were different eras. During the era of the Atlantic slave trade, most of Africa was ruled by Africans, who sold some of their slaves to white men.
European conquests in Africa had to wait until Europeans found some way to survive lethal African diseases, to which they lacked resistance. Only after medical science learned to deal with these diseases could the era of European conquests spread across sub-Saharan Africa. But the Atlantic slave trade was over by then.
Thomas Sowell also points out that these are not necessarily pieces of history one would know about, but if you are going to shoot off your mouth about these eras, as Obama did, than he should probably have known what he was talking about.
When Obama wrote that many people “had been enslaved only because of the color of their skin,” he was repeating a common piece of gross misinformation. For thousands of years, people enslaved other people of the same race as themselves, whether in Europe, Asia, Africa or the Western Hemisphere.
Europeans enslaved other Europeans for centuries before the first African was brought in bondage to the Western Hemisphere. The very word “slave” is derived from the name of a European people once widely held in bondage, the Slavs.
Thomas Sowell is not impressed by Obama. He sees his “confidant ignorance” as a huge threat to America, and Sowell has the knowledge to back up such claims.
I would recommend reading Thomas Sowell’s articles and books. He is an accomplished author, economist, and Senior Fellow at the Hoover institution. I’ve enjoyed his books such as “Applied Economics” which dissects contemporary economic situations to separate the causes and effects, “Conquests and Cultures” which gives a history of conquest in the Western Hemisphere and the effects that permeate to our lives today, and “Black Rednecks, White Liberals” which sets straight a number of myths including the roots of “black culture”, and the usefulness of middleman minorities.
His books and articles are full of information, and generally easy to understand. It would be wise to familiarize yourself with Thomas Sowell, and his lifetime of contributions to economics, history, and sociology.