The Day Cornell Died

– "The Day Cornell Died," The Weekly Standard, May 3, 1999, pp. 31-33.
Excerpt: No one who was at Cornell University in the spring of 1969 is ever likely to forget the guns-on-campus crisis that shocked the academic community and the nation. Bands of militant black students forcibly evicted visiting parents from Willard Straight… More

The Nuance Excuse

– "The Nuance Excuse," The Weekly Standard, February 3, 1997, pp, 16-18.
Excerpt: One of the curious things about the bitter battle over preferences and quotas that came to a head in the California Civil Rights Initiative is how many critics of affirmative action were missing in action when the issue faced its first test at the… More

Have The Democrats Really Changed? — A Debate

– "Have The Democrats Really Changed? -- A Debate," Commentary, September 1992, pp. 23-26.
Excerpt: The 1992 Democratic party, led by Governor Bill Clinton and Senator Al Gore, has shed its leftist fads and is once again appealing to the American mainstream. The question which some voters might ask is whether the new approach is a mere façade (a… More

The Scandal of College Tuition

– “The Scandal of College Tuition,” Commentary, August 1992, pp. 23-26.
Excerpt: In a world where parents go into debt to finance their children’s higher education and where alumni, corporations, and Congress are besieged with calls for more donations to colleges and universities, the time is long overdue to ask why college is… More

On the higher learning in America: some comments

– "On the higher learning in America: some comments," The Public Interest, Spring 1990, p. 68.
Excerpt: The most fundamental misconception of many leading institutions of higher learning is that they are primarily institutions of higher learning. Money talks in academia as elsewhere, and what that money says on most campuses is “do research.”… More

‘Affirmative Action’: A Worldwide Disaster

– “'Affirmative Action': A Worldwide Disaster," Commentary, December 1989.
Excerpt: The starting point for rethinking and reform must be a recognition that “affirmative action” has been a failure in the United States and a disaster in other countries that have had such policies longer. Indeed, a growing polarization and… More

Second Thoughts About The Third World

– "Second Thoughts About The Third World," Harper's Magazine, November 1983, p. 34.
For many people the term “Third World” immediately conjures up images of poverty, distress and exploitation. In “Second Thoughts About the Third World” Thomas Sowell, a fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, reminds… More

Poor Aim In War on Bias

– "Poor Aim In War on Bias," The New York Times, August 11, 1981.
Excerpt: One of the tragedies about affirmative action is that there is very little empirical evidence of any benefits to blacks or women out of affirmative action. Further there is reason to believe that it may be counterproductive… ”Justice”… More

Myths About Minorities

– "Myths About Minorities," Commentary, August 1979, p. 33-37.
Excerpt: Will Rogers once said that it’s not ignorance that is so bad, but all the things we know “that ain’t so.” Much of what we “know” about racial and ethnic minorities in America is unsubstantiated and just plain wrong. We “know,” for… More

Are Quotas Good For Blacks?

– "Are Quotas Good For Blacks?," Commentary, June 1976, p. 39-43.
Excerpt: Today’s grand fallacy about race and ethnicity is that the statistical “representation” of a group — in jobs, schools, etc. — shows and measures discrimination. This notion is at the center of such controversial policies as affirmative… More

Patterns of Black Excellence

– "Patterns of Black Excellence," The Public Interest, Spring 1976, p. 26.
Excerpt: The history of the advancement of black Americans is almost a laboratory study of human achievement, for it extends back to slavery and was accomplished in the face of the strongest opposition confronting any American racial or ethnic group. Yet… More

Affirmative Action Reconsidered

– "Affirmative Action Reconsidered," The Public Interest, Winter 1976, p. 47.
Excerpt: Images and labels have taken the place of facts in the controversies surrounding “affirmative action.” Words like “quota,” “qualified,” and “under-utilization” are flung about, and defined in strange and tortuous ways; and images are… More

Black Excellence: The Case of Dunbar High School

– "Black Excellence: The Case of Dunbar High School," The Public Interest, Spring 1974, p. 8.
Excerpt: Social pathology has held an enduring fascination for researchers, and nowhere more so than in the study of black Americans. Isolated “successes” or “heroes” receive occasional attention, but large-scale or institutionalized progress, and… More