Tuesday, April 05, 2005

TWO OLD BLACK MEN: The Wisdom of Drs. WILLIAMS and SOWELL

This is a post I have been thinking of for some time; a fitting tribute to two men I've come to see as teachers. You see, I dropped out of college after one semester, and never went back. However, I never stopped educating myself, mostly from my own mistakes.

Part of my life's journey has been an evolution from a knee-jerk, bleeding heart liberal into what can only be described as a "compassionate conservative." This is where the two old black men come in.

I first heard Dr. Williams on the Rush Limbaugh radio show, and was taken aback. "BLACK, by popular demand" was how they introduced him! The radical reality that he saw was far removed from the reality I saw portrayed by most media at that time, and it was shocking. I was also introduced to the eminent Dr. Sowell, and bought one of his many books, "The Quest for Cosmic Justice." (See my STARBORN gallery as to why this title appealed to me.)

Being a former liberal, the first thing that drew me to them was that they were Black conservative/libertarians. Years before, in 1984, I was prepared to vote for Jesse Jackson! I had never heard a Black person say that the descendants of US slaves are better off than the descendants of the people (whether slaveholders or slaves) left behind in Africa, or how the logical conclusion of reparations would have the descendants of the original (Black) African slaveholders paying reparations not only to the descendants of slaves still in Africa, but to the better-off descendants of US slaves. Very strong and "politically incorrect" stuff, but the logic was right on. What if a fair standard was applied to all historical events? COSMIC JUSTICE is incalculable, as Dr. Sowell has explained. Man can only hope to learn from past mistakes, and not repeat them, especially when trying to "fix" them. "Two wrongs don't make a right" might be the simplest way to explain this philosophy.

Second was the appreciation of these men as scholars; as men who educate today's youth, and find them sorely wanting. I have already experienced being smarter than a college-educated colleague, so this wasn't as surprising to hear from them. I was always uneasy arguing economics, but no more. I actually get a brainfart if I can't do one of Dr. Williams little "quizzes" (on the Limbaugh show) in my head. The point being that these guys are teaching economics, not rocket science. It doesn't always take long formulas to understand this stuff, if you can grasp the basic concepts. This is what I learned from them. They remind me of my father, another teacher who got through to the hardest to teach students, which brings me to ...

Third: They are old. These gentlemen have lived through the most interesting times of human history, and are willing to share that experience with all of us younger people that want to learn from them. Words fail me to explain how profoundly they have influenced me. I was just kidding about the OLD crack, as they both still are at the pinnacle of their careers. I just wanted to post my little tribute to two men who I hope will continue educating us for a long time. Read their wisdom and other stuff at these links: DR. SOWELL, and DR. WILLIAMS. You won't regret it, and you can learn something.


PS: For all of us "persons of European descent," Dr. Wiiliams has a GIFT! Say "thank you!"

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