Black Wisdom Matters: Thomas Sowell – Champion of Facts to Promote the Truth on Slavery

Acts 17:2 “Paul, as his custom was, went in to them and reasoned with them from the Scriptures.”

Dr. Sowell is a Senior Fellow on Public Policy at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution who has written 45 books on the social effects of race, culture and discrimination. He earned his degrees in Economics from Harvard (BA), Columbia (MA), and University of Chicago (PhD).

He is called America’s leading intellectual on culture and race because, like the apostle Paul, he uses facts and evidence to present truths, and then reason with the general public, on the history of slavery you will never learn in school. Let’s first break down Acts 17:2 to see what this type of “truth-telling” looks like.

“Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, saying, ‘This Jesus I preach to you is the Christ.’ Some of them were persuaded.” Five words fit perfectly with Dr. Sowell’s method.

⑥Reasoned (Gr. “dialegomai”) = to reckon up different viewpoints in open discussion; ⑦Explaining (Gr. “dianoigó”) = to expound upon; ⑧Demonstrating (Gr. “paratithēmi”) = to bring forward the truth; ⑨Preach (Gr. “kataggellô”) = to challenge with facts; ⑩Persuaded (Gr. “peithô”) = to convince by sound arguments.

Dr. Sowell’s YouTube series “Black Wisdom Matters” has gained popularity, especially from young adults, because of the facts presented on race and culture. These video topics? “Part 1: The Promise of Black Politicians”; “Part 2: Good Intentions of the Welfare State”; “Part 3: The State of Racism in America”; “Part 4: The Impact of Culture”; “Part 5: Slavery, Guilt & Reparations”; “Part 6: The Clamor of School Choice”.  

On the topic of slavery, in the chapter “Twisted History (of Slavery)” of his book entitled ‘The Thomas Sowell Reader’, Dr. Sowell provides these 3 truths of slavery which debunk the Left’s message that the effects of slavery in America (which ended 156 years ago in 1865) fuel what they call “systemic racism”.

Truth #1: Slavery was practiced everywhere in the world until western civilization, especially the US, ended it: “Everyone hated the idea of being a slave but few had any qualms about enslaving others. Slavery was not an issue, not even among intellectuals and political leaders, until the 18th century. And then it was an issue only in Western civilization. Among those who turned against slavery in the 18th century were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry and other American leaders. You could research all of 18th century Africa, Asia or Middle East without finding any comparable rejection of slavery there.”

Truth #2: In the United States, slavery was rejected as a moral abomination: “It is clear from the private correspondence of Washington, Jefferson, and many others that their moral rejection of slavery was unambiguous, but the practical question of what to do now had them baffled. That would remain so for more than half a century. In 1862, a ship carrying slaves from Africa to Cuba, in violation of a ban on the international slave trade, was captured on the high seas by the U.S. Navy. The crew were imprisoned and the captain was hanged in the United States – despite the fact that slavery was still legal at the time in Africa, Cuba, and the US. What does this tell us? That enslaving people was considered an abomination.

But what to do with millions of people who were already enslaved was finally answered by a war in which 1 life was lost (620,000 Civil War casualties) for every 6 people freed (3.9 million). Don’t pretend today that the Civil War was an easy answer – or that those who grappled with the dilemma in the 18th century were villains when most leaders and most people around the world saw nothing wrong with slavery.”

Truth #3: Slavery continues to be a global crisis, but few pay attention, choosing instead to create a false narrative on America’s racist culture: “National Geographic’s Sept. 2003 article ‘21st Century Slaves’ claims “There are an estimated 27 million men, women, and children in the world who are enslaved – physically confined or restrained and forced to work, or controlled through violence, or treated as property.

But where is the moral indignation about that? There are more slaves today than were seized from Africa in 4 centuries of the trans-Atlantic slave trade (11 million total, with 450,000, or 4% of the total, brought to the United States). The modern commerce in humans rivals illegal drug trafficking in its global reach.” We can thank leaders like Thomas Sowell for giving us the truth behind slavery’s history and America’s moral rejection of it, which confirms that today the abolition of slavery in America is something to celebrate.

The Evidence of Faith’s Substance – Article #456

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