"Yes, racism is real, but as a crucial factor that enables or prevents social advancement, it has lost a lot of force in the past half century."

"I am sure that there are deep-seated inequality problems in America that affect everyone, and black people in particular. Some are institutional, but many have to do with the culture and behavior of black people themselves. I’m talking about lack of educational achievement, and about the higher crime rate; I’m talking about the collapse of the black family. Seven out of ten black children are born outside of marriage. It is a plausible surmise that households where a mother is present, but no father, are more likely to produce adolescent males with behavioral problems. People are frustrated that conventional political solutions, such as expanding anti-discrimination and welfare programs, have not worked. That’s why they take refuge in the empty thesis of racism. They speak of 1619, when the first blacks landed in America, and they speak of slavery, which was abolished more than 150 years ago. They talk of 'centuries of oppression.' But, they don’t talk about how the social condition of blacks in America well may have been healthier in 1950 than it is today—the integrity of family structure, the level of the crime rate, the relationship to work of the poorly educated, and the values with which many children are raised.... I think we do not live in a really free space where we can discuss these questions. Pressure to conform is intense because nobody wants to give the impression that they stand on the wrong side of the great moral questions of our time.... Because racists say that black crime is terrible, you are afraid even to address the issue and admit that it may be part of the problem.... So you’d rather be silent. And that gets us nowhere—or rather, it gets us to where we are today."

From says Glenn Loury in "Racism Is An Empty Thesis/An African-American professor says that blacks hold their fate in their own hands" (City Journal).

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