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Thomas Sowell quotations on ‘diversity’ and a video of his Francis Boyer lecture at an AEI event in 1990 – Publications – AEI

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AEI Thomas Sowell quotations on ‘diversity’ and a video of his Francis Boyer lecture at an AEI event in 1990 Here are seven quotes from Thomas Sowell on one of his favorite topics — “diversity” — and a bonus video of Sowell speaking at an American Enterprise Institute event in 1990. 1. Demographic “diversity” is a notion often defended with fervor but seldom with facts. 2. What are the alleged “compelling” benefits of “diversity“? They are as invisible as the proverbial emperor’s new clothes. Yet everyone has to pretend to believe in those benefits, as they pretended to admire the naked emperor’s wardrobe. 3. If there is ever a contest for words that substitute for thought, “diversity” should be recognized as the undisputed world champion. You don’t need a speck of evidence, or a single

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Thomas Sowell quotations on ‘diversity’ and a video of his Francis Boyer lecture at an AEI event in 1990

Thomas Sowell quotations on ‘diversity’ and a video of his Francis Boyer lecture at an AEI event in 1990 - Publications – AEI
Here are seven quotes from Thomas Sowell on one of his favorite topics — “diversity” — and a bonus video of Sowell speaking at an American Enterprise Institute event in 1990.

1. Demographic “diversity” is a notion often defended with fervor but seldom with facts.

2. What are the alleged “compelling” benefits of “diversity“? They are as invisible as the proverbial emperor’s new clothes. Yet everyone has to pretend to believe in those benefits, as they pretended to admire the naked emperor’s wardrobe.

3. If there is ever a contest for words that substitute for thought, “diversity” should be recognized as the undisputed world champion. You don’t need a speck of evidence, or a single step of logic, when you rhapsodize about the supposed benefits of diversity. The very idea of testing this wonderful, magical word against something as ugly as reality seems almost sordid.

4. Despite the fervor with which demographic ‘‘diversity’’ is proclaimed as a prime virtue — without a speck of evidence as to its supposed benefits — diversity of ideas gets no such respect.

5. Nothing so epitomizes the politically correct gullibility of our times as the magic word “diversity.” The wonders of diversity are proclaimed from the media, extolled in the academy and confirmed in the august chambers of the Supreme Court of the United States. But have you ever seen one speck of hard evidence to support the lofty claims?

6. “Diversity” has become one of the most often used words of our time– and a word almost never defined. Diversity is invoked in discussions of everything from employment policy to curriculum reform and from entertainment to politics. Nor is the word merely a description of the long-known fact that the American population is made up of people from many countries, many races, and many cultural backgrounds. All that was well known long before the word “diversity” became an insistent part of our vocabulary, an invocation, an imperative, or a bludgeon in ideological conflicts.

7. If there is any place in the Guinness Book of World Records for words repeated the most often, over the most years, without one speck of evidence, “diversity” should be a prime candidate.

8. Bonus Video: In 1990, Thomas Sowell was honored as the recipient of the American Enterprise Institute’s Francis Boyer Award and gave a lecture titled “Cultural Diversity: A World View” as part of the event in his honor. Dr. Sowell’s talk starts at about 15:00 in the video below. Other recipients of AEI’s Francis Boyer Award from 1977 to 2002 include Gerald Ford, Henry Kissinger, Jeanne Kirkpatrick, Paul Volcker, Ronald Reagan, Alan Greenspan, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, George Will and Michael Novak.

 

Thomas Sowell quotations on ‘diversity’ and a video of his Francis Boyer lecture at an AEI event in 1990
Mark Perry

Mark Perry
Mark J. Perry is concurrently a scholar at AEI and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus. He is best known as the creator and editor of the popular economics blog Carpe Diem. At AEI, Perry writes about economic and financial issues for American.com and the AEIdeas blog.

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