Words That Replace Thought

Thomas Sowell, Lew Rockwell, May 8, 2013

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.

To ask whether institutions that promote diversity 24/7 end up with better or worse relations between the races than institutions that pay no attention to it is only to get yourself regarded as a bad person. To cite hard evidence that places obsessed with diversity have worse race relations is to risk getting yourself labeled an incorrigible racist. Free thinking is not free.

The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that the government has a “compelling interest” in promoting diversity – apparently more compelling than the 14th Amendment’s requirement of “equal protection” of the law for everybody.

How does a racially homogeneous country like Japan manage to have high quality education, without the essential ingredient of diversity, for which there is supposedly a “compelling” need?

Conversely, why does India, one of the most diverse nations on Earth, have a record of intergroup intolerance and lethal violence today that is worse than that in the days of our Jim Crow South?

Even to ask such questions is to provoke charges of unworthy tactics, and motives too low to be dignified with an answer. Not that the true believers in diversity could answer anyway.


Another word that shuts down thought is “access.” People who fail to meet the standards for anything from college admission to a mortgage loan are often said to have been denied “access” or opportunity.

But equal access or equal opportunity is not the same as equal probability of success. Republicans are not denied an equal opportunity to vote in California, even though the chances of a Republican candidate actually getting elected in California are far less than the chances of a Democrat getting elected.

By the same token, if everyone is allowed to apply for college admission, or for a mortgage loan, and their applications are all judged by the same standards, then they have equal opportunity, even if the village idiot has a lower probability of getting into the Ivy League, and someone with a bad credit history is less likely to be lent money.


None of this is rocket science. But if you don’t stop and think, it doesn’t matter whether you are a genius or a moron. Words that stop people from thinking reduce even smart people to the same level as morons.

Topics: , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Robert Binion

    Will the SPLC Hate blog label Sowell a “web-savvy racist”? Equality cult verbiage can be used to justify the most shocking outrage: pity the downtrodden marathon bombers denied “access,” too impoverished to purchase a drone. (Is a suicide bomb the poor man’s drone?)

    • Jane Johnson

      A suicide bomb could indeed be a poor man’s drone: if he could find a poorer man to carry it for him.

      • Robert Binion

        Yes, or he could find any man with a vulnerable family.

    • John

      For decades, each day I have wondered what sick type of mental illness would cause Whites to condone Blacks and Browns (including Muslims) living among us in North America and Europe. There is no way to measure how the progress of Whites has been slowed down by their increasing presence among us. Of course, it is easy to measure the deleterious effects of their presence.
      If there were no Muslims in North America, millions of White air travelers would not have to endure the uncivilized and highly intrusive sexual violations of airport security.
      If there were no Mestizos in North America, the crime rate, illegitimate birth rate, and STD rate would drop precipitously.
      If there were no Blacks in North America, all crime and social problems would be several orders of magnitude better; civilization would actually look like civilization again.
      What would possess millions of White men and women to vote for a Black, support immigration from non-White countries, and endorse the presence of Muslims and mosques on our soil?
      I doubt I will ever have the answers to any of my questions. I can only thank the stars above that my wife and I were smart enough to freely choose not to have children to leave behind in this hellish world!
      I know many of my friends here will say, “You’re part of the problem for not having children!” I view that as nonsense. Even if I were to produce 50 offspring, it’s like a grain of sand on the beach. We’ve been betrayed by greedy Whites in government and in the banks. No amount of White offspring can defeat them.

      • watling

        I still haven’t worked out if the mass immigration of third worlders to the west is symptomatic of a mental illness, naivety, stupidity, ignorance or evil. Or a combination of all of these. I suspect that the liberal elites ultimately responsible know exactly what they’re doing, namely to destroy white western civilisation. Sadly, far too many people have been brainwashed into believing the ‘diversity is strength’ lie, without knowing what the ultimate goal is. The question is why can you and I see the insanity of what is happening whereas the vast majority cannot?

      • Svigor

        I know many of my friends here will say, “You’re part of the problem for
        not having children!” I view that as nonsense. Even if I were to
        produce 50 offspring, it’s like a grain of sand on the beach. We’ve been
        betrayed by greedy Whites in government and in the banks. No amount of
        White offspring can defeat them.

        Categorical Imperative: would it be okay if everyone took your attitude, and stopped having kids? After all, they’re all just grains of sand on the beach, so they idea on the part of any of them that they should have kids is “nonsense,” right?

    • Svigor

      Diversity doesn’t mean real diversity. I.e., having some all-white countries, some diverse countries, etc., is not what diversity means. It means “whites on the way to extinction.” Black African countries bringing in whites, yellows, latinos, etc., is not “diversity.” Yellow countries bringing in whites, blacks, latinos, etc., is not “diversity.” Latino countries bringing in whites, blacks, yellows, etc., is not “diversity.

      Israel bringing in blacks, white “gentiles, yellows, etc., is not “diversity.”

      A region with an all-white country, and a mixed country is not “diversity,” because there’s an all-white country in there. Two different kinds of countries in that region is not “diverse”; both countries having the same exact populations, as long as they’re both less white than an all-white country, is “diverse.”

      All white countries in the world having their white populations replaced with blacks, so that Europe and Africa are both black, instead of one black and one white, is “diverse.”

      Getting the picture yet?

      It’s even more stark for diversity of opinion; diversity of thought means everyone reading from the liberal-statist script.

      Then there’s “tolerance,” which definitely doesn’t really mean tolerance, but surrender.

  • Jefferson

    Mississippi has lot of racial diversity due to it being the state with the highest percentage of Blacks in the nation.

    There is an area of Mississippi called The Black Belt which basically resembles Haiti when it comes to poverty.

    Diversity in many cases = more poverty.

    All of the predominantly Hispanic Southwest counties who share a border with Mexico, all have poverty rates that are much higher than the national average.

    Is poverty considered strength ? I thought wealth was considered strength. And the vast majority of wealth in America is concentrated in areas that are not extremely vibrantly diverse.

    • The__Bobster

      It’s libtard newspeak. Diversity is our strength. Up is down. Down is up.

    • bigone4u

      You’re not supposed to think negative. Positive thinking would focus on all the fine Mexican, Hindu, and Chinese restaurants. Remember that according to the libtards that poverty you weren’t supposed to notice is caused by the white oppressor.

  • The__Bobster

    Sowell obviously knows the special words that are supposed to make conservatives back down when they are being screwed over..

  • MikeS

    Words that replace thought. Government.

  • Diversity, Multiculturalism, Equality, Affirmative Action, White Privilege.

    Five very offensive terms.

  • Defoe

    This article reminds me of a quote by Voltaire: “One great use of words is to hide our thoughts”.

    The ultimate goal of the “diversity” movement is certainly not diversity!

  • anarchyst

    We’ve allowed the “enemy” to define the language and the terms under which it is used. . . . 1984, anyone??

  • bigone4u

    Working on a university campus for decades, if I had a dollar for every time I heard “diversity,” “access,” and other PC terms coming from administrators and colleagues, I would be quite rich. Most of them could not explain why these things are good, while ignoring evidence that that diversity, etc. created huge problems. Of course, with more problems the state was always willing to throw money at the administrators and jack up tuition.


    A person’s tolerance for diversity is in direct relation to their distance from it

  • Exoplanet Finder

    The goal of diversity is extermination of the white race. This is preaching to the choir, I know, but it needs to be said, over and over and over again. If I am a racist because I care about the survival of my own race, I am more than comfortable with that. Wait for the day when ‘coming out party’ means a group for white race realists emerge in every workplace and social network in the country and stand up for America, and stand up for Britain, and stand up for Australia, and Canada, and France, and Deutschland, and Italia, and Polska, and Osterreich, and Eire, and Nederland, and Hellas, and Magyarorszag, and Suid Afrika and all the rest. Better yet, wait for the day when we all stand up with each other. All of a sudden, a new world is born.

  • guest

    Politically correct words and ideas like diversity, multiculturalism, and “reverse” discrimination are good only because the PC elitists say so, even when everyone knows they’re not. In these ugly PC times, what was good is now wrong and immoral and what was bad must be tolerated. Political correctness does nothing but choke the life out of real freedom and jeopardize the lives of many.

    • Korpiklaani

      “Political Correctness” is a Communist term, just ask our old buddy Karl Marx.

      The fact that, that term, carries so much legal weight behind it just proves we dwell beneath a communist government.

      • Defoe

        The word “racism” also had its genesis in Marxism.

      • Luis

        I have my own term for “political correctness’:

        “A Stalinist mind fu**”.

      • Defoe

        True enough. After all, look who we supported in WWII.

        Also, we supported Mousy Tung as he was coming to power in China just as we supported Castro. Once they got into power, well, ohmygosh…we didn’t know they were communist!!!!

        As with all politicians, watch what they do, not what they say.

  • White Mom in WDC

    Diversity is synonymous with destruction.

    Diversity = race replacement

    Diversity = white genocide

    Diversity can kiss my white arce

  • JohnEngelman

    As the word is frequently used “diversity” is a synonym for “affirmative action.” Both are euphemisms for “anti white discrimination.”

    The only kind of diversity that is of any conceivable benefit is diversity that is voluntary and based on merit.

    • MikeofAges

      Diversity is an abuse which goes far beyond affirmative action. Legally sanctioned affirmative action at least was limited to defined “suscept” groups, Thurgood Marshall’s terminology, not mine. Diversity is a supposed neutral term which allows personnel systems to exclude most native born whites (and blacks for that matter) in favor of individuals who possess so-called “third culture” characteristics. The ostensible argument in favor of this practice is that “diversity” hires, because they have had exposure to two or more cultures or languages, is that they can function better in a global business culture.

      But that is not the real reason. The “third culture” concept is the thesis that people who have had exposure to multiple cultures growing up, regardless of what these were, and no two are the same, often feel that they have more in common with each other than they have with their apparent primary culture, again, whatever that may be.

      So the end goal of diversity is the same old goal which fueled discrimination in the past — the idea on the part of management that a workforce functions better when everybody is the same. Too darn bad. It’s still illegal.

  • MBlanc46

    Not only is it theoretically pretty empty, practically it’s troublesome or even disastrous wherever it occurs. Think Ireland, Belgium, Canada, the former Soviet Union,and the former Yugoslavia. Even the Spanish and British are having trouble keeping their parts together. Only the Swiss seem to have made it work.

  • LHathaway

    ‘diversity’ does have a meaning. Substitute in the word racism each time the word diversity is used. Substitute out the word diversity and insert instead the word racism, in any document written in the above ground mainstream world and you will have a actual definition of the word.

  • Paleoconn

    Unfortunately, Mr. Sowell, to most of your fellow blacks and their White liberal enablers, equal opportunity = equality of results. In other words rigging the system eternally to favour blacks and other minorities through racial preferences. Which is how we get lifeguards in Phoenix city pools who are not very good swimmers. Because the only thing that counts is that we get those minorities into every job sector, competence be damned.

  • european native america

    Diversity is the new liberal homosexual pc orgasm short lived fantasy that is only directed toward advanced European white western civilization seeking to reduce it to minority and rip it to shreds and convert it to a 3rd world banana socialist Marxist republic once all wealth has been redistributed into the off shore bank account of the tyrant dictator in charge.
    Welcome to the new Amerika under Obama.

  • Where’s the diversity in allowing black only organisations? Only a diversity-dick could answer that.

  • “Diversity” is used by diversity-dicks to avoid using words such as hate, racism, prejudice, discrimination etc. When taking away the rights of whites.

    Diversity = hatred of whites.

    “Everybody says this RACE problem will be solved when the third world
    pours into EVERY White country and ONLY into White countries.”

  • Shemp

    Diversity AND Perversity are the same thing in most cases.

  • hjb3

    “Fair” does not mean more power for the government. It means making sure the right people get screwed.

  • BAW

    Those who preach diversity the loudest avoid it like a plague in their personal lives:

    The Obamas and Clintons sent their kids to the Sidwell Friends academy, not the diverse DC public schools. (Well, maybe they wanted to, but the Secret Service said no because the students were better armed than they were!)

    When Hillary Clinton moved to diverse New York, she went to Chappaqua, one of the wealthiest and least diverse parts of New York.

    The Reverend Jeremiah Wright lives in a gated community.

    The black populations of Portland and San Francisco have plummeted in the past 30 years as rich liberal whites have made housing all but unaffordable there.

    The NFL and NBA have few Hispanic, Native American, or Asian players, and also few white players, yet no one points this out. But when the NHL and NASCAR are “too white,” it’s a crisis!

    Just a few I’ve noticed…

  • nobody

    http://www.LewRockwell.com You should check it out if you haven’t. Some food for thought if nothing else.