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Dallas Holocaust Museum is among the 15 finalists for the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service

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DALLAS – February 24, 2016 – The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) today announced that the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance is among the 15 finalists for the 2016 National Medal for Museum and Library Service in the museum category. The Dallas Public Library is one of the 15 finalists in the Library category.

IMLS is encouraging community members who have visited the Dallas Holocaust Museum to share their story on the IMLS Facebook page. To Share Your Story and learn more about how these institutions make an impact, please visit www.facebook.com/USIMLS.

“The 2016 National Medal finalists make lasting differences in their communities by serving and inspiring the public,” said Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew, director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. “We proudly recognize these museums and libraries for their invaluable work to provide citizens with educational resources, 21st century skills and opportunities for lifelong learning. As key stewards of our nation’s future, we salute the finalists for their excellence in engaging our citizenry and expanding learning of all kinds.”

The National Medal winners will be named later this spring, and representatives from winning institutions will travel to Washington, D.C., to be honored at the National Medal award ceremony.

To see the full list of finalists and learn more about the National Medal, visit IMLS.gov

ABOUT THE INSTITUTE OF MUSEUM AND LIBRARY SERVICES
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is the primary source of federal support for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 35,000 museums. Our mission is to inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement. Our grant making, policy development, and research help libraries and museums deliver valuable services that make it possible for communities and individuals to thrive. To learn more, Click Here

Special Gallery Exhibit – Survival in Sarajevo: La Benevolencija
June 16 – September 11, 2016

New Gallery Exhibit – Survival in Sarajevo: La Benevolencija

Special Gallery Exhibit – Survival in Sarajevo: La Benevolencija,
June 16 – September 11, 2016
Survival in Sarajevo tells the story of La Benevolencija, the non-sectarian humanitarian aid agency through which Jews and Muslims, Serbian Orthodox and Catholic Croats worked together to provide aid—and hope—to an entire city besieged by war. Based on the book by Edward Serotta, Survival in Sarajevo: Jews, Bosnia, and the Lessons of the Past, this exhibition covers the history of the Jews in the Balkans from 1492 to 1941 before turning to the Bosnian war of the 1990s and the story of La Benevolencija.

Exhibit Opening - Survival in Sarajevo: La Benevolencija
Reception June 16, 2016 | 5:30 p.m. | At the Museum
Talk at 6:30 p.m.
Join us for the opening of our special gallery exhibit, Survival in Sarajevo: La Benevolencija, featuring a talk from Edward Serotta, Director of Centropa, a non-profit Jewish historical institute dedicated to preserving 20th century Jewish family stories and photos from Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans.
Free, but RSVP required at Eventbrite.

Magie Furst, Kindertransport Refugee to speak

Magie Furst, escaped the Nazis via the Kindertransport. The Holocaust survivors, refugees, and hidden children who regularly speak to school children during the school year are eager to continue to share stories of survival. As you can imagine, they are dedicated speakers who know that when they speak they can change hearts and minds and keep tragic monumental events like the Holocaust from happening again.

Join us at 12:30 p.m. at the Museum. There is no admission fee to hear the speaker. Admission fees for the Museum exhibits do apply.

Docent Training Begins September 21

Become a Docent: Receive in-depth training in Holocaust and Museum history. Educate school groups and the public on the Holocaust. Teach new generations about becoming UPSTANDERS and join team of docents and Museum education staff to combat hatred, prejudice and indifference. Classes start September 21. Apply by August 15 online at: Apply for Docent Training or click on the "Support" tab then click on "Volunteer"

Not able to participate in the fall, join us for the spring training.
Spring 2017
Application deadline: January 15, 2017
Training start date: February 22, 2017

We are expanding our archives and you can help

The Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance has commenced the planning process for a greatly expanded permanent exhibit, to be part of a future, new home for the Museum.

We want our exhibit to reflect the experiences of Holocaust survivors, refugees, hidden children, and liberators in North Texas. Thus, we would like to invite you to join us in launching our artifact campaign before the exhibit is fully designed. Of particular interest are documents, photos, artifacts, diaries, travel papers, art, clothing, or almost anything related to: pre-war Jewish life, survival experiences, life in the ghettos, camps, and forests, anti-Semitism, life in the DP camps, post-war resettlement, immigration and the rebirth and continued vitality of Jewish life after the war.

In this campaign, Dr. Sara Abosch Jacobson, our Senior Director of Education, will be the contact person. Please direct any inquiries, questions, and possibilities for artifact donations to her at: sabosch@dallasholocaustmuseum.org.
The list that follows contains examples of possible artifacts:
Pre-war life:
 Wedding contracts (ketubbot), Birth certificates, Smicha certificates
 Invitations to circumcisions, bar mitzvahs and weddings
 Hebrew textbooks, Jewish literature published in Hebrew or Yiddish
 Wedding canopies or talesim
 Posters for Jewish cultural events
 Objects related to holidays
 Chevra kadisha items
 Anti-Semitica
 School texts, report cards and diplomas
 Items related to occupations and professions
 Items related to communal and political organizations, such
as the Bund and Zionist organizations

Holocaust and WWII:
 Identification cards
 Programs and tickets from cultural events
 Deportation notices
 Kindertransport tags, tickets or diaries
 Stars and armbands
 Passports and documents marked with “J”
 Reflections of religious and cultural life and friendship and other objects made or used in ghettos and camps (musical instruments, ritual objects, scrapbooks, banners, diaries, newspapers, costumes, artwork, Bund, Zionist youth organization materials, etc.)
 Partisan related materials
 Objects, documents or postcards sent from ghettos
 Objects from the camps including uniforms and clothing, toys, kitchen utensils
 Artwork done by children in camps, ghettos, hiding or exile
 Materials relating to those who rescued, hid or saved Jews
 Materials relating to the G.I. European theatre experience
 Materials relating to the liberation of Holocaust victims

Survival and postwar resettlement in or emigration from Europe, and postwar cultural life:
 Objects from Displaced Persons camps
 Visas, immigration papers
 Items carried on board ships leaving Europe
 Items from Cyprus or otherwise reflecting immigration to Palestine
 Materials reflecting resettlement and the establishment of businesses
 Posters from cultural events
 Objects relating to resettlement in the DFW area and North Texas
 Items related to the recreation of postwar Jewish life (wedding invitations, marriage certificates, birth certificates)

Again, if you have any of the above items and would consider donating them to the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance, please contact Dr. Sara Abosch Jacobson, Senior Director of Education, 214-741-7500, or via email at: sabosch@dallasholocaustmuseum.org. Thank you for helping us to build for our collective future.

Honors and Memorials

THE TRIBUTE PROGRAM
The Dallas Holocaust Museum Tribute Program allows donor to honor or memorialize a family member, friend or other loved one. Donations allow us to preserve the memory of the Holocaust and teach the moral and ethical response to prejudice, hatred and indifference. Below are the names of the donors who participated in the tribute program from July through December 2015 along with those they have chosen to recognize. The tributes are listed alphabetically by honoree.

GIFTS IN CELEBRATION OF

Blake William Birnbrey’s birth, grandson of Sherry and Kenny Goldberg from Regional Hillel of North Texas
Asher Chamoy's Bar Mitzvah from Tamar and Arthur Leventhal
Stacybeth Cohen's Bat Mitzvah from Tamar and Arthur Leventhal
Eliana Lazarow's Bat Mitzvah from Tamar and Arthur Leventhal
Abby Meyers' Bat Mitzvah from Terry and Mike Triedman, and Tamar and Arthur Leventhal
Jennifer Mitchell's Bat Mitzvah from Tamar and Arthur Leventhal
Ryan Newman's Bar Mitzvah from Tamar and Arthur Leventhal
Max Rathfeder’s birth, grandson of Barbara and Stan Rabin from Renee Lubin
in honor of Jolene Risch's birthday from Aaron Minsky
Daphne and David Sydney's anniversary from Julie and David Fields
Joanne and Charles Teichman's anniversary from Julie and David Fields
Carter Weinstein's Bar Mitzvah from Tamar and Arthur Leventhal

GIFTS IN HONOR OF
Mary Pat Higgins and Museum Staff from Jason Lalonde and Warren Winkelman
Paul Kessler from Stephen Kaye, and People’s Bible Class at UCC
Bobbi & Richard Massman from Charlotte Schuman
Dr. Jimmy Reisman from Ellen Feibel
Frank & Helen Risch from Ruth Vernet
Fred Strauss from Karen and Andy Cohen
Joanne & Charles Teichman from Carol Marvin
Daniel and Margaret, Michael, Kathleen from Daniel Flax

GIFTS IN MEMORY OF

Daniel Blake Anderson from William Burns, Susan and Alan Klein, and Natalie and Lawrence Rosenbloom
Pam Barnes from Thomas Perryman
Marilyn Pear Cooper from Joanne & Charles Teichman
Rose Gelderman from Nola Gold
mother of Lauren Goldberg from Susan and Alan Klein
Julian Gollay from Daniel Flax
Don Golman from Susan and Alan Klein
Lois Gordon from Lois Gordon Endowment Fund
Emma Joisin from Carol and Steve Aaron, Lisa and Jim Albert, Lindsay Applebaum, Eugene Bock, Candy and Ike Brown, Carol Gene and Howard Cohen, Sherrie and Alan Eisenman, Marsha and Nathan Feldman, Judy Foxman, Shirlie Frauman, Linda and David Garner, Courtney Goldberg, Susan and Martin Golman, Cindy and Alan Golman, Marlene Gorin, Bonnie and Michael Grossfeld, Liz and Thomas Halsey,Ynette and Jim Hogue, Lori and Randall Isenberg, Pearlie and Julius Leshin, Wendy and Stephen Lieman, Debbie and Alan Postel, Rita and Mitchell Rasansky, Helen and Frank Risch, Beverly and Cary Rossel, Devorah Rubin, Reginald Sandoval, Celia and Larry Schoenbrun, Florence and Howard Shapiro, Karen and Martin Sosland, Phyllis and Ronald Steinhart, Joanne and Charles Teichman, Kelly and Jacob Unger, Leona and Leon Veeder, Jackie and Steve Waldman, Judy and Bob Yonack, Ethel Zale
Renate Kahn from Patricia and Joseph Coats, Ynette and Jim Hogue, Marianne McCall, Jane Winer and Monty Strauss, Carol and Peter Winston, and Karen Rosensteel
Sheri Rosenberg Kanter from Susan and Alan Klein
Helen Neuberg from Gayle Hoffer
Jeffrey Phillips from Jackie and Steve Waldman
Aaron Prengler from Forest on the Creek HOA
mother of Carol Rashbaum from Susan and Alan Klein
father of Kerri Rossel from Susan and Alan Klein
Anita Sherman from Susan and Alan Klein
Roger Stanley from Joanne & Charles Teichman
Phillip Strull from Mary and Barry Rothschild
Maliette Wolens from Diane and Mark Fleschler, Ynette and Jim Hogue, Vincent Sorello, Sarah Yarrin and Jack Repp, Jackie and Steve Waldman, Anita and Todd Chanon, and Carol Gene and Howard Cohen
my dad and brother from Patty Traub

To make a tribute gift, please call 214 741-7500 or visit dallasholocaustmuseum.org/support

A Turkish Student, a Holocaust Survivor, and Israel

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On November 11, 2011, Gülin "Eva" Geloğulları met Paul Kessler at the Corner Bakery in the West End District of downtown Dallas.

They were complete strangers who struck up a conversation over their identical menu choices. Paul is Jewish and a Holocaust survivor from Slovakia; Eva was raised in the Muslim religion, and is from Turkey. There are years between their ages. Yet, this chance meeting led to a conversation that has lasted four years.

Eva was taking classes at El Centro Community College to improve her English. She was studying philosophy and religion hoping to understand, “why people cause violence through religion.” Paul Kessler was struggling with the news coming out of Israel and was surprised to meet someone so open minded and devoid of judgment about others. He said, “Her perspective seemed unusual for people from her part of the world. It was refreshing.” He encouraged her to visit the Museum, which she did.

She heard Paul tell his story of survival to schoolchildren, and she heard him reiterate the lessons of the Holocaust--the potential impact of hatred and prejudice.

Over the next four years, they stayed in touch via the internet. He’d send articles about the Holocaust, Israel or other trending news. She published a near daily journalistic blog. She minored in both women's and gender studies, and merchandising as part of her master's degree. She wrote her
Master’s thesis on fashion and film. She earned a Master’s degree from the University of North Texas in 2015.

Early on she sent an email to Paul asking his opinion on her applying to receive a Rotary Global Grant to study abroad. She said that if she got the grant, she would apply to Tel Aviv University in Israel and earn a second Master’s Degree in Conflict Resolution and Mediation. Paul said, “Of course you should. I will even write you a letter of recommendation.”

Eva won the $30,500 grant and arrived in Israel on October 9, 2015. She’s a little homesick for Dallas.

“I met my soul in Israel. Israel was my soul. I love its chaos, yet many are willing to make it better and peaceful."
Read Eva’s blog at: http://gulinevainternational.com/

From Mary Pat Higgins, President and CEO

mph “83.3% of teachers said students are more willing to stand up for others.”

Dear Members, Supporters and Friends of the Museum,

Winter is officially here. En masse, school groups are coming to tour the Museum. Now is a good time to talk about whether we are sparking change in the students’ lives. For years, we collected highly positive anecdotal feedback, cards and letters from students, registry book comments, and teacher’s opinions.

This year, we commissioned Qualitative Research Evaluation and Measurement (QREM) to conduct interviews and surveys and to collect observational data to determine how students were impacted by a visit to the Museum regarding knowledge gained, general attitudes regarding the students’ sense-of-self in society, and students’ behaviors. The QREM Impacts Evaluation Report clearly finds that the Museum “has both immediate and long-term impacts on youth.”

Specifically, after touring the Museum, “students demonstrated increased awareness of the scope and magnitude of the Holocaust and their attitudes regarding oppression and tolerance of different peoples improved.” Based on this study, students indicated positive behavioral changes associated with their perspectives of being a bystander, their responsibilities to society and their sense of what is right compared to what is legal.

We now have short and long term awareness benchmarks for attitudinal and behavioral outcomes from which to gauge our progress going forward. Most importantly, we now have more concrete data to support what we hear from our anecdotal feedback.

The Museum is currently unable to meet the demand for its services. It is not large enough to accommodate the number of requests for school visits. In order to engage more people—particularly young people—in conversations that lead to moral and ethical choices benefiting our society, the Museum must expand its facility and increase its operating resources.

Sincerely,
Mary Pat Higgins

For information about QREM visit http://www.qrem.info/

The Confederate Flag: A Symbol That Inspired Hatred and Elicited Fear

confederate-flagThe Confederate flag has long been a symbol that inspired hatred and elicited fear.

2015 has been a controversial year for the Confederate flag. After a man charged with the June massacre at a historically black church in Charleston, S.C. appeared in photos with a Confederate flag, much of the nation cried out. Supporters demanded that display of the Confederate flag cease.

South Carolina removed the Confederate flag from its Statehouse grounds on July 10, ending its 54-year presence at the Capital. Retail giant Walmart has pledged to stop selling products bearing the Confederate flag at their stores and NASCAR officials at the Daytona racetrack set up an exchange program, giving fans American flags to replace their rebel ones.

Confederate flags are now disappearing from public view; one might wonder what will become of them. Should they be burned? Displayed in a museum? Hidden in the attic?

At the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance, we have a lot of experience with symbols of hate. While Nazi Germany was very different politically and historically from the Confederacy, neither is representative of their respective cultures’ identity today. Neither of these legacies deserves applause in modern times.

Unfortunately, there is no scarcity of Nazi flags available in the U.S. now. Thousands of Allied troops took them home as souvenirs of their WWII experiences, even though the insignia and flags were banned in Germany immediately following the defeat of the Third Reich. Many of those flags have been passed down through families, given away or sold. New Nazi flags are also available.

The Museum gladly accepts Nazi flags as donations to its archives. While we might have many copies of one version of the flag, we would much rather have them in our possession than allow them to be available in the public space and possibly used as statements of intolerance.

The Museum is very thoughtful and strategic about displaying Nazi flags in our exhibits, as we are aware of the horror it represents and the impact it can have on our visitors. We never want to exploit its power or use it sensationally. Its place is in history, and that’s where we feel it should remain.

The fate of the Confederate flags flying today is still very much in debate, but – like the Nazi flag – they are part of a past that is remembered by most as one of humanity’s greatest failures.

“Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery -- the greatest material interest of the world,” wrote the government of Mississippi in the Ordinance of Secession, a document drafted and ratified in 1860 and 1861 by each state seceding from the United States. Statements from other seceding states echoed these racist sentiments.

The Confederate flag is a direct representation of the bigotry, enslavement, hate and violence that caused the Civil War. Everyone – from historians to school children – should think carefully about its use. Confining the Confederate flag to museum exhibit cases and archives as a shameful symbol of slavery and Southern secession, is the best course.

From the President/CEO

screen-shot-2015-02-01-at-12.36.31-pm Earlier this year, The Dallas Morning News reported on the preliminary plans of the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance to construct a new, expanded facility in the historic West End of downtown Dallas. The new building will allow us to expand the teaching of the moral and ethical response to prejudice, hatred and indifference using the Holocaust as a cornerstone of that teaching along with other genocides and issues addressing inhumanity and human rights.

It is somewhat fitting that the Dallas Morning News article appeared online Monday, January 12, the same day France - following the Charlie Hebdo and Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket killings - deployed 10,000 troops across the country to protect sensitive sites such as France's 717 Jewish schools. The world still has a long way to go to overcome intolerance.

These despicable acts are examples of the atrocities taking place on a daily basis. Unfortunately, we will likely continue to see headlines in the coming months of other acts just as hideous. Now, more than ever, we need to come together as human beings to stem the tide of violence and interest in hate groups, prejudice, and intolerance for other viewpoints, especially in social media, right here, at home.

In the two years that I have served as president and CEO of the Dallas Holocaust Museum, I have seen thousands of people of all ages, religions, genders and walks of life enter our Museum doors and experience the horror and devastation of the Holocaust. I have watched them struggle to comprehend the inhumanity of the Holocaust and then realize that people just like them turned a blind eye to the suffering of those around them. They consider what their own actions might have been and realize there are very real consequences for their choices. I am convinced that the lessons learned from the Holocaust can change the way people think and treat others.

Watching our visitors gives me hope...

... Hope that our mission will challenge and encourage people to stand up to hatred, prejudice and indifference, rather than be bystanders, who choose not to respond.

... Hope that they comprehend the fact that experiencing a multiplicity of views and opinions enriches our lives.

... Hope that by learning about the Holocaust, other genocides, and painful paths to civil and human rights, they understand how tragedies of the past affect real lives today and that their choices can help prevent these catastrophic events in the future.

... Hope that all who pass through our doors will look inward, realize their own prejudices, and open their hearts and minds to tolerance and acceptance.

It is with my—and the entire Museum staff’s—continued hope for humanity, that I dedicate this issue of The Upstander to explore current opinions on anti-Semitism and racism.

Mary Pat Higgins is president and CEO of the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance

Hope For Humanity

The Hope for Humanity dinner is the primary annual fundraising event for the Museum. This year we honor Mayor Michael Rawlings on Thursday, December 3, 2015, Fairmont Hotel in the Regency Ballroom; Reception at 6:00 p.m., Dinner at 7:00 p.m. Proceeds from the dinner fund the Museum’s exhibits, student programs, educator conferences and other community service events.

Click here for more info

Racism and its Implications

screen-shot-2015-02-01-at-12.47.09-pm It is difficult to ignore the widely reported news coverage of violent acts of racism and the numerous racist comments made by high profile figures in the United States over the past several months. Given recent events in Ferguson, MO, and New York City, an exploration of views on race and racism seems in order.

Intentionally, we’ve included differing opinions from Dr. Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Professor of Sociology, Duke University, Dr. Thomas Sowell, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institute, and Dr. Rodney Coates, Professor of Sociology, Miami University of Ohio. These three have written and spoken extensively on race and its implications for American society and offer differing
opinions.

From the Writings of Professor of Sociology, Dr. Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Duke University

“...there is a form of “new racism,” insists Dr. Bonilla-Silva. “Racism in the 21st century is of a more hidden and difficult-to-detect variety than the outright version utilized prior to and during the civil rights movement.

In White Out: The Continuing Significance of Racism, published in 2003, Bonilla-Silva wrote, “Despite real progress that the abolition of most of the formal, overt, and humiliating practices associated with Jim Crow represented, this did not mean the end of practices to reproduce racial hierarchy. Instead, new racism practices have replaced Jim Crow ones in all areas of life.

...the way in which racial inequality is reproduced in this area is vastly different from how it was reproduced in the past. For instance, residential segregation today, which is almost as high as it was forty years ago (Lewis Mumford Center 2001; Yinger 1995), is no longer accomplished through clearly discriminatory practices, such as real-estate agents employing outright refusal or subterfuge to avoid renting or selling to minority customers, federal government redlining policies, antiminority insurance and lending practices, and racially restrictive covenants on housing deeds (Massey and Denton 1993). In contrast, in the face of equal housing laws and other civil rights legislation, covert behaviors and strategies have largely replaced Jim Crow practices and have maintained the same outcome—separate communities.

A number of researchers have documented the manifold subtle yet systematic ways in which racial privilege is reproduced in the United States (Feagin 2000; R. C. Smith 1995). I have labeled this new, kinder and gentler, white supremacy as the “new racism” and have argued that it is the main force behind contemporary racial inequality (Bonilla-Silva 2001; Bonilla-Silva and Lewis 1999).

Although the “new racism” seems to be racism lite, it is as effective as slavery and Jim Crow in maintaining the racial status quo. The central elements of this new structure are: (1) the increasingly covert nature of racial discourse and practices; (2) the avoidance of racial terminology and the ever-growing claim by whites that they experience “reverse racism”; (3) the invisibility of most mechanisms to reproduce racial inequality; (4) the incorporation of “safe minorities” to signify the non-racialism of the polity (e.g. Clarence Thomas, Condoleezza Rice, or Colin Powell) to dignify the nonracialism of the polity; and (5) the re- articulation of some racial practices characteristic of the Jim Crow period of race relations.” Dr. Eduardo Bonilla-Silva is author of Racist Racism, and co-author of Anything but Racism: How Social Analysts Limit the Significance of Race (with Gianpaolo Baiocchi and Hayward Horton) and White Logic, White Methods: Racism and Methodology.

From a conversation with Professor of Sociology, Dr. Rodney Coates, Miami University of Ohio

Dr. Coates refers to the term “covert racism” when referring to the concept Bonilla-Silva has called "new racism.” Coates says, "Covert and overt racism have co-existed throughout U.S. history. As a people, we've spent most of our time concentrating on the most obvious forms of racism and now that those forms have been eliminated, the less obvious forms appear to be most salient. But the reality is that prior to 1960, overt ‘in your face’ racism existed in the South and a more covert subdued racism existed in the North. The civil rights/apartheid-like structures such as lack of voter rights and literacy tests, so prevalent in the South garnered all of our attention. These de jure forms of racism were quite apparent. But the less obvious, the de facto forms of racism were all but ignored. These de facto forms of racism operated outside of the law, nevertheless, served to curtail the life chances of those trapped within its tentacles.

After Obama was elected president gun sales went up 35%. In many ways, the election of the first black president challenges the core of race and racist structures. Many of the attacks against Obama have reflected this, for example the blatant hostile attacks on the president of which an example is GOP Republican Congressman, Joe Wilson, who stood up during a state of the union address and yelled "lie". President Obama has experienced a kind of abuse of office not before seen in our country. It raises interesting questions about why now and why this. I believe it points to these more covert, less obvious forms of racism.

The targets of racist hostility have historically been black youths, particularly young black men. These were the ones most likely to be whipped as slaves, lynched (and coincidentally few of these murders were ever punished), and more recently targeted with more aggressive policing, racial profiling and increased incarceration. This long standing reality forces us to now question and even protest what appears to be a coordinated assault against young black males by police across this country. Today, young black males are 21 times more likely to be shot by police than white males. Imagine if this fact were different; imagine if instead of young, black males were talking about young, white females being shot by black police. Another element of covert racism is “plausible deniability”. Why of course, these black males represented a threat and the police were only acting in their own self –defense. Again, the black community and communities across this country say –Hell no, never again.”

Excerpts from Dr. Thomas Sowell’s Race, Culture, and Equality

Nothing has been more common in human history than discrimination against different groups, whether different by race, religion, caste or in innumerable other ways. Moreover, this discrimination has itself been unequal--more fierce against some groups than others and more pervasive at some periods of history than in others. If there were not so many other powerful factors creating disparities in income and wealth, it might be possible to measure the degree of discrimination by the degree of differences in economic outcomes. Even so, the temptation to do so is seductive, especially as a means of reducing the complexities of life to the simplicities of politics. But the facts will not fit that vision.

Anyone familiar with the history of race relations in the Western Hemisphere would find it virtually impossible to deny that blacks in the United States have faced more hostility and discrimination than blacks in Latin America. As just one example, 161 blacks were lynched in one year in the United States, but racial lynching was unknown south of the Rio Grande.

Perhaps [the strongest] case against the predominance of discrimination as an explanation of economic disparities would be a comparison of blacks in Haiti with blacks in the United States. Since Haiti became independent two centuries ago, Haitian blacks should be the most prosperous blacks in the hemisphere and American blacks the poorest, if discrimination is the overwhelming factor, but in fact the direct opposite is the case. It is Haitians who are the poorest and American blacks who are the most prosperous in the hemisphere--and in the world.

None of this should be surprising. The fact that discrimination deserves moral condemnation does not automatically make it causally crucial. Whether it is or is not in a given time and place is an empirical question, not a foregone conclusion. A confusion of morality with causation may be politically convenient but that does not make the two things one.