Thomas Sowell on How to Succeed as an Ethnic Minority

"What’s disheartening, though, is that when you study ethnic groups around the world, the ones that are lagging behind are those where their leaders always tell the same story: that it’s other people holding you back, and that therefore you need to stand against those other people and resist their culture. But that culture may be the key to success. ...

Hume urged Scots to learn the English language... He didn’t do that because his job was that of an ethnic leader. He did it because he was an intellectual. ... One of the most miraculous advances of a people occurred in Scotland from the 18th century into the 19th, ... A wholly disproportionate share of the leading British thinkers was Scottish. I mean Adam Smith in economics, Hume in philosophy, Sir Walter Scott in literature, James Watt in engineering. You can run through the whole list. A people who were really far behind in one century had suddenly come out of nowhere and were on the forefront of human progress.

“[African Americans] can be [like the Scots in this way,] and for those who haven’t gotten into this corrosive new culture, they’re already doing that. But it’s going to be very hard. Both the media and academia promote the idea that people fall behind because others are holding them back.”

--Thomas Sowell