In light of the hysteria in recent days, here’s some valuable information from Thomas Sowell, from his indispensable book Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality?
Sowell notes that champions of the Official Version of History ignore already existing trends in black employment, well under way long before the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, from which we are taught all blessings flowed. Writes Sowell: “In the period from 1954 to 1964, for example, the number of blacks in professional, technical, and similar high-level positions more than doubled. In other kinds of occupations, the advance of blacks was even greater during the 1940s — when there was little or no civil rights policy — than during the 1950s when the civil rights revolution was in its heyday.
“The rise in the number of blacks in professional and technical occupations in the two years from 1964 to 1966 (after the Civil Rights Act) was in fact less than in the one year from 1961 to 1962 (before the Civil Rights Act). If one takes into account the growing black population by looking at percentages instead of absolute numbers, it becomes even clearer that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 represented no acceleration in trends that had been going on for many years. The percentage of employed blacks who were managers and administrators was the same in 1967 as in 1964 — and 1960. Nor did the institution of ‘goals and timetables’ at the end of 1971 mark any acceleration in the long trend of rising black representation in these occupations. True, there was an appreciable increase in the percentage of blacks in professional and technical fields from 1971 to 1972, but almost entirely offset by a reduction in the percentage of blacks who were managers and administrators.”
Sowell further notes that Asians and Hispanics show similar long-term upward trends that had begun years before the passage of the 1964 Act, and which were not accelerated either by the Act itself or by the “affirmative action” programs that (inevitably) followed. Mexican-Americans’ incomes rose in relation to those of whites between 1959 and 1969, but not at a greater rate than between 1949 and 1959. Chinese and Japanese-American households had matched their white counterparts in income by 1959 (in spite of the fact that Japanese-Americans had been interned in concentration camps less than two decades before, and countless Americans blamed Japan for the loss of their sons).