Some books are written for the pleasure or zest of it. Other books are written as a painful duty, because there is something that needs to be said - and because other people have better sense than to say it. It has not been a pleasure to write this book but a necessity. Nothing is more certain than its distortions. Yet the growing polarization of the races, the stagnation and retrogression of the truly disadvantaged, and the embittered atmosphere surrounding the evolution of "civil rights," in the courts especially, leave no real alternative to an open and frank reconsideration of what has been done, and is being done, in the name of those two words.
- From Civil Rights: Rhetoric or Reality? by Thomas Sowell (1984)