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Reply #58


Response to mzteris (Reply #50)

Sat Jul 7, 2012, 10:55 PM

58. Book's thesis overreaches

The argument is a bit sloppy too. It uses a social construction, race, to group people together genetically. The fact that west and east africans succeed and fail at mirror image sports is proof that "black" is not the right concept to use. The author also uses some sleight of hand to say that all major running records are held by Africans (true for men) and uses this as evidence of his thesis (false). The 1500/mile records are held by Hicham El Guerrouj, who is not black. The claim isn't even remotely true for women. Non-africans (genetically speaking) own the 400/800/1500/mile/3000 records as well as the half & full marathon. So in other words only the women's 100/200 and 5k/10k are held by africans. For the author's argument to be convincing this must be explained.

My point in all this is not to say that a genetic difference doesn't exist. The decades of dominance by black athletes in the sprints is impossible to ignore--only 2 non west african (genetically) men have broken 10s in the 100m dash. My points are that black athletes don't "dominate sports", they dominate some sports and that the term "black athletes" itself is flawed due to the significant genetic differences among black athletes, in particular West and East Africans.

I think based on stereotypes its easy for americans to believe that black athletes dominate sports. After all "white men can't jump" and "the great white hope", right? Never mind that the current men's world high jump champ is a white american and that only one of the top 5 high jumpers in history is black. That one black jumper happens to be the best ever but if that wasn't the case might we be talking about the european dominance in the high jump and asking why black men can't jump? That probably sounds absurd to any american but that's only due to our cultural expectations and not due to the actual history of high jump performances.

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