“There is a point at which it becomes foolish to deny the fact of black athletic prowess, and even more foolish to banish speculation on the topic.”
I know what some of you are thinking, “Racist Rob the Grand Wizard finally has crossed the almighty line.” Well you can send your self-righteous letters to the editor to The New Yorker. The opening quote is from Malcolm Gladwell’s New Yorker article “The Sports Taboo” (May 19, 1997).
In it, Gladwell sets out why blacks kick ass in sports. That’s right, I said the word BLACK. I didn’t say inner city folk or any other code word. And I said “KICK ASS.” Anybody growing up playing popular competitive sports such as football or basketball (not some cloroxed country club sport like tennis) knows a belief as omnipresent as Paula Jones’ nose exists that blacks are innately better athletes than whites.
This belief flourishes because intellectuals refuse to speak about the topic for fear the PCPers (Politically Correct Pansies) will start screaming “racism.” So whites who are getting “Nike” tattooed on their foreheads and blacks have to come up with their own theories. These theories usually are like that of my ninth-grade basketball coach’s: “God gave black guys stretchier tendons and He gave white guys the `Strength Shoe.’ “
Gladwell’s conclusion has a firmer basis. He points out that Africa is the origin of human beings and that every other race is essentially a subset of the original African population. Geneticists have discovered that Africans have an unbelievable amount of genetic variability compared to other races.
I am explaining the facts behind one stereotype so another will die. Some of my readers get disturbed when I comment about an ethnic group’s fashion. I get disturbed when I hear intelligent people, who publicly are as PC as sheep, imply that blacks are not as smart as other races. And of course the PCPers disallow dialogue on the matter so these stereotypes outlive George Burns.
In connection with this, my contribution to Black History Month, I would like to give out my Golden Marla Awards (named after my vociferous sister) to professors who aren’t afraid to think independently of the establishment – and then tell us what they think.
The first ever Golden Marla Award goes out to Professor Clay Warren in the communication department. It was he who handed out Gladwell’s article in class and replaced my “White Man’s Disease” concepts with comprehensible facts. I forget why he handed it out in class because in retrospect, it had nothing to do with the course. He probably just wanted to rack up points for the Golden Marla.
Warren also should be acknowledged for teaching his persuasion class how Big Business uses Freudian subliminal messages to get the public to buy its crap. He teaches stuff that cannot be found in any $80.00 Simon & Shyster textbook. It was because of Warren’s subliminal training that I gave one of my cartoon figures an erection last semester to see if anyone would notice. Amazingly, no one noticed it, although it was as obvious as Jenny McCarthy’s boob job.
My second Golden Marla Award goes to Professor Brana-Shute in the anthropology department. First of all, the mon speaks Jamaican slang fluently and admits to doing funky tribal drugs during field research.
Second, he made a blunt comment about Pentagon leaders or some group like that and then said, “If I offended you or someone in your family that’s just too damn bad.”
And the clincher for the Golden Marla Award occurred when I suggested to him that perhaps the drug cartels are indirectly giving money to support the Far Right’s efforts to keep drugs illegal, so the billion-dollar market will stay unregulated and untaxed.
Brana-Shute did not say, “Hah, hah. Funny boy, Rob. Shut up.” He did not say, “You don’t have the evidence, research or support to make that claim. Shut up.” He did not say, “You haven’t gone to school and studied this for 10 years and can’t make suggestions. Shut up.”
He said, “You know, that is a fascinating idea. I never thought of that.”
Brana-Shute’s comment gave me confidence. For $30 Gs a year that’s all I want, an occasional pat on the rear. For that pat I give Brana-Shute the second-ever Golden Marla and a heart-felt thanks.
In conclusion, some confusion swirled in my readers’ minds as to whether my last article’s interviews with Koul and the Backcourt Boys were real. Yes, they were. Go ask them. I never have faked an interview in my life. And I think there are laws against that anyway.
This article appeared in the February 26, 1998 issue of the Hatchet.