Racist as hatred? Or racist as in acknowledging genetic differences? Because I'm fairly certain I don't hate anyone for something that is far and away from something they could control.
Oh man, oh man, oh man. First off I want to start by saying that I dont know you. I, in know way mean to imply that you are a bad person. Personally I think racism is an over used
term to describe an ever evolving phenomenon that is race relations in America, that stems from hundreds of years of slavery, hate and genocide.
I am however very interested in the apparently large amount of African Americans in the main three sports (football, baseball, basketball). Being african american myself I have suffered (and I do mean suffered) through these comments from people about the apparent physical superiority of African Americans and the expectations of superior athleticism it would bring. Usually these comments are spoken from well meaning people but they highlight a surprising amount of ignorance in America.
As a top athlete in high school and thereafter in my military career, I have found it hurtful to have my constant hardwork and dedication to physical excellence dismissed as nothing more than a byproduct of my skin color and not a result of my drive and desire.
A casual glance across sports would find a number of Black athletes that is disproportionate to the national population average. What at first glance is a testament to genetic differences is in actuallity a product of the racial tensions in America. During the 60's, when you see the introduction of Black Athletes in America, you are witnessing the result of extreme dedication and perseverance. The first Black Athletes in sports dominated because of the level of difficulty that came with breaking color barriers. They had to be so much better than their White counter parts to even be considered that they blew away the competition when they competed. This was not because they were black, it was because of their superior desire to be great than those Black athletes that didn't make it or than their White counter parts that were not as good.
If you look at history you notice the "color of pro sports" during the 70's and 80's. Looking deeper you find that a surprising amount of these athletes are from extreme low income and poor neighborhoods. People fail to draw the connection between the background of these athletes and their upbringing. Poverty during the 70's and 80's in minority neighborhoods was beyond most people's understanding. With the introduction of crack, aids, random gun violence, police brutality, single parent homes, sub par school systems, racial profiling, and much more it was a constant fight for survival for these young men. It is extremely difficult to escape that cycle of lifestyle and most people regardless of skin color would be swallowed up. Those that did would have to be so dedicated to their pursuits as to dwarf the competition.
During the 90's you see a different trend start to develop that is continuing today. The voice of groups like NWA and such shed light on the "happenings of the ghetto" and while I dont particularly like modern rap music (first sign that you are aging is when you cant get the pop music, lol) I cant help but acknowledge the contribution earlier groups had in educating the public about the inner cities. Because of these groups, the inner cities received an influx of attention during the Clinton Administration. Gun control laws, free clinics, rehab facilities, and most importantly improved education facilities encouraged a new generation of young inner city Blacks to pursue other interests that were not available to their parents in areas outside of sports and entertainment.
Without the pressure cooker of inner city living you see a new mix of races in sports. No longer are the positions that require the most athleticism only filled by Black athletes. Players like Steve Nash of the Lakers first ballet HOFer, or Danny Woodhead of the Patriots are prime examples. Johnny Manziel or even The Golden Calf of Bristol. I could name countless others, All you have to do is look
. Athleticism has nothing to do with skin color.
I have heard it all from planned breeding during slavery by the slave masters to a supposed extra muscle in the legs. All this talk is extremely ignorant and hurtful. First off, we are not dogs. You can not create a new race of humans in the amount of generations that lived through slavery. That is just rediculous. In actuality, African Americans are the descendants of several different ethnic groups. Africa is a HUGE continent. Just like in Europe where a Nordic man may be taller than a French man or an Italian will look slightly different than an Irish man, the descendants of slaves exhibit the physcial traits of there ancestors. Granted, certain ethnic groups will have more natural sports talent than others, these lines are not drawn across skin color differences they run much deeper and physical characteristics like height would see a surprising breakdown that would include mixing races from all over the world in order to group like features. And furthermore if you believe that there is some difference under the skin, that would be saying that the different races are not even in the same Family in the Linnaean Taxonomy scale, let alone the same species.
I know this is long winded, but it is from the heart. I hope it is not wasted in this forum, the mods tend to censor certain content. Hopefully the knowledge within will cause people of all races to look at the previous 50+ years in sports with a new appreciation for the hard work of generations past. We should all have immense respect for them but we must approach our current generation with open eyes not colored by past prejugdices.