Cultural Revolutions

"Decrying Racism"

In the recent firing of "Jimmy the Greek," CBS explained its action in a "terse statement," decrying racism. (What they meant by this is anyone's guess. I ban the word racism in my introductory sociology class, not because there are no barriers to black advancement but because the word itself is a barrier to the serious thought that is required in any struggle against injustice.) Now, it may be naive to expect rigor from television executives whose idea of bringing the news to the people is a teaser on a moronic 4:45 game show, informing us that "U.S. and USSR Go to War; Winner at 5:00." But even by television standards, an "explanation" that explains nothing is not adequate. If Jimmy the Greek deserved firing, both he and we deserve to know precisely what he is being fired for.

Among the offensive claims made by Jimmy the Greek (JTG), the most important is the empirical claim that, whatever the cause (hereditary, environmental, or some feedback combination of the two), blacks are better athletes than whites. This is so obviously true of a group that comprises 10 percent of the population and from three to eight times that percentage in the major sports, that only an ideologue could deny it.

In the case of baseball, a black player must be considerably better than a white to earn a place on a majorleague team: position-by-position, the stats of black players are considerably better...

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