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Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
Solo, Duo
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flw From: flw Date: February 7th, 2007 05:46 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: oooh-aaah Alpha! Beta!

Thank you. I like it myself because it allows me to express something vague that I had been uncomfortable expressing before in racial terms. That can be uncomfortable. Basically, the issue comes up, time and again, of why African Americans are vastly superior in certain sports. The usual racist expression is "sports that involve a ball," and I think the implication is that they are child-like, and so on. Then of course, there is the argument that derives from the notion of the mind/body split. White=mind, Black=body, hence Black people are better at physical things in the racist view of things.

I've never heard anyone make my argument which is that sports are about the most OBJECTIVE measures of human achievement going. If you can run faster, you can run faster, and NO ONE can take it away from you. Period. Since so many other human activities have subjective components, it is almost always possible to attribute success to other factors, and even other people. So, it seems entirely natural.

And the more individualistic a sport is, the more objective it is, and therefore the more African Americans will be drawn to that sport to demonstrate their will to excel. The first sports where Black People excelled were the most objective... boxing, track and field. And when blacks desegregated team sports they did so first as "skill" players. Individuals. Because to excel at a skilled position is an undeniable achievement, and it is IMPOSSIBLE to argue with the numbers. Jackie Robinson hit so and so many home runs and stole this many bases and caught this many fly balls... there's NO DENYING IT, and NO ONE else can take credit.

The same sort of argument applies to black success in music. When you close your eyes there is no denying a superior musician. It is a little more subjective, well it's a lot more subjective... but look at the types of music where black people excel. Again the emphasis is on OBJECTIVE, UNDENIABLE, and INDIVIDUAL. There aren't a lot of black violists or tympani players. But saxophone? that's a whole 'nother story.
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