- Gebundene Ausgabe: 400 Seiten
- Verlag: PublicAffairs; Auflage: 1 (6. Januar 2000)
- Sprache: Englisch
- ISBN-10: 1891620398
- ISBN-13: 978-1891620393
- Größe und/oder Gewicht: 16,5 x 3,2 x 24,1 cm
- Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 15 Kundenrezensionen
- Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 513.867 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
- Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen
Taboo: Why Black Athletes Are Better And Why We're Afraid To Talk About It (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 6. Januar 2000
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Is there a genetic reason that African-Americans dominate professional sports? Even raising the question seems tantamount to heresy. Jon Entine not only raises the question, he strives to answer it in Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We're Afraid to Talk About It.
Entine is no stranger to controversy, having worked with Tom Brokaw on the award-winning NBC News documentary Black Athletes: Fact and Fiction in 1989. He's also willing to ask tough questions--and come up with answers that anger people on all sides of the issue. Entine starts off with some statistics indicating that African-American athletes are disproportionately represented in professional sports: for example, 13 percent of the U.S. population is black, but the NFL is 65 percent black, the NBA is nearly 80 percent black, and the WNBA is 70 percent black. He also examines cultural issues, laying to rest the long-held idea that blacks excel in sports because it is the only avenue open for advancement.
Some scholars cry foul at the idea that blacks are physically gifted, seeing this as a subtle way of saying that they are therefore intellectually stunted. Entine carefully argues that historically athletic ability and intellectual prowess were linked--with a positive bias. The "dumb jock" stereotype is a relatively recent construct--perhaps a defensive mechanism that arose when blacks began to participate on a level playing field and gain prominence in the sporting world. There's no reason to suppose athleticism and intelligence are inversely related; Entine quotes respected sports reporter Frank Deford: "[W]hen Jack Nicklaus sinks a 30-foot putt, nobody thinks his IQ goes down." The issue of physical superiority is further complicated by fears that a genetic explanation results in a belief that blacks don't succeed because of hard work, dedication, and drive, but rather (in the words of Brooks Johnson, who doesn't believe Entine's claims) "because God just gave 'em the right gene."
Is the fear of sounding racist hindering legitimate scientific inquiry? Entine believes so, noting that, "Anyone who attempts to breach this taboo to study or even discuss what might be behind the growing performance gap between black and white athletes must be prepared to run a gauntlet of public scorn, survival not guaranteed." Taboo is destined to make most of its readers uncomfortable. Hopefully this discomfort will serve as a wedge to open up discussion of an issue too long avoided. --Sunny Delaney
A sure-to-be-controversial argument, based on the latest scientific research, that blacks are inherently better athletesand a searing investigation into why were so uncomfortable with that conclusion.. Drawing on the latest scientific research, journalist Jon Entine makes an irrefutable case for black athletic superiority. We learn how scientists have used numerous, bogus scientific methods to prove that blacks were either more or less superior physically, and how racist scientists have often equated physical prowess with intellectual deficiency. Entine recalls the long, hard road to integration, both on the field and in society. And he shows why it isnt just being black that mattersit makes a huge difference as to where in Africa your ancestors are from. In virtually every sport in which they are given opportunity to compete, people of African descent dominate. East Africans own every distance running record. Professional sports in the Americas are dominated by men and women of West African descent. Why have blacks come to dominate sports? Are they somehow physically better? And why are we so uncomfortable when we discuss this?Drawing on the latest scientific research, journalist Jon Entine makes an irrefutable case for black athletic superiority.We learn how scientists have used numerous, bogus scientific methods to prove that blacks were either more or less superior physically, and how racist scientists have often equated physical prowess with intellectual deficiency. Entine recalls the long, hard road to integration, both on the field and in society. And he shows why it isnt just being black that mattersit makes a huge difference as to where in Africa your ancestors are from.Equal parts sports, science and examination of why this topic is so sensitive, Taboo is a book that will spark national debate. Alle Produktbeschreibungen
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But the book had obvious weakness. He early in the books states his general thesis. I kept waiting for more in-depth knowledge supporting his position but frankly it was not forthcoming.
The second part of the book discussed evolution in depth which I found very boring. But immediately after this, there were great discussions about the history of black sports in America as well as race relations in that period. During this section, Jewish domination of basketball in the 40s-50s was discussed which I found interesting as I had no knowledge of this.
The book moved into the last section which I expected to be a conclusion with more in-depth support. Unfortunately, it was not forthcoming, only a general repeat as stated in the first section.
From the breakdowns of the sections above, you can see I found some parts of the book interesting and some quite boring. But the more I thought of this book, the more I realized it did provide a valuable function; to make you think about a "taboo" subject. For presenting a controversial subject in an unbiased manner and generating thought, I have to give this book reasonably high marks. Some people will hate this book and some will love it. But maybe, more importantly, it provided a balanced view of a difficult subject for the majority of readers to draw their own conclusions.
Many people in positions of power in the media simply refuse to let certain questions about sports be aired because they already know what the only reasonable answers are. The most forbidden involve racial differences. For example, in the last four Olympics all 32 finalists in the men's 100 meters, the race to decide The Fastest Man on Earth, have been black men of West African descent. Since people of West African origin make up roughly 8% of the world's population, the chance of this happening purely by luck is 0.0000000000000000000000000000000001%. As the Olympic running races have become a more equal-opportunity competition, the results have become more segregated. Why?
The conventional explanation is that discrimination keeps blacks out of more desirable professions, forcing them into athletics, where they succeed only because fear of falling back into poverty makes them train desperately hard. Yet, consider running. In America whites and Mexican-Americans dominate the distance events, which require endless roadwork. In contrast, African-Americans monopolize the sprints, which call for the shortest work-week of any major sport. For example, while preparing to win four gold medals in the Los Angeles Olympics, Carl Lewis worked out an average of eight hours per week (not per day, but per week). Nor does poverty explain the career of the current World's Fastest Man, Donovan Bailey, who didn't get serious about sprinting until he'd made so much money as a stock broker that he'd already bought himself a house and a Porsche-in cash.
Elite writers and editors believe it's best to block average sports fans from noticing black domination because it threatens the orthodoxy that all groups must be equal in all ways. It's best to keep us oblivious to the obvious. As well-intentioned as this journalistic cover-up may be, it suffers one flaw: it doesn't work. Fans don't have to read about black superiority, they see it for themselves round the clock on ESPN, and discuss it endlessly in every sports bar in America.
Sadly, barroom blather has its limits for improving our understanding of race. And that's the real problem with trying to airbrush this fascinating topic out of the press. The taboo certainly doesn't slow down those whites who merely want to believe that since blacks are more athletic, then whites must be more intelligent, end of story. The good news is that there's more to the story. The bad news is it's not getting heard.
Not only do black sports triumphs often begin with physical advantages over other races, they also often stem in part from what appear to be common black mental superiorities over whites and Asians in improvisational decision-making (e.g., think of Magic Johnson directing a fast break or Miles Davis leading a quintet). Unfortunately, the current dogma of absolute equality puts blacks in a no-win position: any evidence of any innate racial disparity threatens to bring down the current theory, but blacks are not allowed to cite the abundant evidence for black superiority in many skills. When morality conflicts with the facts, you can either close your eyes-for a while-to the facts, or you can try to find a better, more useful morality.
In the course of my research, I have been surprised to discover that there is an enormous genre of tomes bearing titles like Sports, Race, and Gender. College professors write scores of these books each years (and dozens of people buy them). These tomes judge the reality of sports by the theories of academia and find-you'll be shocked, shocked to learn this-that sports fail to live up to the expectations of multicultural sensitivity.
For example, today far more African-American Major League Baseball players are likely to be outfielders than catchers. This is cited as proof of a nefarious plot by management to "racially stack" blacks. A few simple questions might occur, however, to anybody who is not a professional social scientist:
Why would the white-male power structure reserve for itself the really fun job of crouching for hours, getting dinged by foul tips, and flattened by baserunners? Speaking of the "tools of ignorance," isn't it a cliché of Little League movies like The Bad News Bears that it's always the poor fat kid who gets stuck with catching? Why would teams want to lose games by misusing their players? Since playing the outfield is mostly running down flyballs, and catching is mostly squatting, maybe blacks play the outfield more because they tend to be faster? But, that's just not the point, now is it? We aren't supposed to ask tough questions for which we don't already possess prefabricated answers like Racism! Sexism! Stereotypes! In contrast, the reality of sports helps to assess the reigning theories of how the world works. (Short answer: they don't work.) In truth, the multiculturalists raise many fascinating issues that the rest of us need to come to grips with. This does not mean, however, that the evidence cited by the multiculturalists actually supports their dogmas. In fact, an in-depth examination generally leads to insights 180 degrees from their smug premises. Yet, neither will all conservatives be comfortable with some of these new perspectives on human nature.
For example, what about those racial disparities by position in big-league baseball? The politically correct are likely to deplore it, and the politically incorrect to ignore it. But doing some thinking about it raises a new, more interesting issue: Go back far enough into the bad old days and these differences in positions played disappear. In other words, we find, once again, that integration has lead to segregation of roles. For example, during Jackie Robinson's era (1947-1956), five black Brooklyn Dodgers won the Most Valuable Player or Rookie of the Year awards. Oddly, they each played one of the three positions least frequented by African-Americans today:
Catcher: Roy Campanella Pitcher: Don Newcombe, Joe Black Utility Infielder: Jackie Robinson, Junior Gilliam And, of course, if you go back to the Negro Leagues, blacks were represented in all the positions in perfect proportion. When blacks weren't allowed to play with whites, they were trained to fill all nine positions. In today's integrated game, they specialize in positions where their competitive advantages in speed and power are most valuable, and competition from whites and Mexicans is weakest. Of course, once you recognize that in sports desegregation often leads to racial specialization in jobs, you'll also notice it elsewhere. For example, the radical increase in the diversity of American society in recent decades due to integration and immigration appears to have had the unintended consequence of nearly obliterating the African-American shopkeeper class. Beyond that, it leads to a new perspective on affirmative action. Are quotas necessary to prevent re-segregation? Or is specialization the key to economic progress, and all quotas do is lure blacks into fields where they don't possess comparative advantages over whites?
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