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Dusty Baker Was Right!
<!-- Start of Article --> Dusty Baker, the (black) Chicago Cubs manager recently voted by players in a Sports Illustrated poll as the best manager in the game, said last week: "[The heat] is a factor in Atlanta, it's a factor in Cincinnati, it's a factor in Philadelphia. We have to mix and match and try to keep guys fresh and try to have different lineups . . . I've got a pretty good idea [how it's done]. My teams usually play better in the second half than they do in the first half. I think that's because the way we spot guys and use everybody." He then went on to violate all sorts of the rules of political correctness by opining: "Personally, I like to play in the heat. It's easier for me. It's easier for most Latin guys and easier for most minority people. You don't find too many brothers in New Hampshire and Maine and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, right? We were brought over here for the heat, right? Isn't that history? Weren't we brought over because we could take the heat? Your skin color is more conducive to the heat than it is to the light-skinned people, right? You don't see brothers running around burnt and stuff, running around with white stuff on their ears and nose and stuff." A huge controversy erupted. Numerous sportswriters and broadcasters demanded Baker's scalp: "Making dumb racial comments is inexcusable and has no place in society," said a columnist in Buffalo. On Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, when my friend Jon Entine, author of Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We're Afraid to Talk About It, explained that Baker's comments were not scientifically implausible, Righteous Rightwinger Sean Hannity exploded: "Your science is a silly science, Jon. It's absolutely idiocy!" Demonstrating that this Baker can stand the heat, and won't get out of the kitchen, the three-time National League "Manager of the Year" refused to apologize. His position: "I was just saying the facts, Jack." Good for him. A few thoughts -
- We've been lectured for years that "race is only skin deep," that the only differences between races are surface features evolved to adapt humans to local climates. Now, though, a new dogma appears to be emerging - that race isn't even skin deep! Hmmm. The common perception among baseball fans that, say, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens look different must be some kind of mass hallucination.
- In fact, of course, racial differences are so blindingly obvious in sports that sports media have developed a particularly acute immune system to make sure that "the words don't match the pictures – my title for an article I once wrote about what we can learn about human diversity from sports, if we'd only think rigorously about what we see on ESPN.
- Some of the furor against Baker is driven by understandable white resentment. Because Baker is black, he can get away with talking about human differences, whereas white guys who have spouted off on the subject have been crushed like bugs. L.A. Dodger executive Al Campanis and sportscaster Jimmy the Greek Snyder lost their careers. Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig required pitcher John Rocker to submit to psychiatric treatment, in the grand tradition of the Brezhnev regime.But responding to censorship by demanding it be made universal is cutting off your nose to spite your face. If whites won't defend free speech for everybody, they can hardly expect to enjoy it themselves.
- Another source of misplaced anger: mistaking theories of racial diversity for assertions of racial supremacy. As I wrote in "Seven Dumb Ideas about Race" in VDARE.com back in 2000:"Much of the Race Does Not Exist cant stems from the following logic (if you can call it logic): 'If there really are different racial groups, then one must be The Master Race, which means—oh my God – that Hitler Was Right! Therefore we must promote whatever ideas most confuse the public about race. Otherwise, they will learn the horrible truth and they'll all vote Nazi.'"