Winter Races—And The Races Of Man
But newscaster Gumbel`s statement, quoted above, has
been met with little outcry, so far.
Why the difference?
Well, unlike DeBerry, Gumbel is black. Everyone
already knows he`s
less of a fan of white men than he is of white
women, such as the
blonde trophy wife for whom he traded in
his black first wife of 26 years.
And everybody knows these periodic "two
minute hates" directed by
white sportswriters at white sportsmen
too old fashioned to avoid blurting out the truth
have very little to do with blacks, per se. This is just
a white-on-white war over status. Blacks are free to say
whatever they feel like because white journalists seldom
sportswriters are already
playing up the 1000 meter speedskating gold medal
won by the African-American Shani Davis as an epochal
social breakthrough, one that will finally unleash the
cleansing power of diversity on the white bread
It won`t. The truth is that African-Americans` sporting
interests have been getting less diverse, as they
focus ever more on their strong suits, basketball
For example, when Tiger Woods, who is
one-quarter black, won the Masters nine years ago,
it was widely predicted that blacks would soon flood the
ranks of pro golf.
opposite has happened. Between 1964 and 1986, five
black pros (Pete Brown, Charlie Sifford, Lee Elder,
Calvin Peete and Jim Thorpe) won a total of 23 PGA
tournaments. But in the 20 years since, no black other
than Woods has won.
Arthur Ashe won the U.S. Open tennis tournament 38
years ago. But no African-American man has won a major
championship since him.
The African-American share of major league baseball
rosters has fallen from 27 percent in 1974 to 9 percent
last year. Last fall, home run king
Hank Aaron criticized the Houston Astros for having
no African-American players. (But that black lack didn`t
stop the team from winning the National League pennant.)
The unmentionable truth: human beings like to hang
out with people like themselves.
And they will develop institutions to allow them to do
For instance, the
middle of February was traditionally the deadest
time of the year in sports. But today, Sunday, February
19, was full of events that have turned into de facto
ethnic pride celebrations.
NBA All-Star game is instantly forgettable as a
basketball contest, with both teams going up and down
and up and down the court scoring at will, with any
attempt at playing defense being considered an
intolerable faux pas. But as a weekend,
the NBA All-Star game has turned into the most glamorous
date on the calendar for well-heeled African-Americans,
who fly in by the thousands to whichever city is hosting
The Daytona 500, NASCAR`s biggest race, also often
baffles the uninitiated who tune in and can`t quite
the appeal of watching stock cars go around and
around and around … and around some more. But NASCAR`s
huge popularity owes much to having evolved into a
covert ethnic pride extravaganza for one of the few
groups who aren`t allowed to honor themselves in public:
Red State whites of Northern European descent.
The Winter Olympics… its fans are indeed, as Bryant
Gumbel noted, largely limited to Europeans north of the
Mediterranean climatic zone, and to their cultural
clones in North America (especially in Canada and
America`s Blue States, which tend to be snowier) and
These demographic facts so outraged Washington Post
staffer Paul Farhi that he wrote an op-ed denouncing the
Winter Olympics as the cynosure of "elitism,
exclusion and the triumph of the world`s sporting haves
over its have nots… the preserve of a narrow, generally
wealthy, predominantly Caucasian collection of athletes
and nations." [Where
the Rich and Elite Meet to Compete, February 5,
But I think something more profound is going on.
With the exceptions of ice hockey, figure skating, and
this new downhill demolition derby called
snowboardcross, the Winter Olympics consists of
events that aren`t really good enough spectator sports
to be endured more than once every four years.
Many require admirable levels of precision, discipline,
and courage. But those virtues don`t necessarily
televise well. It`s slippery out there and catastrophes
could ensue if athletes competed directly, so only one
person or team goes at a time. The play-by-plays tend to
sound like this:
"And off goes
Schievenhoffel. He`s going really fast. Man, he`s
flying! He`s very quick! Wow, he`s fast! Fast, fast,
fast! And there`s his time: oh, well, he just wasn`t
quite fast enough…"
Watching at home, it all looks like a blur. But that`s
the appeal to the competitors—disentangling what
actually happened and making precise adjustments under
terrifying pressure. After each run, the team studies
replays of the race in slow motion until they figure out
that the reason Gunther was 0.06 seconds slower than
expected was because in Turn 8 he bent his left ankle at
45 degrees instead of 60 degrees.
In general, there is a paradoxical positive correlation
between how repetitious a sport is and the educational
level of its enthusiasts. Sports where athletes make
subtle adjustments in technique as they do the same
thing over and over appeal more to higher IQ people.
Rowing, for instance, is popular in Cambridge,
Massachusetts and Cambridge, England, but in not too
many other places.
Winter Olympics events like the bobsled and luge are the
kind of sports that appeal to the nerdier mind. The
nerds get pushed around by the basketball and football
players in high school—but in the long run, we`re all
dependent on the technological inventiveness of our
Perhaps it`s just a malign coincidence that expensive
sports requiring technical obsessiveness, like many of
Winter Olympic events, flourish most in the
technically advanced societies that can afford them.
Don`t expect this question to be explored in the
Washington Post any time soon.
VDARE.COM is for!
[Steve Sailer [email
him] is founder of the Human Biodiversity Institute and