Re: Black superiority in running

Sat, 27 Jul 1996 14:56:55 EDT

'differences' between races, I would suggested that you acquire Philip
Rushton's new book. Many of the readers of this list may not be familiar
with Rushton, but he caused quite a stir in Canada with his research
affirming the intellectual superiority of Asians to Caucasians, and
Caucasians to Africans. He was a professor at the University of Western
Ontario and many people were forced to come to his defence as there were
many that wished to boycott his classes or disturb them -- the ideal of
freedom of expression in academics took precedent to his ideas.
I never thought much of Rushton, nor his researh; I mention the
book simply because it is something worth reading (I cannot offhand
recall the title) if for no other reason than to repudiate his shoddy
scholarship. Perhaps we can find some slight differences between races,
but I think they are fundamentally insignificant -- such as, I
believe, the Inuit retain heat better than other peoples, and some
Australian aboriginal peoples can cope better with the heat by dint of
some physiological process than others. Nonetheless, I would still
assert that cultural mechanisms are paramount in any of the perceived
differences many with racialist perspectives would attribute to genetics.
Similarly, I think that much of the superiority of blacks to
other races in running can be ascribed to training. It is curious that
blacks -- whether they be African or American -- always dominate in
running, but even if this is a genetic advantage, I think all of the
readers on this list would agree that it does not constitute anything
especially dramatic. Certainly no one can legitimately and in good
conscience draw any morals from this. I am happy they run for our side !
I remember while in the Canadian army a Warrant Officer came to speak
with us and he said he was proud that he had no Blacks, nor Asians in his
unit -- but, he added, he had no Whites either, for all he had were
soldiers. I think the same attitude should extend to the Olympics.

Best Regards,
Independent Studies Programme
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, Ontario