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What did Fisher DeBerry, coach of the Air Force Academy's Falcons football team, say that was so wrong and for which he was reprimanded and forced to apologize? All he did was state the obvious - "It just seems to me that African American kids can run very well.... Have you looked at the NFL .... [and] most college rosters? Enough said," he is reported as saying at his weekly media luncheon a few days ago. He was in deep thought over his team's weekend performance in comparison to Texas Christian University, a predominantly Black team which outran and out played the Falcons resulting in a 48-10 loss.

"The Black athlete, statistically, from program to program, seems to have an edge as far as speed is concerned," the coach boldly said to the media in Colorado Springs, Colorado, after outlining his desire to recruit faster players to help improve team performance. The following day, after being scolded by his superiors, he was again before the media issuing a public apology to any who were offended by his comments.

Who was offended, and what was to be offended about? Were Whites offended because DeBerry's comments caused them to recall the sting of the 1992 movie title, "White Men Can't Jump?" Is it painful for some to look at reality and accept that the college and professional football and basketball teams, once off limits to non-White players in this country, are now overloaded with Blacks, who have elevated the level of skill in those arenas to heights never before achieved when they were for Whites only? Are these the people who were offended?

Partially, but it is interesting that the Rocky Mountain News was able to find Black leaders who were also greatly offended. Rosemary Harris, President of the Colorado Springs NAACP is quoted as saying, "[DeBerry's] comments are too ignorant and too archaic in 2005 for me to dignify with a response."

The city's Urban League head, Deborah Wilson, had this to say: "It's unfortunate that we have to pull out stereotypes ... There were so many ways he could have addressed it ... without having to resort to a racial stereotype. ....In essence, what he said, if you're not Black, you don't stand a chance and you're going to be an inferior athlete. I think that's unfortunate." As the saying goes, "go figure!"

Meanwhile, some are asking if DeBerry's comments are stereotypical if they are, at the same time, true. Good question. If, for the most part, Black athletes can and do outrun and outperform, for the most part, White athletes, why the controversy? What are some people in the United States afraid of addressing when it comes to "race" and the possibility that maybe, just maybe, we're not all alike? Who stands to lose and who stands to gain if such possibility were put on the national table of discussion, scienced up, debated, tested and proven or refuted? Are people of all "races" afraid of something - afraid that groups like the Nation of Islam are correct in their doctrine and teaching that Black and White are, in fact, different and that there are logical and real explanations behind such assertion?

Maybe it is time for this possibility, this issue, this discussion to take place so that numbers of people can be freed from the fear that seems to lead them to willingly become blinded to what, for others, are obvious, glaring and undeniable TRUTHS. It seems DeBerry's eyes have been opened, albeit at the late age of 67, but sadly, he has found that his newly discovered truth has not set him free but has only earned him a position of contempt from those still on the wide path which is filled with many who are fearful of non-conformity and are afraid to accept truths that statistics and history make plain enough for a blind man or woman to see.

- Adeeba Folami -
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It seems we find nothing wrong with stereotypes that work in our favor or flatter us, but all else is deemed racist/inconsiderate/uneducated. I'm sure you could pull out some unflattering statistics of Black people and go on to make generalizations about Black men, women, or children. If you are going to be against stereotypes and generalizations, you should be that way across the board.
so that means you'd be all right with his statement if he had of said, "some black kids run fast?" - even though he didn't say "all" black kids.

i just find nothing to be bothered about in his statements. especially since the group of blacks he specified was "the black athlete." and he backed up his statement with reference to statistics that seem to bear out what he was saying.

and now some blacks are upset about it. that's a real "go figure" to me.
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especially since the group of blacks he specified was "the black athlete."


That's not what you quoted in your original post:

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"It just seems to me that African American kids can run very well.... Have you looked at the NFL .... [and] most college rosters? Enough said,"


My point is that when it's positive, it seems it's okay to make these sweeping statements, but when it's negative the reverse is not true. It's hypocritical.
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Originally posted by Frenchy:

My point is that when it's positive, it seems it's okay to make these sweeping statements, but when it's negative the reverse is not true. It's hypocritical.


nono

1. Frenchy - do you believe that black athletes, on average, are superior to white athletes?

2. Frenchy - do you believe that black people are, on average, less intelligent than white people?

If you can agree with the first and disagree with the second sentence then where is the hypocrisy? One simply can agree with the evidence in one and disagree with the evidence in two. No inconcsistency in my view.
What about: "Statistically, Black kids score lower on standardized tests. Therefore, Black kids don't take tests well?" It's not really as simply as disagreeing with the evidence, because there are cold, hard statistics out there that would indicate some very unflattering things if they were to be used to categorize the entire Black community. I mean, you could reasonably take issue with why the stats are what they are, but that doesn't change the data, doesn't change the "evidence." And I think the Black community is fairly swift at condemning negative generalizations, irrespective of what kind of data there is to support to it or not support it as the case may be.

And then on top of my general feelings on the matter, you have this entire history of white people categorizing Black people as something sort of animalistic. All this focus on the Black man's physical strength and ability as if he was specifically suited for manual/slave labor. His remarks were absolutely loaded.
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Originally posted by Frenchy:

What about: "Statistically, Black kids score lower on standardized tests. Therefore, Black kids don't take tests well?"


I'm not sure I have a problem with that statement. There are so many factors that contribute to how one tests that the fact that black stuidents statistically do less well than whites says more, to me, about society and black children's access to quality schools than anything else.

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It's not really as simply as disagreeing with the evidence, because there are cold, hard statistics out there that would indicate some very unflattering things if they were to be used to categorize the entire Black community.


Analyzing statistics independent of a consideration of causality is nonsensical.

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His remarks were absolutely loaded.


Do you agree with the statements though?
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I'm not sure I have a problem with that statement. There are so many factors that contribute to how one tests that the fact that black stuidents statistically do less well than whites says more, to me, about society and black children's access to quality schools than anything else.


And yet, to others it says simply that Black kids are not good test takers and there is their proof.

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It's not really as simply as disagreeing with the evidence, because there are cold, hard statistics out there that would indicate some very unflattering things if they were to be used to categorize the entire Black community.


Analyzing statistics independent of a consideration of causality is nonsensical.


Isn't this what you just asked me to do with your Black athlete vs. Black intelligence questions? I missed where you made reference to any causality. I also missed where this coach made any mention of why Black athletes have greater speed and/or why "Black kids can run fast."

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His remarks were absolutely loaded.


Do you agree with the statements though?

No, I don't agree with his generalization.
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Originally posted by Frenchy:
That's not what you quoted in your original post:


actually, this was in the original post and was part of deberry's reported comments: "The Black athlete, statistically, from program to program, seems to have an edge as far as speed is concerned." this shows which specific group of black people he was referring to - he was not talking about blacks in the chess club, in the drama club, in the field of engineering - he was talking about black athletes.

quote:
Originally posted by Frenchy:

My point is that when it's positive, it seems it's okay to make these sweeping statements, but when it's negative the reverse is not true. It's hypocritical.


considering he specifically was talking about black athletes, and using statistics, experience and history to back up his statement - what is the problem?

and if there is a negative about blacks that can be backed up with facts, evidence, truth, statistics, etc. - then yes, it would be hypocritical for people to have a problem with that and not have a problem with the flip side.

the thing that needs to be done - is to go beyond the statement to find the facts or the reasons behind why the statement may be true. do you think white people, in particular, want to go further into this to find out why it appears black athletes have an advantage that they apparently are lacking - for the most part?

what specific example can you cite where blacks were negatively stereotyped and complained about it? was the test score scenario a hypothetical or can you reference a specific case where an uproar arose about this?
1milehigh, I am aware that he was initially talking about Black athletes. As I said, I am talking about the leap between talking about what Black athletes are statistically better at to a generalization about Black kids.

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what specific example can you cite where blacks were negatively stereotyped and complained about it? was the test score scenario a hypothetical or can you reference a specific case where an uproar arose about this?


I don't have the inclination to go back and find specific articles on Black response to negative stereotypes. Off the top of my head I can think of the test score situation I mentioned above, the film "Birth of a Nation," and the darkening of OJ Simpson's cover photo during his trial. I am a bit baffled that you have never heard of anyone speaking out against negative stereotypes of Black people. In any event, chose to believe what you wish.
quote:
Originally posted by Frenchy:
1milehigh, I am aware that he was initially talking about Black athletes. As I said, I am talking about the leap between talking about what Black athletes are statistically better at to a generalization about Black kids.


okay. so now it sounds like you're okay with deberry's comments about black athletes - since he was not talking about black kids in general.


quote:
Originally posted by Frenchy:I don't have the inclination to go back and find specific articles on Black response to negative stereotypes. Off the top of my head I can think of the test score situation I mentioned above, the film "Birth of a Nation," and the darkening of OJ Simpson's cover photo during his trial.


so the darkening of OJ's color, in a news photo, is stereotypical - how? i'm not following. a publication admitted the other day to altering a photo of condoleeza rice to give her "demon eyes" - is that stereotypical too? or is something else going on?

the test score situation - what? some folks did a survey or some research which showed that blacks didn't perform as well as whites on certaintests. i'll do an internet search, but are you sure i'm going to find something that shows that educated people used that info to make a blanket statement about the intelligence level or ability of "all" blacks across the board? i'm not familiar with birth of a nation, so no comment on that.

is it possible that you're attempting to exaggerate when portraying that this deberry situation is on the same level as the things that some/many blacks do get upset about when (actually) negatively stereotyped?

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Originally posted by Frenchy: I am a bit baffled that you have never heard of anyone speaking out against negative stereotypes of Black people.


i have heard people speak out but never to the point where it resulted in the person being scolded and having to retract and give a, most likely, insincere apology for what they were saying - because of black outrage. that's why i asked for a specific example.


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Originally posted by Frenchy:In any event, chose to believe what you wish.


of course - that's a given for all of us, isn't it?
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Originally posted by 1milehi:
okay. so now it sounds like you're okay with deberry's comments about black athletes - since he was not talking about black kids in general.


In your original post, you quoted several of his comments. He spoke about Black athletes specifically AND made the generalization that I disagree with.

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so the darkening of OJ's color, in a news photo, is stereotypical - how?


The stereotype is of Black people as criminals, the darker they are, the more criminal/dangerous. I believe TIME magazine issued a public apology for that.

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the test score situation - what? some folks did a survey or some research which showed that blacks didn't perform as well as whites on certaintests. i'll do an internet search, but are you sure i'm going to find something that shows that educated people used that info to make a blanket statement about the intelligence level or ability of "all" blacks across the board?


I'm sure you will.

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i'm not familiar with birth of a nation, so no comment on that.


"Birth of A Nation/The Clansman" is a silent movie from 1915 with some absolutely revolting stereotypes. At various times, it's been re-released in theaters.

Controversy Surrounding Birth of A Nation

DW Griffith apologized several times for the film (and the subsequent rise in Klan membership and activity) and I believe he made another sort of apology film to try to make up for it.

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is it possible that you're attempting to exaggerate when portraying that this deberry situation is on the same level as the things that some/many blacks do get upset about when (actually) negatively stereotyped?


You asked me for examples of Black people being upset about negative Black stereotypes. That is what I responded to.

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of course - that's a given for all of us, isn't it?


Yes, I suppose it is.
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Originally posted by Frenchy:
In your original post, you quoted several of his comments. He spoke about Black athletes specifically AND made the generalization that I disagree with.


my point is that we don't know the exact order of his statements as i don't think a word for word transcript is out. therefore, we don't know if he specified "black athletes" and then in the next sentence referred to them as the "kids" who have speed. also, when he mentioned "kids" running fast, he said look at college & pro rosters for the evidence. that doesn't sound like he's talking about "all" black kids and being general. he's talking about a specific group.

but since we don't know the full content, context or sequence of his words - this all becomes moot after awhile.

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Originally posted by Frenchy:
The stereotype is of Black people as criminals, the darker they are, the more criminal/dangerous. I believe TIME magazine issued a public apology for that.


yes time apologized - but i don't find this in the same category as someone SAYING something. people have to make an assumption as to the motive of the person who did the deed, and what they were attempting to do. i don't think that is an equal to what your complaint is in deberry's case - but okay.

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Originally posted by Frenchy:
I'm sure you will.


no, i haven't found any such thing yet - other than some obvious, redneck racist types using the stats for that. i haven't found any "educated," rational folks who made the leap, and actually said from their mouths or pens that whites are smarter based on test scores.
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Originally posted by Frenchy:
quote:
I'm not sure I have a problem with that statement. There are so many factors that contribute to how one tests that the fact that black stuidents statistically do less well than whites says more, to me, about society and black children's access to quality schools than anything else.


And yet, to others it says simply that Black kids are not good test takers and there is their proof.


So what? Must we be responsible for all racist thinking in America? So what that there are those who believe that we are inherantly inferior?

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Analyzing statistics independent of a consideration of causality is nonsensical.


Isn't this what you just asked me to do with your Black athlete vs. Black intelligence questions? I missed where you made reference to any causality. I also missed where this coach made any mention of why Black athletes have greater speed and/or why "Black kids can run fast."


You're right - I didn't discuss causality because in my view it's not relevant. Who cares why? We're making observations at this point.

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Do you agree with the statements though?

No, I don't agree with his generalization.


What informs your notion? One need only turn on the TV to see copious data supporting his? In your view, what is preventing white athletes from either competing - or being seen competing?
AA.'s have always been viewed as "physical" creatures and that stereotype was used as a justification for slavery. i.e "their dark skin is sun-resistant", there physiology is better suited for labor".etc. That belief was so ingrained into the slave-holding White/American psyche that breeding farms were created in the south of Georgia and Louisiana where Big Sam was mated with Big Sara to produce off-spring better suited for plantation work.

Composer Eubie Blake's father was utilized as "STUD-BREEDER" as told in one of his memoirs.
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Originally posted by 4YAINFO:
AA.'s have always been viewed as "physical" creatures and that stereotype was used as a justification for slavery.....


4ya, considering that generalizations have been condemned here, would you like to rephrase. you say AAs have ALWAYS been viewed as physical creatures - ALWAYS?! even before there were white people on the earth?

and when you see the NBA and college football rosters filled with big, black, muscular, strong men - do you think they are not playing a part in the impression of them as physical creatures?

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