Is It Wrong to Note 100m Winners Are Always Black?

Matthew Syed, BBC, August 26, 2011

The 100m final at the World Athletics Championships this weekend will be won by a black athlete.

Every winner of the 100m since the inaugural event in 1983 has been black, as has every finalist from the last 10 championships with the solitary exception of Matic Osovnikar of Slovenia, who finished seventh in 2007.

Assuming that this success is driven by genes rather than environment, there is a rather obvious inference to make–black people are naturally better sprinters than white people. Indeed, it is an inference that seems obligatory, barring considerations of political correctness.

Logically flawed

But here’s the thing. This inference is not merely false–it is logically flawed. And it has big implications not merely for athletics, but for the entire issue of race relations in the 21st Century.

To see how, let us examine success not in the sprints but in distance running, for this is also dominated by black athletes. Kenya has won an astonishing 63 medals at the Olympic Games in races of 800m and above, 21 of them gold, since 1968. Little wonder that one commentator once described distance running as “a Kenyan monopoly”.

But it turns out that it is not Kenya as a whole that usually wins these medals, but individuals from a tiny region in the Rift Valley called Nandi. As one writer put it: “Most of Kenya’s runners call Nandi home.”

Seen in this context, the notion that black people are naturally superior distance runners seems bizarre. Far from being a “black” phenomenon, or even a Kenyan phenomenon, distance running is actually a Nandi phenomenon. Or, to put it another way, “black” distance running success is focused on the tiniest of pinpricks on the map of Africa, with the vast majority of the continent underrepresented.

The same analysis applies to the sprints, where success is focused on Jamaicans and African-Americans. Africa, as a continent, has almost no success at all. Not even West Africans win much.

The combined forces of Mauritania, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, the Republic of Guinea, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Togo, Niger, Benin, Mali, the Gambia, Equatorial Guinea, Ghana, Gabon, Senegal, Congo and Angola have not won a single sprinting medal at the Olympics or World Championships.

The fallacy, then, is simple. Just because some black people are good at something does not imply that black people in general will be good at it.

Labelled box

Imagine a similar argument using the Central African Bambuti, a black tribe more commonly known as Pygmies. With an average height of 4ft we could assert that the Bambuti are naturally better at walking under low doors. Would it be legitimate to extrapolate that black people in general have a natural advantage at walking under low doors?

Our tendency to generalise rests on a deeper fallacy–the idea that “black” refers to a genetic type. We put people of dark skin in a box labelled black and assume that a trait shared by some is shared by all.

The truth is rather different. There is far more genetic variation within racial groups (around 85%) than there is between racial groups (just 15%). Indeed, surface appearance is often a highly misleading way of assessing the genetic distance between populations.

This evidence demonstrates how absurd it is to engage in racial generalisations–how crazy it is to witness a tiny group of black people winning at, say, the 10,000m and to infer that all people who share the same skin colour share an aptitude for 10,000m running.

But our subconscious assumptions about race have more than merely sporting implications.

Consider an experiment by Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan, two American economists. They drafted 5,000 CVs and placed archetypal “black” names such as Tyrone or Latoya on half of them and “white” names such as Brendan or Alison on the other half. They then divided the white CVs into high and low quality and did the same with the black CVs.

A few weeks later the offers came rolling in from employers, and guess what? The “black” candidates were 50% less likely to be invited to interview. Employers were using skin colour as a marker for employment potential, despite the fact that the candidates’ CVs were identical.

But that’s not all. The researchers also found that although high-quality “white” candidates were preferred to low-quality “white” candidates, the relative quality of “black” CVs made no difference whatsoever.

It was as if employers saw three categories–high-quality white, low-quality white and black candidates. To put it another way, the subliminal assumption that causes us to think that black people are all the same has powerful real-world consequences.

For many economists, this assumption, which gets under the radar of our conscious thought, explains why black people still lag behind white people in economic development more than four decades after the introduction of race-relations legislation.

Recognising that we have these biases is a good place to start in trying to combat them. And a good way of tracking progress is to watch a 100m final and see whether we fall into the trap, when seeing eight contestants with black skin, of inferring that black people are naturally better sprinters.

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  • Question Diversity

    No, it’s not wrong, but yes, it might be wrong in the future.

    Two words: Christophe Lemaitre.

  • sbuffalonative

    Seen in this context, the notion that black people are naturally superior distance runners seems bizarre. Far from being a “black” phenomenon, or even a Kenyan phenomenon, distance running is actually a Nandi phenomenon.

    That clears things up.

    All we have to do is move a few white people to Nandi and they too should be champion distance runners.

    After all, integrated schools in the US did the same for raising black academic achievement levels.

    It’s all about proximity, right?

  • Reel

    I don’t believe anyone ever said that all blacks are good sprinters. What we said was that all of the top sprinters are black. As are most of the top players in the NBA and most of the top running backs and defense backs in the NFL.

    Apparently the employers in this article declined to interview blacks simply because they were black as they assumed they would be less productive than whites. While this may be true, we are told that it is not a valid assumption. We are told that blacks are just as productive as whites. Ok, lets assume that is true for a minute.

    Why then are blacks less productive in academics where they are free to perform up to thier potential? Among other reasons I’m told that it is because they go to inferior schools. Blacks also perform at a lower level on intelligence test. We are told that this is due to yet another reason. The test are culturally biased against blacks. They perform less well on tests for employment and promotion in firefighting because they were not raised in a culture of firefighters as, supposedly, the whites were.

    In every setting in which blacks perform less well than whites we are given different reason. It’s amazing to watch these folks twisting themselves into pretzels trying to come up with all these different reasons for blacks being less productive than whites when there is but one reason that explains it all.

    Occam’s razor.

  • Anonymous

    This sounds like a straw man argument: if all champion sprinters are black, then all blacks are champion sprinters, which is obviously not true, therefore the racial genetic component is invalid. To what then does the writer attribute the dominance of black sprinters? Individual variation within the race? How does that further his argument the race is not determinant?

  • Anonymous

    What makes people write such blather?

    Is there no news, NOTHING to talk about?

  • thorismund

    The author doesn’t follow the track and field scene too closely as there is a sprinter that would prove his point. Christophe Lemaitre finished 4th in the 100 meters at the world championships. CL is also the first white to break the 10 second 100 meter barrier and has a personal best of 9.92 seconds. He’s only 21 and his best years are in front of him.

  • Anonymous

    This is too funny. . even caused me to laugh out loud, nearly waking my roommate. He spends the first 3/4ths of the article proving conclusively: nothing can be determined from racial appearance. Then he uses the last 1/4 to saying we can, and should, determine everything by racial appearance, as long as those in question are of the white race. When it comes to stereotyping whites, race suddenly reappears and is no longer a ‘social construct’.

  • alex dihes

    So there is no problem with facts. There is a problem with honesty.

    Read:

    Human Accomplishment: The Pursuit of Excellence in the Arts and Sciences, 800 B.C. to 1950 in 2003 by Charles Murray.

    Jews contributed to the world culture and science immensely, but… only the Ashkenazic Jews. Talking on great achievements of the European Whites, one must exclude Latvian, Estonian, Lithuanian, Polish, Romanian…

    So my bet is.

    There will be a ZERO chance for a white to win the next 100 m world championship.

    There will be a ZERO chance for а black to win the next 1000 chess world championships.

  • Anonymous

    What’s the word for when one group defined more or less by geographic origin succeeds most / all of the time in ways that other groups do not? Isn’t that something Nandi runners should be sensitive about? Maybe set up some affirmative athletic programs to address this historic imbalance? Or move the finish line closer for non-Nandi runners? I just want equality, like everybody else.

  • vijay87

    subsaharaafrican countries usually do not win any international sport medals because they have no money for a proper professional training of their athletes, an exception ist soccer because the african athletes have the chance to train in europe.

    so this says nothing about genetic contitution.

    but it is easy: westafrican humans are the best sprinters, this is why jamaica, the usa, trinidad and tobago the uk and france have suceesful athletes in this field. east africans are the best distance runners, actually not only keyans are succesfull but atles from other east african countries too.

    in other sports we have other patterns, for example wrestling – dominantly caucasus; gymnastics – east asia; chess – europe and asia

  • buridan

    West African countries had 6 medals at Beijing games :

    Nigeria : Soccer, men taekwondo > 80 kg, women relay 100m, women long jump.

    Cameroon : women triple jump.

    Togo : canoe/kayak.

    Black of the Americas come from West Africa. The pattern of excellence is the same : short run (soccer) and jump.

    Why hasn’t West Africa much more medals in short runs and jumps, as Blacks of Americas have ? Backwardness of the continent seems the only explanation.

    An interesting question. : on short run and jump, are Blacks of Americas on average better than Whites (the bell curve of the Blacks is on the right of the white one), or is it just that they have more champions (the bell curves do not have the same shape) ? I suppose it is the former ?

  • Reg

    The BBC don´t find what they want in the 100m Sprint so they instead switch to long distance running.

    Blacks from all over the world win the 100m Sprint. They can´t possibly attribute that to a single area. It simply has to be that blacks are better sprinters. So the BBC (as they have done historically) pick a completely different scenario to explain away the fact that racism is a correct and logical opinion to hold.

    Their straw man argument is completely brittle too which implies they had real trouble putting it together as the truth is so blasted obvious. Do the BBC expect us to believe all US black sprinters, out of 40 million, come from the same genes? They have absolutely no proof of this. Given the numbers involved making an assumption like this is plainly ridiculous. Assuming the opposite (i.e. that the US blacks have wildly varying genes) is the normal logical conclusion. Of course if you understand the BBC´s job is to promote multiculturalism them it all makes perfect sense.

    Funny how the BBC decided Jamaica and US win because it suits their argument, yet they don´t mention runners who are less than half a second behind the current world champion, Donovan Bailey, Bruny Surin, Richard Thompson, Olusoji Fasuba. None of these are “from” the US or Jamaica and they are streets ahead of any none black sprinter.

    Oxford English dictionary

    Racism : the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics, abilities, or qualities specific to that race , especially so as to distinguish it as inferior or superior to another race or races:theories of racism.

    [email protected]

  • Mathea

    A blond Frenchman actually finished 4th. in this championship. It was far from an optimal run on his part and he is only 21!

    Watch him in the French Championship in the video below. Fastest white man ever:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TwwsHKf7uc

    But yeah, there will probably always be a couple of guys of West African origin who will be faster than him.

  • Roy

    The author is determined to pretend that all definitions of race are solely about skin colour and nothing else. His straw man argument hinges on the lie that race-realists view dark skinned Indians as identical genetically to Nigerians.

    “There is far more genetic variation within racial groups (around 85%) than there is between racial groups (just 15%).”

    A fat, stinking, deception loved by the liberal left. There is also far more height variation within each gender than there is between each gender. Using the author’s logic we can say that there’s no difference in height between men and women.

    “With an average height of 4ft we could assert that the Bambuti are naturally better at walking under low doors. Would it be legitimate to extrapolate that black people in general have a natural advantage at walking under low doors?”

    Straw man argument. No one has ever said there is a ‘single’ black race. Of course there are broad physiological differences between the west Africans, Ethiopians, and Pygmies. Ironically, by pointing out the Bambuti’s height the author is forming a racial stereotype of his own.

    “But it turns out that it is not Kenya as a whole that usually wins these medals, but individuals from a tiny region in the Rift Valley called Nandi.”

    So what? Americans and Europeans ‘as a whole’ don’t win win the 100m either, just their black African occupants.

    Africans tend to be better sprinters when based in the USA or Europe presumably because of the better nutrition and training facilities in those places.

    During the Cold War the Soviets pumped their athletes full of steroids and never once did one of their sprinters break 10 seconds for the 100m. Today, the Chinese would love to dominate the athletic arena by beating the world at the 100m or 1500m but, despite their massive population and dedication to sports they’ve never got anywhere.

  • patthemick

    Interesting article. Seems like a blame whitey bias but the fact is that whites are more prone to good work habits and naturally white employers would prefer white employees. I wonder if any of the job providers were black? That would be interesting to see if they also preferred white employees.

  • olewhitelady

    I guess if you’re an Arab, you can get hired by the BBC and stay on, even if you write rambling, totally illogical articles. As muddle-headed as all liberals are, this utter baffling piece proves the author to be worse than the usual.

    By trying to disprove the significance of race in 100m running, he argues against himself by pointing out that a particular black ethnic group is even better at this feat than blacks in general. Is he trying to claim that a Chinese ethnic born in the Nandi Valley would likely be as good at it?

    And as far as name prejudice–if one has a ghetto name, he/she will be thought to be ghetto.

  • Anonymous

    Those ‘American’ researchers – what nerve! To say that Tyrone and Latoya are ‘black’ names. They are making racist assumptions! Tyrone as a name goes back to Europe. And with all the multi-culti stuff going on, plenty of white trash women have ‘black’ names now.

  • Jimmy the Greek

    My observation focuses on why Jamaican and American blacks seem to monopolise the sprinting sports? We have a genetic explanation via geography for the Kenyans; however, what is the underlying explanation for the sprinters? It seems that the blacks from Jamaica and America are decendents of slaves where strength and health were a premium at the auction block. Sickly slaves were poor investments and less likely to procreate. Also, the voyage across the Atlantic in the slave ships was a tortureous affair, with only the most hearty surviving. In this context, it seems that group biology framed within historical circumstance explains why Jamaicans and American blacks are very good at sprinting. In a crudely fashioned summary once stated by Jimmy the Greek, “they” were bred for that.

  • E Pluribus Pluribus

    “This evidence demonstrates how absurd it is to engage in racial generalisations…”

    ====

    Only in the bizarro world of the BBC. A simple example explodes Matthew Syed’s argument: the black-white achievement gap, which is based on data from the universe of black and white students, NOT a tiny sample of white and black academic standouts. The most succinct definition of the “achievement gap” was furnished by Education Trust:

    “By the time [minority students] reach grade 12, if they do so at all, minority students are about four years behind other young people. Indeed, 17 year-old African American and Latino students have skills in English, mathematics and science similar to those of 13-year-old white students.” (Education Trust, “Closing the Achievement Gap,” National Governors Association Clearinghouse, 2002, 9th paragraph)

    http://tinyurl.com/2d6sayq

    Note the conditional “if they do so [reach 12th grade] at all.”

    Those words means that the black-white achievement gap is “four years” for the above-average contingent of black students still in school by 12th grade. The below-average contingent of black students (half of the age cohort) have already dropped out.

    ====

    For equally robust comparison (permitting an equally robust generalization) of sprinting capabilities, we would need 100m data on the universe of black and white youngsters, say, aged 18-25. We don’t have that so we generalize from tiny — and as, Syed did succeed in pointing out, unrepresentative — samples.

  • Polymath

    The article is correct that it is fallacious to infer a group mean from data on extremes because the group may be heterogeneous. But the article’s message that one should therefore not generalize about groups is stupid, because one may have a more useful type of data than extreme data. For example, the lower mean IQ of the group “sub-Saharan Africans” is inferred not from the group’s absence of Nobel Prizes in science, but from studies involving test scores of samples of millions of people.

  • Anonymous

    Christophe Lemaitre( who is white) made the 100 meter final in the World Track and Field event currently taking place in South Korea. He was fourth (of course this article was written before this). He , however, ran the 100 meter in 9.92 seconds in July of this year. His first sub 10 second was in June, 2010 when he became the first white to break the 10 second barrier with a time of 9.98 seconds.

    The problem with any author writing about this subject is that is will raise the consciousness of some people -who would not have thinks so- that some groups have advantage over others in sports. And though the author came out on the side that is politically correct, there will be those who will be suspicous of the true intention of any author discussing this subject regardless of what they side they take .

  • John Engelman

    Sports are interesting. Nevertheless, the number of paying positions are few. The number of years each position pays a chosen athlete are also few. Consequently is does not really matter if a racial groups excels in certain sports.

    What does matter is academic ability. The vast majority of those in the upper ten percent of athletic ability will not earn a living at it. The vast majority of those in the upper ten percent of academic ability will become well paid managers and professionals.

    That is why right thinking people are uncomfortable discussing a certain race’s dominance of most sports. It implies a genetic explanation of under representation elsewhere.

  • Charles B. Tiffany

    It was always presumed that black guys were the best dash men because the dash is mostly raw speed and can`t be coached, blacks being so dumb they can`t be coached. The Russians blew this myth out of the water when they produced the last white world`s fastest human in the Munich Olympics.He was coached like crazy for four years by the greatest sprint teacher on Earth. When the Yankees at last broke the color line with the wonderous Elston Howard,Stengal said we at last get a colored player and he can`t run. Howard did win the myp award later and did not have a leg hit the entire season. We hear this crap about Kenyan long distance runners all the time.If you were raised at 9,000 feet and had no way to get around but run,a white man would do the same. Kenya has a higher mean altitude than Mexico or even Bolivia. Jamacians are fast er than Ghanians because the Jamaican kids go to British style schools and have 12 years of P.E and can run out doors year round. Only a lunatic would hire somebody named Shaquan or Lavorisa since their parent was obviusly a goof ball who ruined the kid from jump street with a stupid sounding name. If my name was Gonorhealeeky I doubt if IBM would give me a job either.

    Charles B. Tiffany

    Kissimmee, Florida

  • Anonymous

    What is interesting is that the blacks being superior athletes didn’t do much good in the Olympics of 2008. The American Olympic basketball team was composed of all black players that were professional basketball players. In other words, they played the game as a career, that was their job. This all black team played an Italian team that was smaller. Also, basketball is relatively a new game in Italy, as well as the rest of Europe. The Italian teams was also all white. The Italian team beat the American team something like 86 to 41. This had to be a blow to the all black American team. To be taken out by amateurs.

  • The Bobster

    But that’s not all. The researchers also found that although high-quality “white” candidates were preferred to low-quality “white” candidates, the relative quality of “black” CVs made no difference whatsoever.

    _________

    This is most likely due to the fact that companies are forced to hire blacks. The important thing is that a seat is filled with a black body, not whether that individual will be productive. Since Whites will be carrying the load, high-quality ones will be preferred.

  • Bernie

    Ironically, a white Frenchman – Christopher Lemaitre – took 4th in the 100 in last weekend’s track world championships. He is only 20 and will likely medal in both the 100 and 200 in the next Olympics.

    Few recall that Alan Wells – a white man – won gold in the 100 in the 1980 Olympics.

  • Anonymous

    The article makes much more sense if you just replace “sprinting” with “rioting and looting.”

  • Anonymous

    It’s not a “fallacy”, you jackass. This writer reminds me of the legions who cannot simultaneously hold these two thoughts in their minds:

    (1) Almost all black people are not mob attackers.

    (2) Almost all mob attackers are black.

    Sane people talk about (2) while realizing (1). Fools pretend that (2) cannot be true, because of (1).

  • Pelayo

    17 — Anonymous wrote at 5:47 AM on August 30:

    “Those ‘American’ researchers – what nerve! To say that Tyrone and Latoya are ‘black’ names. They are making racist assumptions! Tyrone as a name goes back to Europe. And with all the multi-culti stuff going on, plenty of white trash women have ‘black’ names now.”

    You’re right about Tyrone. It’s a Gaelic name most commonly Irish. There’s a county Tyrone in Ireland. As for LaToya I think that may be one of those names made up to sound African like Shaqwanda, Laqueesah, Sha’eeka and A-A (da dash be silent). I may be wrong but I don’t think that you’d find Africans with names like that.

  • Anonymous

    This inference is not merely false

    No, it’s not false. Like most liberals, the author simply can’t think.

    The inference is either useful or not useful, depending on the knowledge costs involved and the costs of being wrong in particular cases.

    For example: Africanized bees are much more likely to swarm and attack you than European honeybees.

    But most people can’t tell them apart, and telling them apart usually requires close inspection.

    In areas where both European and Africanized bees are known to dwell, it is prudent for people to be more wary of the category “bees”, full stop.

    In areas dominated by Africanized bees, it is prudent to be even more wary.

    And where there are ANY Africanized bees, it is not false to say “bees are more likely to sting you than bumblebees.”

    The utility of the claim, however, will vary with the number and proportion of bees that are Africanized.

    Just because some black people are good at something does not imply that black people in general will be good at it.

    That is correct. It is possible for category A to have a lower average value than category B for a particular trait, and yet have a higher proportion of high scores for the trait, if A’s variance for the trait is higher.

    This is why whites have invented 95% of everything important.

    But the author is not actually making a claim about average black sprinting ability, and therefore he cannot justifiably call the claim “blacks are better at sprinting” to be false. All he has shown is that the claim does not necessarily follow from the fact of black dominance in sprinting.

    And even if it can be shown the average black sprinting ability is the same or lower, you should still bet on the black man in the race.

    Which is the point.

    Employers were using skin colour as a marker for employment potential, despite the fact that the candidates’ CVs were identical.

    Actually they were using names as a marker for employment potential, and in all probability blacks with names like “Latoya” do not perform as well in their jobs, on average, as blacks with names like “Alison” or “Melissa”.

  • Rebelcelt

    What would also be interesting is to look at the Worlds Strongman Competition the vast majority seem to be from Norway,Sweden Switzerland and most from Ireland and Great Britain and U.S. have Viking Last names. Just a casual observance , no real study.

  • Anonymous

    Obviously black skin does not cause superior running ability, however, black skin is associated with other genes which cause superior running ability in the 800m. According to evolution, humans who live in a region where the ability to run long distances is an advantage, in the aggregate gained a reproductive advantaged which passed to today’s living descendants. Since the environment in Africa varies, we should expect physical traits in humans to vary.

    To illustrate, it would be “biological waste” for a human living in a condensed forest to possess an ability to run long distances in open plains. In the jungle, it is more advantageous to be quick than to have high endurance. But in both the jungle and plains of Africa it is (presumably) advantageous to have black skin which explains why some blacks are quick and some blacks are fast. Neither, however, have high intelligence which would also constitute biological waste as brain mass slows both quickness and endurance running.

  • SoOldIFartDust

    In high school biology, an eon ago (and all white, I might add) we were taught that the Negro (it was a polite word then) has an extra tendon in the calf of the legs, and therefore has legs that are stronger, and therefore make superior runners. Don’t know if that’s true, but it’s what we were taught back then.

  • Anonymous

    JImmy The Greek wrote:

    ” It seems that the blacks from Jamaica and America are decendents of slaves where strength and health were a premium at the auction block. Sickly slaves were poor investments and less likely to procreate…”

    While on the surface this evolutionary approach may seem to have some merit, the problem with it is that since Emancipation of the slaves, those “athletically selected” Africans have been free to breed however they please. 150 years of undisciplined, random breeding has neutralized whatever effect the ‘survival of the fittest’ had in them originally.

    In genetics, the concept of “regression to the mean” would predict that after a few generations whatever selective effect that slavery had on Black athleticism would be brought back to the “average” or “mean” ability of the group.

    What this means is simply that West African Blacks, on average, would still make better sprinters and jumpers than Whites even after “regressing to the mean.”

    After all, the same has been said for the Whites who came to America–that the reason Whites here have been far more “inventive” and industrious than their European cousins is that Americans who came here didn’t have complacent personalities–and that they were more physically robust to survive the harsh frontier.

    This, of course, might explain the success of the first couple of generations, but as we know, over time we will eventually end up with the same over all gene pool as the Europeans with its same average potentials.

  • M.A.

    In 1960 a German,Armin Hary,became the first man to run 10 seconds flat for the 100m.

    With todays tracks,training methods,running shoes etc,and Ok, chemical aids,what times would Hary be running today?.10.6,10.7?

  • Anonymous

    Only one white athlete in the history of the world has run ‘below a 10 second hundred meters’? That’s not exactly proof whites make great runners. Could be prejudice and stereotyping holding them back, though.

  • Paul

    This imbecile states that only one white has finished in the top ten in nearly thirty years and then says this is not evidence of a racial component.

    What is his explanation for it then? It’s not mentioned so we’ll guess it’s that ‘Blacks train harder’

    I once read a fairly exhaustive scientific study on the difference between the brains of liberals and conservatives.

    Their politically correct findings on liberals showed that ‘Liberal brains were more well-equipped to deal with conflicting information than conservative ones’

    in other words. Liberals can happily believe complete nonsense as long as it fits their agenda.

  • True Blue

    I bet the author of this article would be the perfect sucker to take to a dog-track.

    That aside; the Scots were at one time considered a different ‘race’ by the Anglo-Saxons of England, as were the Welsh, the Irish, and most certainly the French or Germans etc. Then, the definitions of ‘race’ began to change, and suddenly there were only three; Caucazoid, Mongoloid, and Negroid -with the attendant half-castes on the borders of the racio-geographic areas.

    You could still tell at a glance an ‘average’ Swede from an ‘average’ Italian; a Malay from a Chinese or a Japanese; a Masai from a Pygmie; but we were told to blanket them all together; e.g. “all blacks are ‘historically oppressed people'”

    But then; by their own admission, their argument falls apart -how can Rwanda have been ‘genocide’ if they were all ‘black’? Suddenly there Are distinctions between Pygmies and Bantus (Banti?) just as there are distinctions between a Briton and a Balt.

    That is how they claim that there is so much greater difference within a ‘race’ than with a ‘different race’; by controlling the definitions and lables. Just like lumping a large portion of Mexico and the Middle East under the generic heading ‘white’ to pad crime statistics.

  • Anonymous

    I believe blacks are genetically better sprinters than white people. I also think that about sums up their one advantage.

    Honestly, who cares? In today’s world it is pointless. I think cheetahs run even faster than blacks. What does that mean? Nothing.

    Because blacks can run 2 seconds faster than whites in a sprint is beyond meaningless. They still have low IQs, commit the majority of crimes, and have ruined America. And, they don’t seem to run fast enough the escape prison.

    Nevertheless, for this worthless honour, my congratulations. Have a Happy Meal.

  • Anonymous

    I think a better study would be one where they examine why there are no good black quarterbacks in the NFL. Could it be that this position requires not only great athleticism but also a high degree of intelligence?

  • Anonymous

    #34 wrote ‘While on the surface this evolutionary approach may seem to have some merit, the problem with this is that since Emancipation of the slaves, those “athletically selected” African have been freed to breed however they please’

    If the slaves were selected based on physical prowess, then who they generally breed with , since Emancipation too were selected based on physical prowess. Yes, they have freedom to breed with whomever they please but it is with those who also were selected based on their strength. It is no as if they were shipped back to Africa to be amongst blacks who were not selected.

    The ‘regression to the mean’ theory didnot work for Irish in Ireland as professor Lynn as stated that their 92 IQ (in Ireland) resulted from the high IQ Irish leaving Ireland .

    Many who support the theory that blacks are better at sprinting usually do so because they believe that blacks are intellectually inferior to whites. So they are pushing that theory for others to believe so.

    The real intention of those who claim that blacks have now regress to the mean after being selected by their slave master,

    is for others not to attribute any poor academic performance or black doing well in sprinting to this action(selective breeding during slaver). In other words, for them , blacks are just like that: They are wired that way.

  • Bantu Education

    Reasons why employers might reject CV´s from blacks….

    Their qualifications are often dubious

    Their CV´s are often embellished

    If hired they are hard to fire without being accused of “racism”

    Why ask for trouble?

  • Tom UK

    By way of background here, Matthew Syed played ping-pong for Britain at the Olympics.

    He has extrapolated his semi-successful career in a field famously dominated by East Asians to mean that in nature-v-nurture arguments, nurture is 100% of the final result.

    He writes tedious, right-on blather in The Times (London) that never orbits too far from his absurd belief that everybody at birth has exactly equal potential and ability.

    This makes this piece rather strange- given his gloried history of writing leftie nonsense, you would think he would be the last man to come out and say that a certain group has a genetic predisposition to anything.

    Is he waking up? Will his next few articles start ascribing Northern European economic success to particular subsets of Whites with genetic predisposition to intelligence and invention, or will it stop at praising subsets of Blacks?

  • ChemE

    “There is far more genetic variation within racial groups (around 85%) than there is between racial groups (just 15%).”

    “Just” 15%?? Disregarding the accuracy of the number cited, the author is admitting differences among racial groups. The fact, probably true, that variation within racial groups exceeds that among racial groups is a red herring. At the highest levels of competition, one is dealing with the extremes of the distributions, so any difference among the races will manifest itself in dominance by one race or another depending on the size of the difference and the standard deviations and type of distributions involved.