Regarding the Superiority of Black People - An Essay
by David Rambeau
One Sunday recently I watched the World Track Championships held in Sevilla, Spain. You probably looked some of the same event. The U. S. team won the most medals and blacks won almost all of those. In the 4 x 100 relay the top five teams from across the world were all black. Michael Johnson, a.k.a. Superman, set a new world record in the 400 meter race breaking the record of another black man, and then anchored the winning 4 x 400 U. S. relay team.
All twelve of the medal winners in the women’s 4 x 100 relay were Africans from the Diaspora (the Bahamas, France and Jamaica). Six of the top seven teams in this relay were all-black. The same was virtually so for the men’s 4 x 100 relay.
What was especially fascinating was to hear the lineup of nations called and to think of them as typically European, France, Canada, Great Britain, the U. S., and then to see their entire team of sprinters black. I have grown accustomed to this with respect to the U.S., but not with the others. This obvious change made me smile.
At the individual level, Maurice Greene, the world’s fastest human, won three gold medals and in an interview afterwards said he was preparing to win three more in the upcoming Olympics next year.
Marion Jones, a sister from the U.S., won the 100 meter dash and took a third place in the long jump before pulling up injured during her favorite race, the 200 meter sprint, and so failed to achieve her expected goal of five gold medals.
In the 1930s the Nazi dictator Adolph Hitler claimed that Germans constituted a master race. Jesse Owens destroyed that racist rhetoric by taking four gold medals in the 1936 Olympics. In those days Joe Louis was the world heavyweight champion in boxing. Obviously times have not changed. Blacks, men and now women, are still the champions of the world.
After watching the Track Championships, I turned the dial to the WNBA semi- finals between Houston and Los Angeles. Eight of the ten starting players were black. Often all ten of the players on the court were black women.
What makes these results so powerful is that they were telecast world-wide. I saw the games on both a U.S. and a Canadian channel. Since nations from across the world participated the games were probably telecast in every nation participating. The only way to avoid or deny the overwhelming message was to turn off the messenger.
Why has this superiority been achieved? Once international sports competition (the World Championships, the Pan-AM Games, the Olympics) ceased reflecting colonialist oppression, it was inevitable that the natural gifts, motivation and hard work of black athletes world-wide would cause our ascension to prominence and dominance on the world stage.
Now the playing field is level; the rules are universal, as is access to the competition. Competition for a place on the field does not depend on being the offspring of an alumnus, does not depend on donations to the institution, does not depend on culturally biased testing, seriously unequal funding during the lengthy training period, or seriously unequal access to training facilities (at least in the U.S.)
With these discriminatory obstacles for the most part removed from our path, the natural superiority of black people can emerge and achieve its potentiality.
Even with the bucket of medals black athletes won, they still suffered some disadvantage because in other countries, notably Germany, Russia, and China, track is a professional sport subsidized by the national governments in conjunction with a national sport policy. If this were the case in the U.S., black athletes would dominate international track like they dominate national and international basketball.
This, of course, would be too much for the American psyche, which already feels some concern about black dominance of basketball, football, boxing, baseball, soccer and with Tiger Woods, golf. Temporarily whites still have tennis, hockey and gymnastics, but the next generation will take care of these cultural and economic sports oversights. Even so, whites will still have badminton, squash, and swimming at the world-class level. That ought to be sufficient, and obviate the need for affirmative action in sports for Caucasians.
In contrast, affirmative action in education and employment for blacks is posited as a compensatory ingredient for an historical and continuing unequal set of social constructs designed to disadvantage black people. Then, when affirmative action achieves some minor progress at leveling the playing field, racist propaganda in every media is used to intimidate its participants and short-circuit those gains.
It seems reasonable, if not likely, that black people would do equally well in academics as in sports if colonialist oppression through structural conniving and imposition of obstacles were not the case.
However, if black athletes continue to inspire us on the television screen and we make the achievement transfer to the classroom, we could routinely match the world records of W.E.B. Dubois, Paul Robeson and George W. Carver. That would be enough to make us what we were intended to be, champions of the world.