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A Baker Talking and Taking Heat  
by Selwyn Duke
16 July 2003 Dusty Baker

It’s not racism to express sincerely held beliefs about racial differences with malice toward none –  it’s just an observation about reality.  And that is all Chicago Cubs manager Dusty Baker has done.


Last week Dusty Baker, manager of the Chicago Cubs, touched off a firestorm of controversy reminiscent of the one that sounded the death knell of the career of Jimmy “the Greek” Snyder in 1988. Like the colorful erstwhile sports commentator, Baker’s offense is that he voiced a sincerely held belief that some minority groups enjoy certain innate advantages in the arena of sports. To be precise, he made the claim that blacks and Hispanics could take the heat better than whites because of the fact that they have traditionally lived in warmer environments. Unlike Jimmy “the Greek,” however, Mr. Baker’s little foray into honesty most likely won’t cost him his job. This is because while some might scoff at his contention that the rising mercury is a friend of the minority athlete, one thing is for certain: blacks do tolerate a certain kind of heat better than whites. Namely, the heat applied by the media.

Of course, this resistance to that selective heat has nothing to do with the melanin content of skin or any other genetic difference, but rather, the fact that the media UV rays (ultra-violent) don’t shine down on everyone equally. But this is where I change course because this is not going to be another article about liberal hypocrisy and the just alluded to double-standard, for we all know it exists.  That is, all of us except those who have spent too much time in the heat.

Nor do I intend to take issue with the scientific validity of Mr. Baker’s comments because both sound science and common sense dictate that what he said does hold water. And while I can assure you that I’m white enough for two people, I also take no offense at his remarks. I’ll tell you what does offend me though: the fact that so many of us have such contempt for truth that we have closed our minds to certain ideas simply because they have been labeled heresies by the politically correct, Torquemadas of tripe.

My framing of this in religious terms may raise your eyebrows, but the fact of the matter is that the liberals who have deemed such discussion to be one of the third rails of American discourse seek to promote their curious faith and squelch that which contradicts it with a zealotry unsurpassed in even the nightmares of George Orwell. It’s not racism to express sincerely held beliefs about racial differences with malice toward none –  it’s just an observation about reality. But the fact of the matter is that it is impossible to have an honest discussion about group differences nowadays without being labeled a racist, bigot, sexist or some other pejorative designed to shut people up faster than an Archie Bunker “stifle.” 

And it works like a charm. So conditioned are many of us to not let these heretical thoughts percolate into our consciousness that I even heard a conservative pundit, who possesses a good heart but only a shallow mind and who shall remain nameless, criticize Dusty Baker and practically ask for his head, and then proceed to talk down someone who was trying to explain the scientific basis for the coach’s claims. And so trained are many of us to slay at the altar of political correctness those who won’t bow down before it, that Mr. “the Greek” is just one on a long list of blood sacrifices made in its name. But of all the names on that list, the most tragic victim has been truth.

And that really is the crux of the matter. Political correctness is the suppression of truth for the purposes of promoting a left-wing agenda. And because it carries the day socially and politically, causing too many of us to deny realities that don’t accord with it, we have fallen out of touch with reality as a society. If we won’t allow accurate information about group differences to be disseminated widely, how can anyone understand what these differences really are? If we’re going to suppress certain realities about ourselves simply because they are unfashionable, how can we ever come to truly know ourselves? I won’t elaborate here and now about what the specific ramifications of such a denial might be – that’s grist for another, very long article. But if you believe that those ramifications are probably not significant and that this is much ado about nothing, I would like to point out that the default mode should ALWAYS be to express the truth, not suppress it. The burden of proof should be on those who want to squelch the truth, not on those who want to shout it from the mountaintops. And if you still think this issue is not important enough that we should fight to promulgate the facts in the face of persecution, just remember that there are those out there who think it’s important enough to justify suppression of the facts. And anytime anyone wants to obscure the truth it should give you pause for thought.

Many of those who are driven to stamp out any mention of group differences would claim they are motivated by a desire to prevent stereotyping. However, while it would be a mistake to paint every member of a given group with the exact same brush, you cannot correct a flaw with a flaw. To go to the other extreme and claim that there are no differences between groups would be just as silly as the thinking of a bigot who assumes there are no differences within groups. To think that the races’ differences are confined solely to superficial characteristics like hair and skin color would be just as silly as believing that they have nothing at all in common. Hitler criticized the United States for allowing blacks to compete on its Olympic team because he feared what ultimately did come to pass: a stellar performance by Jesse Owens in 1936 that made the athlete a walking, talking refutation of the Nazi doctrine of Aryan superiority. You see, the Nazis race-oriented agenda was more important to them than truth. Well, ironically, those who want a pound of Dusty baker’s flesh have more in common with Nazis and bigots than they might imagine.



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