A reader writes:
National Review's Jay Nerdlinger's bright idea for the day:
Finally, I'd like to mention a feature in the Jerusalem Post I like very much: "Arrivals." It chronicles — weekly, I guess — immigrants to Israel, asking why they came here, what they think of their new land, how they're adjusting, and so on. Wouldn't be a bad feature for an American newspaper — in the Southwest or someplace.
1. And after they have told us all these interesting things, we could arrest them and send them back where they came from.
2. Maybe the immigrants who write for National Review could tell us their stories. It could be a regular feature. (Unfortunately they are clever enough to be able to avoid 1. above.)
PB additional reaction: unfortunately not all the NR immigrants have been clever enough to avoid being purged for rocking the GOP boat and general lese-Buckleyism!
James Fulford wrote:
The committee suggested making the system "more legal, safe, orderly, and humane."
Is being "more legal" similar to being "more pregnant"...OR "MORE OCCUPIED" OR "more conquered"?
(Cross posted from isteve.com)
Chris Harry and Charles Robinson of the Orlando Sentinel write in an article entitled "Endangered Species:"
Since Craig James ran for 1,227 yards and was voted to the Pro Bowl in 1985, 95 running backs have combined for 235 1,000-yard rushing performances over those 18 years. None has been white.
While minorities make up more than 70 percent of the NFL, running back is even more exclusive. In 2003, 98 percent of the NFL's running backs were minorities. The NFL kicked off the 2004 season Thursday night, but today marks the traditional opening weekend, and none of the 32 teams has a white tailback as a first- or second-teamer...
A white running back hasn't led the NFL in rushing since Green Bay's Jim Taylor ran for 1,474 yards in 1962 or been drafted in the first round since Penn State's John Cappelletti was chosen 11th overall by the Rams in 1974.
There are 117 colleges playing Division I-A football in 2004, and none was scheduled to start a white tailback this weekend. Two schools — Nevada, with Chance Kretschmer, and UAB, with Dan Burks — have starting white tailbacks who are injured. Kretschmer, who rushed for 1,732 yards and 15 touchdowns as a freshman in 2001, received no scholarship offers and attended Nevada as a walk-on. Burks was a star high school player in Birmingham who was thought to be too slow to play for any "major" school...
A second article, also posted on Jon Entine's site, by this brave pair called "THE BLACK QB COMPARISON: Getting people to talk is problematic" documents that while it's hard to get the so-called experts to shut up about the supposed shortage of black quarterbacks, almost nobody wanted to talk on the record about why blacks 100% monopolize the glamorous tailback position in the NFL. (Tailback is the second most glamorous position after only quarterback. On the other hand, tailbacks seem to get chewed up and spit out faster, with shorter periods of brilliance than at other positions.)
Bobby Bowden of Florida State, however, is so old and successful that he spoke freely:
When Florida State Coach Bobby Bowden was asked to explain the decline of the white running back, he laughed so hard, he actually grabbed on to the reporter posing the question...
"You go with the best, and it just happens to be there are more minority tailbacks than there are non-minority," says Bowden, who has spent nearly 50 years in the college ranks. "Why? I don't know. There's just more of them. They run better, jump higher.
"God has made every man different. He's even made our races different. There are some races that are smaller than others. There are some races that are taller than others. There are some races, it seems like they have more athletic ability than others. It just seems they [minority tailbacks] have more talent as runners than my race. I think that has something to do with heredity, you know?"
Certainly, but the interesting question here is not whether blacks have more natural potential on average than whites at tailback (that's obvious), but whether genetic differences fully account for the huge gap seen in the NFL.
I think it's likely that stereotyping against white tailbacks raises the black percentage at the position from, say, 90% or 95% to 100%. It's easy to picture, say, star Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher as a tailback knocking over would-be tacklers as he powers into the end zone. But, somebody probably told him somewhere along the way that he'd have a better chance to make it to the NFL as a linebacker, and he's certainly done that. The Caste Football website makes the point that white football players at black positions like tailback and cornerback are discriminated against.
When you see a white walk-on rush for 1,732 yards as a freshman, like Kretschmer did, you've got to figure that racial prejudice played a role in his not getting any scholarship offers. (Just like it did in the case of white 400m sprinter Andrew Rock, who won a gold medal as one of the six members of the US 4x400m relay team, but ran for a Div. III college because nobody would give him a scholarship. White 400m gold medalist Jeremy Wariner did get a scholarship to Baylor — when you are that fast, your race can't slow you down.)
I think that the evidence for anti-white prejudice is true to a certain extent, but it can also be rational, both on the part of both coaches who have seen so many whites who looked great at all-white high schools not measure up in college, and on the part of individual white athletes who choose not to lower their chances for future success by trying to prove a particular stereotype wrong, and thus decide to play safety or quarterback or tight end or another position where whites are less uncommon.
My 1996 National Review cover story "How Jackie Robinson Desegregated America" is an in-depth depiction of how the free market makes racial discrimination unprofitable. (It was praised by Nobel Laureate economist Gary Becker.) It's an article of faith among economists that racial discrimination is irrational.
Yet, I think economists should also consider the evidence that rational profit-maximizing can lead to racial discrimination in cases like this where the genetic gap between the races is very big, but not quite as huge as it winds up looking in the NFL.
Unfortunately, economists almost universally shy away from thinking about genetic differences, so they tend to be complete nonstarters on issues like this. Can anybody think of any economist who has ever contributed anything interesting on the topic of biological racial differences?