How Racism, Sexism, and other Stereotypes Hurt Our Performance

By: Mormon Heretic
July 22, 2013

We all know that racism exists.  Jeff (The Race is On) and I (The Black 14 of Wyoming) wrote about racism last week at Wheat and Tares.  But one commenter in particular said that race is not a problem.  (I don’t know what planet he lives on–apparently he lives in an area with few minorities, but he thinks that the white, black, and asian racists cancel each other out, and therefore racism is not a problem.)

It’s nice to talk about, but how can one truly measure the negative impact of racism, sexism, or other stereotypes?  Claude M. Steel wrote a fascinating book discussing how stereotypes unconsciously hamper our performance.  His book is titled Whistling Vivaldi:  How Stereotypes affect us and what we can do.  Claude discusses some statistical experiments to find out if there there is even a measurable impact that racism or sexism (or other stereotypes) can have on us.

Ageism is another stereotype.  What other stereotypes do we contend with?

Ageism is another stereotype. What other stereotypes do we contend with?

You are probably familiar with the stereotype that blacks are more athletic than whites.  Researchers at Princeton University conducted an experiment they labeled the Michigan Athletic Aptitude Test (MAAT) which measures “natural athletic ability.”  From page 8,

white students who were told the golf task measured natural athletic ability golfed a lot worse than white students who were told nothing about the task.  They tried just as hard.  But it took them on average, three strokes more to get through the course.

being told that the golfing task measured the very trait their group was stereotyped as lacking, just before they began the task, could put them in a quandary:  their frustration on the task could be seen as confirming the stereotype, as a characterization both of themselves and their group.  And this, in turn, might be upsetting and distracting enough to add an average of three strokes to their scores.

…[page 9]

If the mere act of telling white Princeton students that their golfing measured athletic ability had caused them to golf poorly by distracting them with the risk of being stereotyped, then telling black Princeton students the same thing should have no effect on their golfing, since their group isn’t stereotyped in that way.  And it didn’t.  Jeff and his colleagues had put a group of black Princeton students through the same procedure they’d put the white students through.  And, lo and behold, their golfing was unaffected.  They golfed the same whether or not they’d been told the task measured natural athletic ability.

Interesting experiment so far, but can we get the stereotype to reverse itself?  From page 10,

They told a new group of black and white Princeton students that the golf task they were about to begin was a measure of “sports strategic intelligence.”  This simple change of phrase had a powerful effect.  It now put black students at risk, through their golfing, of confirming or being seen to confirm the ancient and very bad stereotype of blacks as less intelligent.  Now, as they tried to sink their putts, any mistake could make them feel vulnerable to being judged and treated like a less intelligent black kid.  That was a heavy contingency of identity in this situation indeed….

The results were dramatic.  Now the black students, suffering their from of stereotype threat during the golfing task, golfed dramatically worse than the white students, for whom this instructions had lifted stereotype threat.  They took, on average, four strokes more to get through the course.

Steele continues on this line of thought saying that white basketball players have a harder time in the black dominated NBA, or white sprinters in black-dominated Olympic sprinting events.  Conversely, black quarterbacks and head coaches fight through stereotypes in the NFL that they aren’t smart enough.

Steele also discusses an interesting experiment done in 1968 in Iowa.  ABC did a documentary called “The Eye of the Storm.”  (You may have heard of it.)  Teacher Jane Elliot showed how discrimination can affect our performance in the classroom.  From page 27,

She gave blue-eyed students seats in the front of the classroom and first dibs on playground equipment during recess.  She encouraged blue-eyed students not to associate with the brown-eyed students in class or on the playground.  She gave blue-eyed students first access to lessons and materials used in the lessons….

On the second day Ms. Elliot turned the tables.  She put the felt collars around the necks of the blue eyed students and treated them the same way she’d treated the brown-eyed students the day before….

[page 28] There are the scenes in which she gives arithmetic and spelling lessons to small groups of students.  They show how poorly the stigmatized students did.  They barely paid attention.  They receded to the back of even these small groups.  They spoke only if spoken to.  They didn’t remember the instructions.  They were slow to respond.  They got a lot of answers wrong.  But on the day they were not stigmatized, these same students responded like the exuberant, cognitively adept children they apparently were.

Well, that’s fine and all, but can such an experiment be repeated in a college setting?  Furthermore, can the experiment be repeated to show that sexist stereotypes have an impact? From page 32,

we recruited men and women students at the University of Michigan, largely freshmen and sophomores, who were good at math–they had quantitative SAT scores in the top 15 percent of their entering class, had gotten at least a B on two calculus classes, and indicated that math was important to their personal and professional goals.  This gave us a group of men and women students who were essentially equal and strong in math skills and in commitment to math….

[page 33] we wanted half of these participants to take the test under stigmatizing or potentially stigmatizing conditions and the other half to take the test under nonstigmatizing conditions….

Half of the participants took a math test, a thirty-minute section of the GRE (Graduate Record Examination) in math, the other half took an English test, a thirty-minute section of the GRE in English literature…(the more difficult GRE subject tests in math and English.)

We reasoned as follows:  On the basis of negative stereotypes of women’s math ability, simply taking a difficult math test puts a woman at risk of stigmatization, of being seen as limited in math because she is a woman.  Frustration on such a test inherently reinforces this worry.  [emphasis in original]

And for the same reason, there should be no threat of group stigmatization for either men or women taking the English literature test.  The ability of neither group is strongly stigmatized in this area…

[page 34] women should underperform in relation to the men on the math test, where they were subject to stigmatization, but not on the English literature test, where neither group was subject to stigmatization.  And, lo and behold, that’s exactly what happened.

The book discusses many of these types of social experiments, as well as how to mitigate the effects of stereotypes.  It truly was a fascinating.  It got me thinking about the patriarchal roles in the LDS Church.  We have our own stereotypes as well:  women are nurturers.  But a recent Radio West interview, The Daddy Shift, discussed the new phenomenon of stay at home dads, and strongly questioned this stereotype.

Speaking of patriarchy, a Freakonomics podcast Women are Not Men did a social experiment comparing the Masai tribe in Tanzania (which is extremely patriarchal) and the Khasi tribe in India (one of the world’s few matrilineal societies).  The Khasi tribe showed that women were just as competitive as men, so patriarchy does play a role in suppressing the competitiveness of women.  (The study authors felt it was better not to make women more competitive, but to have men be less competitive.)  This may also explain why only 16% of Wikipedia’s editors are female — which is puzzling in that women outnumber men on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and even in online games. They also discussed the gender gap in prison.  If we were truly an equal society, then women should be just as criminal as men–but so far, that isn’t the case.  There is a major gender gap in prisons.

So what do you make of these social experiments?  Is racism and sexism truly not a problem?  What kinds of experiments would you design to show racism or sexism within the LDS Church?

 

Tags: , , , , ,

31 Responses to How Racism, Sexism, and other Stereotypes Hurt Our Performance

  1. Jeff Spector on July 22, 2013 at 9:00 AM

    I can say a lot about your post, but one question that comes to mind is whether or not stereotypes are always negative? Because it seems that we have labeled the term as a negative in every case…..

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  2. Mormon Heretic on July 22, 2013 at 10:12 AM

    Jeff, please provide a positive stereotype that is not hurtful to the minority. I suppose that the there is a positive stereotype for black athletes, but it hurts white athletes. The positive stereotype that mothers are nurturers hurts the stay at home dads. So yes, there are stereotypes that are positive for one group, but they are negative for another. I’d love to hear an example of your positive stereotypes that aren’t hurtful to a group stagmatized.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 2

  3. Hedgehog on July 22, 2013 at 10:21 AM

    I’d add that stereotypes also only benefit to some extent. It can hurt to be expected to comform to a ‘positive’ stereotype when that is something you know you don’t do well, or something you really don’t like.

    Interesting reading. Not sure how to go about setting up an experiment at church though. We hear stereotypical views on gender such a lot, at least.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  4. Will on July 22, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    MH,

    You’re as bad as a politician.

    You posted ““Racism against blacks is still alive.”

    I then responded

    “Racism against whites is still alive. Racism against Hispanics is still alive. Racism against Asians is still alive.”

    I did not say they ‘balanced each other out” (thus the politician comment). What I said is racism is real, but it is not directed at only one race; nor is it only practiced by one race. You were specifically speaking about racism against blacks. I then commented it is not a wide spread problem as we do, after all, have a black president.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 2

  5. Mormon Heretic on July 22, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    Will, you quoted Jeff who said,

    “Again a sad case unto itself and a clear demonstration that there continues to be a race problem in America”

    To this you responded

    Baloney.

    There is not a race problem in American. Are there racists? Yes, all races against all races. There is not a widespread problem.

    So if “there is not a widespread problem”, how is that a difference than what I attributed you to saying that “race is not a problem”? I don’t think that I mischaracterized what you said at all.

    Are you saying that the white, black, and asian racists are causing problems, or are you saying these groups are not a widespread problem?

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  6. Mormon Heretic on July 22, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    Will, in your comment on my post, you wrote:

    This is not a racist country. Period. There are racists against all races, sure, but there is not a wide spread problem.

    How am I mischaracterizing you when I wrote “race is not a problem” and “therefore racism is not a problem”???

    Is racism a problem or not?

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  7. Will on July 22, 2013 at 11:39 AM

    MH,

    I will repeat myself again. There is racism in America; however, it is NOT a WIDESPREAD problem. It just isn’t.

    In America, a black man reached the highest office in the land and was reelected. Thus, there is not a WIDESPREAD problem against blacks or any other race in this country. That’s what the term WIDESPRED means. In short, anyone, from any race can reach their highest potential in this country.

    So, playing the race card falls on deaf ears.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  8. Jeff Spector on July 22, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    Here is stereotype: all fair-haired people sunburn easily. Not sure why I have to answer my own question. But I happen to think most stereotypes are experiential, not statistical. And using golf? Found that weird…. I would have thought to use a more common sport that was more widespread across communities. Golf tends to be somewhat an elitist sport.

    Stereotypes are typically created based on two methods in my experience, learned and experiential.

    Learned comes from the media, other people, books, school, etc. Does not have to be grounded or proven in any real life situation, but assumed to be true based on learning.
    An example might be that I heard that Jews were bankers in the Middle ages, deriving from the idea that Christians did not engage in loaning each other money because some thought the New Testament speaks against it. Therefore, I might conclude that Jews are good business people because they have been doing it a long time. Not necessarily negative, but could be expanded to be seen as greedy, dishonest, etc. All the negatives we’ve heard about. No real knowledge, but a conclusion from learning.

    Experiential – comes from actual experience where a conclusion may be drawn from a limited sample size.

    An example might be that all tall people are good basketball players. When I was a kid, and played basketball, the tall kids always seemed better than the short kids. So therefore, all tall people are good at basketball. The trouble is I had two friends later who were both 6′ 5″ and 6’7″. One was on the Basketball team in High School and one I worked with later one. They were both not very good. One was a reserve on the team and played rarely and the other was such a clod, that he used to hurt himself every time he played because everyone wanted him on their team, but he just wasn’t coordinated enough to play well.

    There was a stereotype that was thought to be true, but proved not to be true through experience. So unless someone has those additional experiences, they might never change their mind on the stereotype. Might be a false conclusion but it’s human nature to draw conclusions that way.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  9. MH on July 22, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    “playing the race card falls on deaf ears.”

    I know Will. You are definitely tone-deaf on this topic.

    Fan Favorite! Do you like this comment as well? Thumb up 8

  10. Frank Pellett on July 22, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    Anyone else get thrown by the uses of “lo and behold”? It’s like saying, “we’re expecting this result, and, wouldn’t you know it, we got the result we expected. Duh!.” Makes it hard to take the researcher seriously.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  11. Jeff Spector on July 22, 2013 at 4:42 PM

    I’m still pretty amazed by the use of golf……

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  12. Casey on July 22, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    “We have a black president, therefore race can’t be a significant problem” is a writ-large version of “I have lots of black friends” or “I’m not racist, but…” It’s just a phenomenally and willfully (pun intended) obtuse argument.

    MH, regarding the above comments about positive stereotypes, I’d actually build on what you said in #2 and argue that even “positive” stereotypes are ultimately harmful to those who are labeled by them. For example, the stereotype of black people being good athletes can lead to marginalization of those who might actually be terrible athletes, or it might lead people seeing them in terms of how well they conform to the stereotype. You still see it today in sports broadcasts: black athletes are often described in terms of their athleticism, speed, agility, etc, while white athletes are more likely to be described as savvy, crafty, or intelligent. There’s a reason you didn’t see many many black quarterbacks or point guards–the “intellectual” positions–until recently!

    Or, to take the stereotypes of the nurturing mom: it hurts SAH dads but it also hurts moms by implicitly limiting their acceptable life choices to choices to “nurturing” ones. How many girls in the church have accepted that their education is less important than their husband’s because they believe their main role is to be a mother? Or how many women who don’t have especially nurturing personalities are made to feel like failures because they don’t fit their proscribed role? Like I mentioned at your site and like the OP argues pretty persuasively, prejudice hurts everyone!

    Meanwhile, Jeff is probably right that creating stereotypes is human nature whether we like it or not. The problem is that they’re very often used to punish and limit groups that have been historically marginalized. As a slender, reasonably attractive middle-class white guy the stereotypes I might face in most situations are are going to be far less restrictive than those many others face! So the trick is to be aware of the prejudices that are out there and to try to counteract them in our institutions and culture. That’s the tricky part, I guess, especially when there’s a good number of people who’d rather deny they exist at all!

    Like this comment? Thumb up 2

  13. MH on July 22, 2013 at 8:36 PM

    Jeff,

    I’m not clear on how fair-skinned people is a positive stereotype–perhaps it could be considered benign. I guess they probably get more skin cancer than dark-skinned people, but I know of no advantages they receive, or disadvantages that they are subjected to, so if it is a stereotype, it’s a wash–neither positive or negative. Perhaps you could explain how this is a positive stereotype, because I’m not seeing how people are positively or negatively stereotyped…. If they get more skin cancer, then that’s negative, but based on science more than social stigmatization or promotion.

    I agree with you that stereotypes are often experiential. The problem with experiential stereotypes is that they are highly SUBJECTIVE. Going back to the example of a white person crossing the street to avoid a black person, as you said, sometimes it is just a person crossing the street. Because Mel confronted the woman, he did find out that she was uncomfortable around black people. But if we don’t confront someone, we’ll never know if it was based on racism or if the person was crossing the street for some other reason.

    That’s why we turn to statistics–to take things out of the SUBJECTIVE realm, and into something more OBJECTIVE. So is there racism in sports? More specifically, what obstacles do black quarterbacks like Donovan McNabb, Robert Griffin III, or Michael Vick face that white quarterbacks Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, and Jay Cutler do not face? This is an impossible question to answer, because how do you objectively compare the white quarterbacks against each other, let alone try to account for race? How do you define the better athlete? Is it Michael Vick because he can run but can’t throw, or is it Peyton Manning better because he can throw but can’t run? Everyone has their opinion, but we try to turn to statistics to provide OBJECTIVE answers, not SUBJECTIVE answers.

    So the authors turn to experiments to try to tease it out. With anonymous Princeton students, we don’t debate who the better athlete is (Manning or Vick), because we have nothing invested in this (whereas we might like the Eagles better than Broncos.) So, the golf experiment is a way to try to induce stigmatization as an attempt to measure the effect of racism by an objective measure (in this case strokes) and we don’t have to argue about whether a running quarterback is better than a throwing quarterback. The only real difference in this experiment seems to be that one group may have been stigmatized because they were told something about the experiment, and seems to lend credibility to the idea that experimenters can induce poor performance by planting stigmatization in the heads of the subjects.

    Now, you may argue that this is a contrived experiment, which is certainly is. Perhaps the results happened by chance (though the number of repetitions of similar experiments seems to make the case that these didn’t happen by chance), or you may have some other explanation (which I’d love to hear.) So even if you don’t like the golf experiment as contrived, how do you explain away the similar results of the math experiment? (Or the Freakonomics experiment, which I didn’t discuss in any detail.)

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  14. MH on July 22, 2013 at 8:44 PM

    Will,

    How do you define “widespread problem” when it comes to race? Does it require lynching? Does it require “Jim Crow” laws? Does it require slavery?

    Is the fact that blacks are jailed at a higher rate than the white population a widespread problem? Is the fact that blacks are unemployed at a higher rate than whites a widespread problem? Is the fact that blacks are executed at a higher rate than whites a widespread problem? Is the fact that blacks are raised in more single parent homes than whites not a widespread problem?

    Or are these simply minor problems that don’t need to be addressed because Barack Obama is in the white house?

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  15. Stephen M (Ethesis) on July 23, 2013 at 4:10 AM

    So, is it a bad thing that we have fewer female criminals?

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  16. Jeff Spector on July 23, 2013 at 9:54 AM

    MH,

    OK, it’s time to cut the crap here. Let’s just have an honest discussion here. The truth is most stereotypes have some measure of truth to them. That is why they become stereotypes in the first place, rightly or wrongly. However, in this politically correct world we now live in, you can’t make any type of observation about any group without it being declared negative.

    So, if you say that since women bear the children, have breasts which provide nourishment to their babies and then have the nerve to say that they are the nurturers, that is a negative stereotype.

    If you observe that the National Basketball League has a majority of tall African-American men and then observe that maybe tall AA men are better Basketball players, you are accused of a negative stereotype.

    Let’s face it, there was a specific prejudice against Black quarterbacks in the NFL for a long, long time. in fact, there weren’t even that many in College. that has clearly been disproven at this point and if a good Black QB comes along that an owner thinks will help his team win, that person will be on the team. It’s all about money, not social justice. Same with every other sport at this point. Are there still prejudices, yes, just like society. in order to lose the stereotypes, people need example to demonstrate that those stereotypes are not valid. You can’t study or wish them away.

    But, come on, lose the political correctness and your stance and let’s have a real discussion here. (we can all agree that Will can be ignored).

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  17. allquieton on July 23, 2013 at 10:31 AM

    I think it would help to focus on teaching individuals that they don’t have to be limited by stereotypes. Rather than trying to eliminate stereotypes by shaming and controlling people.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  18. allquieton on July 23, 2013 at 10:35 AM

    I bet some people in each and every group golfed just as well regardless of what they were told.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  19. Mormon Heretic on July 23, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Jeff, why are you bringing up “social justice” and “political correctness”?

    Cut the crap. Let’s have an honest discussion (which I thought we were until you started ranting.)

    Tell me why the golf, or the math experiments are invalid. Don’t muddy the waters with a rant.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  20. Mormon Heretic on July 23, 2013 at 2:20 PM

    Steve, the Freakonomics guys did ask that question: should we be rooting for women to be more criminal? It’s kind of a funny question to ask. I will point out that when a woman kills her kids (such as Susan Smith in South Carolina) or rapes a boy (such as Mary Kay Latorneau), she gets a much more lenient sentence than a man who kills his family, or rapes an underage girl. Women are much less likely to die by execution than men, and Mary Kay Latorneau got a lighter rape sentence than most men. Justice is not blind, but does seem to play favorites towards women.

    AllQuietOn, yes there are always exceptions to any rule. Tiger Woods is the golf exception, and Venus and Serena Williams are the tennis exceptions. So is Blake Griffin in the NBA, and Wes Welker in the NFL.

    I remember on my mission talking to a white kid, and his coaches told him flat-out that he could sit the bench on the basketball team, but he could start on the baseball team (because blacks are basketball players, and whites are baseball players.) I was pretty shocked to hear that the coaches actually said that, let alone thought it. But I guess it’s not a “widespread” problem according to some people. I guess it only happens in South Carolina, and nobody cares about racism there since the problem is so insignificant. (Or can this be dismissed as political correctness and social justice talk?)

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  21. Jeff Spector on July 23, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    MH,

    OK, I’m out. I cannot continue this without all the deflections you put up. I ask you a question, you don’t answer.

    I understand you have your agenda. But I’m not Will. We can get into uncomfortable areas and have a frank discussion. but apparently not.

    Why did I bring up social justice. Because sports owners are not about social justice, They are about winning so they field a team they think that can win.

    Political correctness? Because it is certainly politically correct to be on the “racist” bandwagon. But, the topic warrants a serious discussion on poverty, joblessness, crime, gang violence, broken families, role models, guns, etc. Not some goofy golf experiment. It can be a jumping off point, but that’s about it.

    And, it isn’t just about “whitey.”

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  22. Douglas on July 23, 2013 at 5:22 PM

    Since others have touched on the subject of discrimination against black quarterbacks, allow me to chip in my 2¢.

    Certainly in times past there was a stigma against black QBs. Never mind what some kid coming out of a historically-black college (ex: Grambling) was to do in the NFL (their skills were usually dismissed as being demonstrated against inferior opponents); these players were almost universally relegated to running backs or receivers. A contemporary of Steve Young, one Warren Moon, was the classic example of being a victim of stereotype. Moon had an exemplary college career at Washington; but had no NFL takers upon graduation. The Edmonton Eskimos of the CFL would thus benefit for years until Bum Phillips, who coached the then-(Houston) Oilers, saw an opportunity and signed him. I would put Moon’s stats against anyone, and in terms of “intangibles”, while he might not have equalled Joe Montana in the two-minute drill (but then again, neither was Young quite the clutch QB as “Joe Cool”), the man was a Rhodes scholar and had the mental tools to be an excellent field general.

    I would that Washington had embraced Doug Williams some 25 years ago the way they now fawn over RGIII. Mr William’s practically got the ‘Skins to SB XXII by himself; his career was tragically marred by injuries. Randall Cunningham did far better for the Eagles than McNabb ever did. And who could forget the late Steve McNair and what he did for the Tennessee Titans?

    I’d say that you see more black QBs in both college and the NFL due to a perecived greater need for the running game on the QB’s part. Whether the overall skills of blacks versus whites are superior in this regard is fodder for debate. I trust that head coaches, for whom winning is the only thing, have better experience to pick their QBs and I seriously doubt that race is a factor. Indeed, what do you say about Colin Kaepernick, who is biracial, adopted into a white Midwestern family, and thus far has put on a quarterbacking clinic? I say, I’m glad he’s a 49er!

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  23. Mormon Heretic on July 23, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    Jeff,

    I went back through every single comment of yours, and didn’t see a question that I did not answer, so I’m mystified why you claim “I ask you a question, you don’t answer.” Let me list what I see.

    “one question that comes to mind is whether or not stereotypes are always negative?”

    I answered

    “I suppose that the there is a positive stereotype for black athletes, but it hurts white athletes. The positive stereotype that mothers are nurturers hurts the stay at home dads. So yes, there are stereotypes that are positive for one group, but they are negative for another. I’d love to hear an example of your positive stereotypes that aren’t hurtful to a group stagmatized.”

    Question answered.

    “And using golf? Found that weird…. ”

    I answered,

    “you may argue that this is a contrived experiment, which it certainly is. Perhaps the results happened by chance (though the number of repetitions of similar experiments seems to make the case that these didn’t happen by chance), or you may have some other explanation (which I’d love to hear.) So even if you don’t like the golf experiment as contrived, how do you explain away the similar results of the math experiment?”

    If you don’t like the golf experiment, then fine, I give it up. I asked you about the math experiment, and I have yet to receive ANY answer from you. Who’s dodging questions?

    So what question did I not answer? I only found those two, and I answered them. (And why are you so upset? Is it because I disagree with you? Or are you simply tired of hashing out this argument?)

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  24. allquieton on July 23, 2013 at 5:34 PM

    MH-well my point is that those exceptions learned to not let stereotypes limit them. And anyone can learn this and become an exception. And its harmful to teach peope they are are victims of stereotypes and imply that they are powerless and that the world has to change for them to succeed.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  25. Mormon Heretic on July 23, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    Yes AllQuietOn, I somewhat agree with you. We don’t want to turn people into a victim mentality. But on the other hand, we can’t stick our heads in the sand and say “Well, Barack Obama is in the White House, so therefore there is no race problem.” Because there are things that we can do to better accommodate minorities. Tiger and Serena are the exceptions, and it does show that people can overcome stereotypes, but not everybody has the mental strength of these 2 people.

    Trayvon Martin was stereotyped and is now dead. He has no chance for him to overcome the stereotype that he was a hooded hoodlum. Not everyone is Barack or Tiger or Serena. Trayvon is not the only one stereotyped. So yes, let’s celebrate these people who overcame stereotypes, but let’s not ignore Trayvon.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  26. Douglas on July 23, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    #25 – it was no stereotype, based on evidence of Treyvon’s recent antics. However, rather than the kid end up dead as a result of a street fight that he unwisely started how better it’d have been to have been subdued, arrested, and given a healthy dose of “scared straight”. I don’t consider trying his killer for at least manslaughter (which the circumstances indicated a possible outcome) to be a legal travesty. Neither was the not guilty verdict.

    Now, after my previously lengthy soliloquy on blacks QBs….in response to post #14 (MH)

    I don’t say that there’d have to be a resurgence of outright atrocities against blacks like lynchings, reinstatement of Jim Crow laws, or repeal of the 13th Amendment to get myself or most white conservatives to admit to any ‘race’ problem. But an interesting observation…when all those terrible things were extent, what was the lot of most black folk? I look at the issues facing them (crime, illegitimacy, unemployment, incarceration at significantly higher rates, more proportionately sentenced to death…) and ponder (not entirely facetiously) that all the well-intentioned but futile and condescending “civil rights” laws, affirmative action, and related remedies to the problems facing American blacks that perhaps it’s all some cynical Klan plot to ruin black families writ large. Certainly couldn’t have worked better were this all, in fact, some hideous massive racist plot. But yet it seems that the popular definition of “insanity” (upon unsatisfactory results, increase the same efforts and wonder why continued failure) describes the continued liberal solution..more welfare state, more reverse discrimination, more pitting the races against each other. And what makes all “youse liberals” think that your “understanding” or help is even wanted, let alone in the best interests of black folks? Are they not sufficient to decide what is best for their lives? Might not the best thing be to simply involve Government as little as possible in the whole thing and let them fend for themselves? They might just surprise most liberals with what they’re capable of! And if they don’t like it? The exits are clearly marked!

    Like this comment? Thumb up 1

  27. Mormon Heretic on July 23, 2013 at 11:00 PM

    Douglas,

    I know it’s trite to say that owners are all about winning, but I don’t always buy that. Blacks were discriminated for years, so we had the Negro Leagues. Some of the best players are men we’ve never heard of. Branch Rickey went out on a huge limb to sign Jackie Robinson to the Dodgers. Rickey picked Robinson because he felt he would fit in the best with the team, and because Robinson was such an oustanding athlete. Texas El Paso was the first all-black starting 5 and beat the all-white Kentucky team coached by Adolph Rupp. If you’ve seen Fernando Nation on ESPN, the Dodgers were again one of the first teams to make a big payoff on a Latino player.

    Roman Gabriel and Doug Williams are the only black quarterbacks I can remember from the 1970s and 80s. People like Warren Moon, Randall Cunningham came later. Stereotypes change slowly. Will anyone actually sign the first gay athlete to come out, Jason Collins? It remains to be seen. While there are potential upsides for owners to sign someone like Collins, there will be higher scrutiny from the press, and teammates may take umbrige to playing with a gay teammate, disrupting chemistry in the locker room. We all see that Tim Tebow was a disaster for the Jets, so media isn’t always a good thing.

    It also takes time to acclimate to change these stereotypes. The NBA now has female referees, the only major sport to do so. There are none in the NFL, NHL, MLB, MLS that I know of. So owners aren’t so quick to change. Sure Mark Cuban said he might sign Brittney Griner, but it hasn’t happened. (I don’t think she is an NBA caliber player, and it would be a publicity stunt more than a chance to improve the team. Cheryl Miller was much better, IMO.)

    To proclaim that inequities are over is just not accurate.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  28. natebergin on July 24, 2013 at 8:12 AM

    The studies Mormon Heretic cites are very interesting. But I come away with the opposite conclusion:

    If human nature is so suseptable to stereotyping, why isn’t there MORE racism than their actually is? The studies prove that human nature in inherently racist. Yet, we live in an age where blacks are accepted, by and large, as equals, at least in every legal, institutional way. And ust a month ago, Paula Dean’s career imploded simply for having said a bad word years ago.

    We are hyper vigilent in today’s society to protect against our natural racist nature. The fact that racism still exists is no suprise at all. The suprise is that it is not nearly as prevelent as one should expect given human nature.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  29. hawkgrrrl on July 25, 2013 at 1:21 PM

    We have definitely become hyper attuned to racism. I just saw Twelve Angry Men at the Utah Shakespeare Festival, a play that exposes the prejudices of the jurors. And yet watching the play, it is staring you right in the face that there are no females or other races on that jury. For all their seeming lack of diversity, though, they are all very different in their perspectives and only two real bigots emerge.

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  30. [...] contrary to the charge that I have a feminist agenda, I just want data to back up assertions.  Sometimes discrimination isn’t quite so clear cut, [...]

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  31. It’s Not Always Discrimination | Mormon Heretic on November 28, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    […] contrary to the charge that I have a feminist agenda, I just want data to back up assertions.  Sometimes discrimination isn’t quite so clear cut, […]

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

Archives

%d bloggers like this: