What popular stupidity did to Fischer DeBerry recently is shameful.
DeBerry is the football coach at the Air Force Academy.
He said the academy, for purposes of making the football team better, should “recruit more speed.” Pressed at the time on that issue, DeBerry admitted he was talking about recruiting more African-American football players.
But because “political correctness” has so crippled our thinking and communication in this country, DeBerry was the target of criticism.
And he played the Galilei Galileo role by submitting to his masters and apologizing for what was substantially the truth.
He apologized on the basis of racial stereotyping.
There are differences among groups of people on this planet that have to do with genetic dispositions, not necessarily related directly to race.
African-Americans constitute less than 15 percent of the population of our country.
Yet they dominate in such areas as the National Basketball Association and National Football League because of their superior athletic skills based on natural talent and hard work.
Take it from me. As an old ball writer who covered SEC football in the days when African-American kids were shamefully denied what was freely available to others, there was nary a black athlete in the uniform of any Southeastern Conference team.
It meant that great NFL stars like Derrick Brooks (FSU) and Emmet Smith (Florida) from my home grounds in Pensacola would have been denied had they been of that time.
It was a sad situation, and everybody knew it. No one rejoiced in that.
I can give you direct testimony on that, having been in small-group private conversations with Paul “Bear” Bryant when he was running football at Alabama and was the premier coach in the country.
He still stands among the very greatest of football coaches and men of honor and rectitude.
Many times Bryant bemoaned the fact that he could not get black kids into the Tuscaloosa school because of ignorant social mores of the time that would not stand for it.
Talk about stupidity.
What happened to Fischer DeBerry is about at the same level.
Bryant would point out other colleges around the country where African-American young men were playing and he spoke of those teams with envy. “Wish we had some kids like that,” he’d say.
How crippling those days of segregation were. African-American kids denied at schools like Alabama, Georgia, Florida, LSU, etc. Everywhere, in fact.
And it meant that very often SEC teams could not host a team that might have an African-American star. Couldn’t have one of them on our pristine football field, dontcha know?
The South grew up, threw off that mantle of ignorance (yes, with the encouragement of court decisions, but what is important is that it did happen) and African-American kids flourish on SEC gridirons these days. Check it out any Saturday.
Many of these kids go on to careers in pro football and it is a way up for them. I say God bless ‘em and more power to them.
The fact of the matter is – inescapably and ineluctably, no way around it - that African-Americans make superior athletes.
You don’t need blood tests or hair samples or DNA studies to demonstrate that.
Open your eyes and look.
Too bad DeBerry didn’t have guts enough to stand by his statement. Instead, he succumbed to the pressure and made a false and weasely apology.
The Air Force coach became another victim of political correctness, the bane of our times.
It’s almost as bad as the racist stupidity that used to be the rule.
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