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Sunday, February 7, 2016

Response to "Motown Voice"

A week ago I got the following from a commenter identifying himself as "MotownVoice:"

What moron wrote this crap? If you could fit one more racial generalization or paranoid stereotype in this wad of tripe I suspect you would have.

He was responding to the post about how surprising it was that a cross country runner would turn out to be a murderer, since most distance runners tend to be studious, introverted types.

I didn't have the time to get into it when he wrote, so merely replied, "Motown -- As we all know, stereotypes have absolutely no basis in fact."

What I should have said was:

Ain't No Mountain High Enough, ain't no valley low enough, ain't no river wide enough, to keep me from telling the truth! 

I Heard it Through the Grapevine that football and basketball players run afoul of the law more often than cross country runners. Or is that Just My Imagination?

Mercy Mercy Me, I'm afraid it's the Same Old Song you're singing: willfully ignoring every fact that doesn't fit your narrative.

(But, as usual, I thought of the correct response too late.)

The thing is, Motown music -- including the songs I reference above -- was great. And back in the 60's, the civil rights cause was a just one: an end to segregation, an end to voting disenfranchisement, etc.

Today, the "civil rights" cause is all about the opposite: affirmative action, racial set-asides, and an end to any realistic talk about racial differences. Fittingly, the music that now comes out of the black community is rap.

What emanated from "MotownVoice" sounded more like rap.


Anonymous said...

Most stereotypes are mostly true most of the time, or at least more often than not.
When they cease to be, they vanish into the memory hole.

Up until the mid-1950s, "Made In Japan" was synonymous with low quality crap, often knick-knacks (small decorative items) or toys. I remember having a Japan made "Junior G Man" badge whose reverse side was a fruit can with the Mitsubishi label on it. (Probably worth a fortune now).

By 1965 that stereotype was dead and by 1975 positively forgotten, as Japanese cars proved more reliable and durable than American ones.

At one time, Jews were the top basketball players. While few Jews are professional athletes today, the NBA is probably their least represented sport.

Some things change and some remain the same, which is why certain stereotypes vanish and some endure.

Mark Caplan said...

At the same time, one can empathize with the annoyance and frustrations of, say, a temperate Irishman who regularly encounters people who assume because he is Irish he must have an inordinate attachment to the bottle. Maybe MotownVoice is cranky because she herself has none of the characteristics people tend to ascribe to her race and ethnicity (except for crankiness).

John Craig said...

Mark --
True. I wrote about that phenomenon here:

(Back when I stated this blog and was more open-minded.)

But at the same time, there's a difference between accusing an individual of having traits he doesn't possess and pointing out widespread correlations which are undeniable.

Anonymous said...

With the passage of time, I've become a race realist, allowing the reality that is before me to be acknowledged and affirmed. Racial groups (over time) express definite characteristics which cannot be denied.

- Susan

John Craig said...

Susan --
Most people come to that conclusion with time, if they can think for themselves; and it doesn't mean, as Mark Caplan pointed out, that every member of a group expresses all of a group's tendencies.

Dave Moriarty said...

Just wondering now if I am out walking the dog in Allen's meadows and a cross country runner is heading my way -- should I be "crossing the street" so to speak?

I am stunned by this story. I cant imagine a cross country runner even cutting ahead in a line let alone killing a young kid.

Chicks looking to go out with the "bad boy" don't look at the cross country team for candidates.

I can assure you , we do not need a federally funded study to determine the more likely participants in criminal activity when classified by sport

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of us think of a great comeback after-the-fact. Your's was a decent one.


John Craig said...

Birdie --
The French even have a phrase for it, which translates as "the spirit of the stairs," or something like that. It refers to the fact that one usually thinks of the appropriate rejoinder while on the stairs on the way out of the dinner party, not at the dinner party itself.

Radio dispatched said...

Here's an Asian story. It was '02 in Berkeley. I parked in front of an Asian frat, clearing the driveway by plenty. An Asian kid came out and, completely unreasonably, claimed that my car blocked the driveway. I said, "open your eyes!" And he goes, "oh great, a racial slur."