The vile and despicable legacies of slavery in the US are many but those legacies are trivialized when ludicrous or absurd connections to the realities of today are inaccurately linked to the slavery of African-Americans. For instance, Olympic medalist, Michael Johnson, stated that African-Americans have a superior athletic gene because of surviving the horrific rigors of slavery.[1] Does that assertion remain solid even after a cursory evaluation?

Mr. Johnson and others, such as geneticist, Dr. Rachael Irving, believe that there is a straight line between Africans taken as slaves and brought to America and the athletic prowess of certain Olympic sprinters. Dr. Irving is quoted as averring, “There was not much oxygen on slave ships so they had to use whatever they had to survive.” Then, as proof-positive of his belief, the article cited in the footnote quotes him as saying, “Of the eight 100m finalists four years ago … All eight are believed to be descended from slaves.”

Dr. Irving is a nocent sophist. What he posits just might sound logical, but only if one suffers from a condition commonly referred to as – being stupid. Only people who would rather leave their thinking to those who are deluded by their own sense of intelligence would concur with the likes of Dr. Irving. Please consider the following:

What if someone proposed that African-Americans today are burdened with low self-esteem and they lack self-respect because the slaves who survived the trip from Africa to the US were feckless and psychologically weak? In short, the psychologically strong and self-respecting captured slaves either fought back and were killed or they jumped overboard to their deaths rather than be treated like vomit. Once here in the US, any who happen to become strong tried to escape or otherwise fought back rather than to cower and at best, be treated like fertilizer or at worst, raped, beaten, scorned, demeaned and systematically traded like animals. Therefore, most African-Americans today are at the dirt end of the social and economic totem pole because they are descendants of those who were too psychologically weak to fight to the death or try to escape rather than to remain a slave.

Or maybe most African-Americans today do not perform well in school because of the meager supply of “oxygen on slave ships” which had a deleterious affect on our brains’ ability to process numbers and words.

Then again, perhaps the reason why most serial killers or mass murderers are not African-American is because slaves knew that they were not even suppose to even think about killing a woman who was not their wife or girlfriend. To do otherwise would result in a good ol’ fashion beat down or lynching by ‘Massa.’

With regard to Dr. Irving’s comment, “Of the eight 100m finalists four years ago … All eight are believed to be descended from slaves,” all the members of the US Olympic shooting team are White. Is that because they are descendants of slave owners who had plenty of practice shooting at wily runaway slaves?

I could concoct many more asinine scenarios to link with the experience of slavery in the US but I believe my point is made: Stupid has a way of sounding intelligent or logical and stupid is essentially innocuous until someone empowers it by embracing it.

To be certain, slavery did produce legacies that are evident today – most of which anyone with the ability to think critically and honestly can easily cite. That being said, people like Mr. Johnson and Dr. Irving actually make a mockery of the dastardly history of slavery in the US. People like those two humans just leave me SMH [shaking my head].

Published in: on August 8, 2012 at 4:43 AM  Leave a Comment  
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