Today, I read an article in Slate, 'explaining' why Jamaicans run so fast. (Article originally posted on 8/18/08) I looked at the title Jamaican Me Speedy with the side-eye, because I knew nothing good this way was gonna come.
Jamaica is a poor, tiny nation about half the size of New Jersey. What makes its people such champion sprinters?
Uh - could it be that they work their @sses off, eat a healthy diet of mostly non-processed foods and are dedicated to achieving their goal, or in this case their GOLD??
Nah, that couldn't be it, it must be something genetic...because we know black people don't work that hard...especially Jamaicans. They're too busy drinking rum and winding.
Then, the article goes on to talk about some study that was done in the 80s that showed a trait in West African students, that allowed them to run faster. Now, imagine if I said that there is a trait amongst American East Coasters. You would look at me like I'm crazy. In your mind, you'd think, all East Coasters aren't the same. That's ridiculous Penni.
But, for some reason, people act like Africa, the continent is one big homogenous country...except for Northern Africa which sometimes 'passes' for middle eastern. (I've got more to say about that, but I'm trying to be focused here.)
The article does NOT go on to explain why the American black people were left in the Jamaicans' dust. Aren't their ancestors from the same 'West Africa' as the Jamaicans?
Check out the article yourself and sign in to leave a comment over there. Let The Explainer know that his/her article is some racist fragglenackle!
Edited 8/20 - Nadra over at Racialicious wrote about this too. Check it out.
p.s. and while we're on the subject, am I the only one that wants a t-shirt with a thunder bolt on it in honor of Usain Bolt??? Dude is like lightening!