Sailing Off Course (Part I)

by J.D. Cash

1 October 2005

Steve Sailer is a writer for various publications, most notably The American Conservative, and . He is remarkable for his ability to take on controversial topics concerning race and address them directly. He often makes use of statistical analysis, at which he is very adept, and uses it to make a variety of anti-PC points. Since he is able to write on subjects which are considered "untouchable" by the mainstream media he often uncovers hidden truths or controversial causes for many common public issues.

Sailer has made several cogent points about the recent presidential election, notably his "Marriage Gap Red-Blue Theory," and also the myth of there being large number of Republican Hispanics and Asians. He has also taken on Steven Levitt's theory proposing that legalized abortion reduced crime. He is a conservative who is anti-war and anti-immigration. He writes well and is an interesting read; you may see for yourself at

He is also one of the only (semi-) mainstream writers who will touch the subject of sports and race. Considering how he well he writes in other areas, the results of his writing about sports is extremely disappointing. For fans of Caste Football he should be an asset, but unfortunately he is one of the biggest cheerleaders for the Caste System.

Even worse, he applies his considerable mathematical skills in an attempt to justify his (usually) incorrect assertions. His inability to understand the nuances of athletics, his limited knowledge of the real world of sport, and his ingrown biases, all combine to make him one of the biggest supporters of the myth of black athletic supremacy.

Mr. Sailer is an influential writer and widely read by those Internet readers that consider themselves racially aware and might also read Caste Football. It would be a gross injustice if we did not attempt to address some of the many errors or misinterpretations made by Sailer. This is not to say that he doesn't have important things to say or that he is completely inaccurate. It is just that he is sometimes flat-out wrong and does the cause of ending the Caste System a great disservice.

There is also no other source besides Caste Football that would provide criticism for his point of view since it is precisely the view of the mainstream. One would think that a writer who bucks conventional wisdom at every turn would wonder why he is so in tune with the establishment in this one area. I believe Sailer thinks that because the mainstream rarely discusses the issue he is in fact opposing a mainstream point of view, but really, do you know any news source or information outlet that does not subscribe to the "black athletic superiority myth"?

Not only does Sailer get much wrong in a factual sense (more about that later), but his attitude towards white athletes is positively hateful. I have written about this racial self-hate among the media before. I imagine that Sailer, like so many middle-aged white writers, looks around at pro athletes, maybe the few blacks they see on a regular basis, and internalizes some feeling of racial inferiority. Instead of pointing out the real reason there are so many blacks (complete racial surrender to minorities by his own generation), he blames it on genetics.

Those similarily highly muscular white youth are shut out or discouraged from even trying due to the Caste System in place that those like Sailer keep propping up. Ever notice how much more muscular the European basketball players are compared to U.S. basketball players? Ever wonder why? I doubt the white gene pool is superior in Europe, ravished by internecine wars in the 20th century. Probably because someone sees these strong kids and throws them a basketball, while here in America they tell them to pick up a wrench. In America, in sports where blacks dominate, no whites need apply.

Here are some examples of where Sailer takes a gratuitous swipe at a white athlete or white athletic prowess.

"[Barry] Bonds, the greatest all-around player of the last decade, may well have been clean until recently. With pumped-up lesser talents like Mark McGwire, who was found with the legal steroid precursor Androstenedione in his locker, becoming folk heroes, Bonds apparently decided to turn himself into the monster that hit 73 home runs in 2001 with the alleged help of steroids and human growth hormone."

McGwire "lesser talented"! As far as homeruns are concerned Bonds was never the home run hitter McGwire was. McGwire was a big-time home run hitter from day one. McGwire's homeruns per at bat: 583 homers in 1,874 games; Bonds: 703 in 2,716 games. Bonds was not much of a power hitter until he beefed up on the steroids and added huge home run totals in the latter part of his career.

Bonds has won two season home run titles in spite of his "alleged" use of steroids/HGH/ and "the clear". McGwire won four home run titles and in his first season hit more than Bonds has in any year except the 73 aberration, which was the only time he hit as many as 50. A

And the comment "Bonds may have been clean until recently." What!?! Bonds is a lifelong friend of BALCO owner Victor Conte. Why would one assume it is only recently unless one had an agenda?

Sailer also writes: "But, are basketball and football the best tests of athleticism? What about the hundreds of other sports in which blacks have not triumphed, like surfing, curling, or dog sled mushing? How can Americans so confidently assume that basketball and football are more demanding than, say, English Channel-swimming (at which walrus-shaped whites stand out)?"

Here Sailer chooses non-sports "like surfing, curling, or dog sled mushing" to insinuate whites only win at non-athletic types of sports. He doesn't offer weightlifting, high jumping, swimming, wrestling, or gymnastics, sports where whites totally dominate and are more difficult than the few sprints that blacks dominate in. He also mentions English-channel swimming with walrus shaped whites. I must admit I have never heard anyone marvel at the ability of a person to swim the English Channel. Sailer throws this in to show how whites only succeed at "silly" things.

And also what's with the "walrus-shaped"? Gee, when I think of swimmers I think of those buff white guys with the six-pack abs who are as athletic looking as any black athlete. You want walrus shaped? Check out most NFL black lineman, offensive or defensive. Those guys are big fat walruses, and we get to see them every year in the fall on Saturday and Sunday!

More Sailer: "Clearly, there are many different athletic skills. So, how can we possibly claim that one man is a better athlete than another, much less that one race is more athletic than another? This is exactly analogous to a common attack on Richard Herrnstein's and Charles Murray's contention in The Bell Curve that Asians and whites tend to be smarter than blacks: How can just one number represent all the many kinds of mental talents? In sports, the closest analogy to the IQ test is the decathlon. Olympic decathletes compete in 10 track and field events, but against the stopwatch and measuring tape rather than each other. Their 10 tallies are summed, and the overall highest scorer is hyped as the "world's greatest athlete."

"Similarly, IQ isn't just a single measure as some critics claim, but a sophisticated aggregating of many skills...Of course, any scheme for weighting the components must be somewhat arbitrary...Who can really say in the abstract how track vs. field or verbal vs. visual scores should be weighted? 50-50? 80-20? It all depends on the task at hand."

So Sailer seems to indicate that the decathlon is analogous to an IQ test, at which whites excel more than blacks. And SURPRISE! Whites excel at the decathlon over blacks at much the same level as in IQ testing. But since this doesn't prove Sailer's "black supremacy myth" he quickly forgets the decathlon results and moves on. It's almost as if Sailer was writing the article then looked up the decathlon results and WHOOPS, other then Lynn Christie a generation ago, and Rafer Johnson two generations ago, blacks don't do so well at the decathlon. Must be one of those silly white sports like curling.

Sailer writes: "Fifty years after Jackie Robinson integrated baseball, it is now clear that equality of opportunity in America's top team sports has lead not to equality of results but to black supremacy. A random African-American is currently about 15 times more likely to reach the NFL and 28 times more likely the NBA than a random non-black. Even in baseball, a sport with which many African-Americans have become bored, black American ballplayers have earned 11 of the last 20 Most Valuable Player awards (1987-1996)."

I would respond as follows: Fifty years after Jackie Robinson integrated baseball we now know that blacks aren't that good at it. Only a small percentage play in the Major Leagues. Of course this is just because they are "bored" with it, not because they are getting beat out by whites. Wonder if it is possible whites are bored with being treated like crap in basketball and football and are giving up on it? As for MVP awards they are popularity awards given out by the same middle aged white guys that think like Sailer on this issue. "Steroid Barry" won a lot of those awards so it means N-O-T-H-I-N-G.

More Sailer: "Consider the supremacy of West African sprinters and East African middle to long distance runners. Granted, social settings play a role in determining who wins in which games (polo and yachting are extreme examples). Still, as the editor of Runner's World, Amby Burfoot, pointed out in his brave article, "White Men Can't Run," running is the cheapest, most equal opportunity sport. No purely cultural explanation for the distinct West and East African advantages in footspeed is plausible."

But whites competed equally with blacks until social forces pressured the ONLY avenues of success in this endeavor in the non-communist world, American colleges, to selectively choose black runners. We know this to be true from the comments made by Jeremy Wariner and Michael Johnson's coach, Clyde Hart.

After blacks attained a social lock on the position U.S. pharmaceutical expertise took over. American doped blacks beat Communist doped whites for the same reason American industry dominated Communist industry -- the freer-market does things better.

(And once again "polo and yachting" mentioned as sports instead of something like the Tour de France or high jumping.)

Sailer, the man who will document every trend he sees with reams of obscure statistics, suddenly discovers a new "skill" for blacks that is untestable and undocumented, but solely responsible for nearly all black ability and success.

He writes: "Sadly, too few whites notice that black sports success seems to also originate above the neck, in certain common black mental advantages over whites. For example, in the NFL most offensive linemen, who diligently execute the coach's plays, are white. Most defensive linemen, who instantly devise their own responses, are black. More spectacularly, black basketball players like Elgin Baylor and Julius Erving blew wide open a stodgy game of set-piece plays. White coaches long resisted their black players' ability to make it up as they went along. The only man to consistently hold Michael Jordan to no more than 20 points per game was Dean Smith, his college coach. Yet, 'playground jungle ball' eventually routed predictable white-style basketball."

"Obviously, the occasional Larry Bird or John Stockton show that some whites can master the black game. Still, whites seem less often able to meet modern basketball's demands for creative improvisation and on-the-fly interpersonal decision-making. As Thomas Sowell notes, 'To be an outstanding basketball player means to out-think opponents consistently in these split-second decisions under stress.' Beyond basketball, these black cerebral superiorities in 'real time' responsiveness also contribute to black dominance in jazz, running with the football, rap, dance, trash talking, preaching, and oratory. (Martin Luther King, Jr., for example, improvised the immortal conclusion to his 'I Have a Dream" speech.)'

My response is: Wow, "real-time responsiveness," bet Sailer's got a pile of data on that one!

Black defensive lineman -- improvisational geniuses or fat guys that get playing time because coaches think fat black guys are better and every single scouting service in the country agrees?

Playground jungle ball routing white style basketball? Well not any more. Took "un-real responsiveness" white Europeans one generation to figure it out and dismantle the split second jungle-ballers.

Black dominance in jazz -- due to "real-time responsiveness" or lots of pot smoking?

Running with the football -- "real-time responsiveness" or the Caste System?

Rap advantages due to "real-time responsiveness," or child-like fascination with rhyming words and a monotonous beat.

Dancing: real-time responsiveness, or a lack of self respect combined with primitive spastic tendencies?

Trash-talking: real-time responsiveness or ill-mannered behavior enabled by poor parenting?

Preaching and oratory: real-time responsiveness or a really good scam to score with the ladies and make some easy cash?

Martin Luther King, Jr., improvising the immortal conclusion to his "I Have a Dream" speech or stealing it from someone else like he did with much of his work?

You make the call.

Also from Sailer: "A second advantage that black men enjoy over white men -- in manly charisma...(Sailer has mistaken an adolescent infatuation with hitting on women as "manly charisma". Most women I know refer to it as "typically obnoxious black male behavior.")...can be deduced by first returning to that knotty question of why do so many people think blacks are the best athletes."

Well we don't here at Caste Football; but Sailer is referring to the media-trained masses that don't agree with him on much of anything but this.

This is a small sample of Sailer's writing on race and sports, mostly points with which with we disagree. Some of it is worthwhile and a valuable part of the discussion. Part II will cover more.


Mr. Cash writes for Caste Football.

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