11 April, 2011


Sauce, goose and gander department, Report No 94

On BBC Radio 4 just now there was a programme investigating the feasibility of a sub two-hour (men's) marathon. The current record is 2:03:59 set by Haile Gebrselassie at Berlin in 2008.

The narrator makes the following assertion:
"[Ethiopia] is a country which has long-distance running in its DNA."
and the programme rapidly settles down to the assumption that if this holy grail is indeed to be reached, it will be done by an East African, almost certainly an Ethiope. It is clear from the context that the DNA reference is meant literally rather than figuratively.

This, I repeat, is the BBC. And if the BBC thinks it's perfectly OK to acknowledge (a) the existence of different "races", and (b) that these various "races" might be different in their capabilities, so that for example East Africans are acknowledged to excel at long-distance running and West Africans excel at sprinting, does that apply in other fields, like, er, Europeans and East Asians and intelligence?

Just asking.

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