It was later discovered that soccer and hockey professionals tend to be born right after the cutoff date for junior-league play so that they go through their childhoods as among the oldest players in their leagues. This helps them qualify for travel teams and more intensive coaching, which help their chances of making the pros.

But in Flynn’s defense, even in basketball it seems as if differences in nature have led to differences in nurture over time. Blacks have gotten significantly better at basketball over my lifetime. How? By listening to their coaches and working harder at it.

For example, back in the 1970s, blacks were clearly better on average on the offensive side of basketball. But many whites believed, with some reason, that white players tended to be stronger on defense. For example, in 1977 and 1978, the first two seasons after the merger of the NBA and the ABA, the NBA’s All-Defensive first team consisted of three white players”€”Bill Walton, Bobby Jones, and Don Buse“€”and only two blacks. Walton, when uninjured, was an all-time great, but Jones and Buse were the kind of white defensive specialists who were common forty years ago but are rare now.

It was not that blacks lacked natural ability to play defense, but in the 1970s they didn”€™t always try. The kind of feckless matador defense that only bearded offensive superstar James Harden can get away with these days was common back then.

Four decades later, however, a white player hasn”€™t been first-team All-Defensive since Andrei Kirilenko eleven years ago.

What happened? My (admittedly unscientific) impression is that playing defense became fashionable among African-Americans with the rise of Patrick Ewing’s Georgetown U. teams. Coach John Thompson gave his defense-oriented squads a black nationalist vibe, and since then black players have taken pride in tough defense as a Black Thing.

In 1977’s NBA, fifteen blacks and eleven whites were named to the All-Star Game. This year, only three out of 25 All-Stars were white.

So blacks have gotten better at basketball by exerting themselves. Could they also do better at their studies and their nonglamorous careers by trying harder? Quite possibly.

On the other hand, blacks will have to want to hit the books rather than to put so much effort into basketball and rap.

It’s common for white intellectuals to view blacks as being without agency, merely pitiful victims of white privilege. In reality, however, American blacks are immensely proud of their world-conquering pop culture. But to get them to strive harder at white- and Asian-dominated fields, somebody would have to shame African-Americans the way Coach Thompson shamed his players who didn”€™t give 100 percent on defense. But shaming blacks for not acting white is not something that a prudent man volunteers for these days.

Similarly, there is much evidence that African-Americans thrive most not in liberal institutions, such as the hippie college Evergreen State, currently undergoing convulsions by students wanting excuses for not taking their finals, but in conservative ones, such as the U.S. Army. That’s why the most admired charter-school chain in the country for helping inner-city blacks is the back-to-basics boot-camp-like KIPP.

Similarly, the public-school district with the biggest white-black gap in the country is perhaps the most notoriously leftist one, Berkeley, Calif. In contrast, the school district with the highest black and Hispanic test scores in America is highly Republican Frisco, Tex., where the Dallas Cowboys are headquartered.

In other words, not increased welfare but personal responsibility and self-discipline would appear to offer blacks their best hope.

How Middlebury antifa ski bums trying to punch Charles Murray encourages blacks to behave more diligently is unclear, to say the least.



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