Now I will grant that race-baiting clowns like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and (locally) Quanell X have done a great job of reducing the credibility of such folks to near zero anyway, but this story tells us that the struggle for equality is really over.
Minnesota Timberwolves fans may notice something different about their team this year. In a league in which American-born black players made up 75 percent of roster spots in 2011, the Timberwolves will have an opening-day roster comprising just 33 percent black players (five out of 15). According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, this year's squad will be the league's whitest since the 1980s Boston Celtics.
Is that a problem?
Some civil rights leaders in Minneapolis think so. Tyrone Terrell, chairman of St. Paul's African American leadership council, told the Star-Tribune that he thinks the unbalanced roster could be seen as a ploy by the ownership to sell the team to a majority-white fan base.
"How did we get a roster that resembles the 1955 Lakers?" Terrell said to the Star-Tribune. "I think everything is a strategy. Nothing happens by happenstance."
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Ron Edwards, a longtime Minneapolis civil rights advocate, told the Star-Tribune that it was "somewhat disturbing" when he saw a game last season in which Wes Johnson was the only black player on the floor for the Timberwolves. The composition of this season's roster has prompted Edwards to react even stronger.
"It raises some real questions to me about what's really intended," Edwards said. "I think, personally, that it was calculated. Is this an attempt to get fans back in the stands? Minnesota, after all, is a pretty white state.''
Edwards added that the Timberwolves' roster decisions are a "nullification of diversity and a reversal of history."
Yeah, it’s Bull Connor with dogs and fire hoses all over again. Next thing you know, people will be thinking they have the right to vote against a failed black president!
But let’s consider this one by the numbers.
The US population is roughly composed of roughly 64% non-Hispanic whites, 12% non-Hispanic blacks, and 16% individuals of Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, with the rest of the population divided between a handful of other groups and individuals of mixed heritage. So tell me, how is the NBA “diverse” when the players are six times as likely to be black as the average American? How are the Minnesota Timberwolves not “diverse” when black players are nearly three times as common as blacks in the general population?
In any other field, such failure of the workforce to conform to the percentages of different groups in the general population would be seen as prima facie evidence of racial discrimination. Doesn’t the over-representation of African-Americans signal the need for an affirmative action program – indeed, a quota system – designed to get more members of under-represented groups onto the court at the highest level of the NBA? After all, we need NBA teams that look like America!
Unless, of course, we’re going to have NBA teams where the players are chosen based upon merit. But in that case, race-baiters like Tyrone Terrell and Ron Edwards really need to shut up, lest we apply merit to hiring in other industries and to college admissions.