10 August 2012
I thought the eugenics item before the Usain Bolt race was inappropriate, crass, badly timed, and questionable it its message. Out of all of the sports in the Olympics where white people do well, the one that black people excel in, was analysed from a race perspective in the minutes before the race began. Families with young people all over Britain (and globally) were watching, and I have to question why the BBC editors felt that was an appropriate time to show such an item. As a full length documentary would have been fine, and given the suitable length to cover such a thorny topic. With so many young people watching television of African Caribbean heritage, to be shown an item which suggests their achievements were the result of slavery, and not their own achievements, was disturbing. Black children are having a really difficult time in education and motivations to excel in a challenging cultural environment, and for the BBC to send a dubious suggesting achievements are primarily nature not nurture, undermines those if us working hard to show black children that they are more than a product of slavery and Empire, and that they have their own self worth and agency. Breaking out of stereotypes for black people is hard. Now at school, fast black runners will be accused of being a product of slavery. One of the few open gates for black children has now become stigmatised. This has been an amazing Olympics for the BBC, but this issue is deeply troubling and disappointing.
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Sent to the BBC via their complaints page – http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/#anchor
FOR CLARITY FOR FUTURE DEBATE!
I am not saying to discuss such a topic was racist in itself, but the timing and context to show such an item was inappropriate for such a sensitive issue, and as such it could encourage a crass form of racism and stigmatization as a result. Also though bear in mind this comment on Twitter, which is also highly relevant:
This nature/nurture argument is pissing me off! When Black athletes win its down to their genes. When White athletes win its hard work! KMT!