David Rodriguez’s ’06 blog played host to an interesting discussion of issues related to political correctness. As always, WSO — and especially Topher Cyll ’04 —deserves a lot of credit for creating such a powerful system.
However, I would take issue with Rodriguez’s description on the Barnard/VISTA controversy last fall.
Problem is, and I can attest to this, that people on different ends of the spectrum have no idea what their counterparts are talking about. As a specific example, earlier this year coach David Barnard said some unfortunate things about Latinos in a radio address, and VISTA responded swiftly, denouncing any such thought and sending everyone to a frenzy writing this or that: blah blah blah, you were here, you get the point.
Going back to the Coach Barnard example… He argued that there was perhaps a correlation between violence/territorial behavior in baseball and Latinidad. To back up his claims he cited the fact that in the Pedro Martinez et. al. scandal, two of the three that were involved were Latino. Now then, anyone who’s taken intro Stats can undoubtedly tell you that perhaps a larger sample size should be taken to back up the fact that Latinos are indeed “territorial” or what not. In other words, had he gone about this in a more professional way and provided more than one example, perhaps we could have taken him more seriously. As it stands, he made a fairly outrageous claim without justification. Although I honestly didn’t lose any sleep over it, I found it rather inconsiderate and disrespectful.
When people of influence (e.g. Coach Barnard) spew similar types of ignorance making statements as fact, they perpetuate stereotypes that have no place in an intellectual setting without true justification.
It is sad to see Rodriguez repeating many of the same inanities as the VISTA folk last fall. I especially dislike his claim that Barnard was not “professional.” In fact, Barnard was the very picture of professionalism throughout the entire dispute. He made a casual observation (outside of Williams), backed up that observation in writing, and offered to meet in public debate or private discussion with anyone honestly looking to explore the question of the influences of culture on baseball, if any.
It turned out that VISTA, or at least Perez and Smith, were nothing more than shallow, whiny activists with no interest in an honest and open exploration of the topic.
Rodriguez, on the other hand, seems like an intelligent and open-minded Eph. Which aspects of my defense of Barnard, and indictment of Perez and Smith, would he disagree with, I wonder . . .