RACE AND HEAT

Cubs manager Dusty Baker has made some rather controversial remarks on the subject:

It’s easier for most Latin guys and it’s easier for most minority people because most of us come from heat. You don’t find too many brothers in New Hampshire and Maine and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Right?” he said with a chuckle.

“We were brought over here for the heat, right? Isn’t that history? Weren’t we brought over because we could take the heat?”

“Your skin color is more conducive to heat than it is to the lighter-skinned people. I don’t see brothers running around burnt,” Baker said before the Cubs beat St. Louis at Wrigley. “That’s a fact. I’m not making this up. I’m not seeing some brothers walking around with some white stuff on their ears and noses.”

Baker, who is black, is probably right but this is almost exactly the kind of thing that got Jimmy the Greek and Al Campanis, both of whom were white, fired. People really need to lighten up (no pun intended) on this kind of thing.

Update: David Pinto sees it differently, as do some journalists he links. Indeed, one argues blacks suffer more in the heat than whites. Interesting. I’d like to see the studies. It may be a case of conventional wisdom being wrong. I do recall being taught in school that one of the reasons African slaves were imported was that American Indians and European indentured servants were less able to withstand withering heat. And it is rather intuitive from an evolutionary perspective that those who have spent thousands of years adapting to the desert climate are more heat-resistant than those from the Alps. Plus, anecdotally, I got something of a sunburn over the long weekend from sitting too long at the pool.

FILED UNDER: Race and Politics, Sports
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.