Monday, April 17, 2006

Michael holds a basketball ...

One day I went to play basketball with some friends that I worked with. Me and one other guy were the captians so we were responsibe for picking our team mates. I won the coin toss and got to pick first.

The two tallest guys were both 6'6". One was black and one was white and I had never played with either of them. I picked the black guy. And I admit my choice was guided by the sterotype that black guys are good basketball players. In this particular case it turned out that the black guy was fairly uncoordinated and the tall white guy was pretty good and we didn't have anyone that could handle him. It ended up being my job and I actually came home with grapefuit sized bruises on each hip.

Anyway, that black guy didn't fit the sterotype. But my question is, was it racist of me to pick the black guy? Of course not.

Now this past week in the news much adieu has been made about a math instructor at Bellevue community college who put a question on a math test that began with: "Condoleezza holds a watermelon just over the edge of the roof of the 300-foot Federal Building, and tosses it up with a velocity of 20 feet per second."Now apparently there is some sterotype about black people and watermelon that I am unaware of (maybe my TV IQ isn't high enough) and someone was offended by this question and considered it to be racist remark. Kiro discussed the issue on the radio and several people wanted the instructor fired.

I am wondering what is wrong with those people who want the instructor fired. Their vindictiveness easily exceeds the wrong doing (if actually intentional) by this instructor. What has this country come to? Some of us have ansestors that fled Europe to escape religious persecution and now we have to watch out for the political correctness police.

This whole matter should have been between the offended student and the instructor.

In the back of my mind is this idea that I may retire and teach math for fun. If that ever happens, and I feel like I am lacking attention, maybe I will write a math question that begins with: "Michael holds a basketball just over the edge of the roof of the 1,450-foot Sears Tower, and tosses it up with a velocity of 23 feet per second."

One more thing. I really enjoyed that watching Rush Hour starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. Do you know what I mean?