Steve Sailer: Obama Is a Genetic Determinist When It Comes to Sports Talent

From Steve Sailer:

On GoTrackTownUSA, 3 time All-American female distance runner Alexi Pappas writes:


By Alexi Pappas / TrackTown USA

EUGENE, Ore. – My family stood together in the small waiting room just outside the Oval Office, nervously smiling like a group of kids waiting their turn at the top of a waterslide. My brother Louis stood at the front of our pack, ready to walk in first – he had spent the past few years working on President Obama’s staff, and this was his last day on the job. The Oval Office door cracked open and laughter spilled out into the waiting room. The family ahead of us walked out, and there he was: the President of the United States, standing just a few feet away.

We shook his hand one by one. Louis introduced me as a professional runner from Eugene, Oregon. The President’s attention then focused directly on me. First, he told me about his visit to Hayward Field during his 2008 campaign. A wonderful place, we agreed. At that moment, Mr. Obama looked me directly in the eye. “You have a gift,” he said. “You were born with a body that was meant to run long distances, more than the average human.”

I was taken aback. Right away I knew what I wanted to say in response … but dare I risk embarrassing my brother and disagree with Mr. Obama? I started by thanking the President, and then I couldn’t help myself – I added that my performance in the sport is actually a result of hard work, motivation and support from my community.

This was not the answer the President wanted to hear.

“No, no,” he said, “Your body is able to flush out lactic acid better than the average person – running is what you were born to do.” Mr. Obama’s energy and tone were so confident and convincing that he could have told me the moon is really made out of cheese and I would have agreed with him. I nodded and thanked him. Besides, our five-minute meeting time was up. I left the Oval Office feeling very honored, but I also couldn’t stop thinking about what the President had said.

The idea that I was meant to run, that I was born with a special ability, felt like it subtracted from my own willpower and motivation to pursue something to the fullest and at the highest level.

A couple of Christmas-shopping seasons ago, the President was seen buying Sports Illustrated reporter David Epstein’s explicitly HBD book The Sports Gene. The Los Angeles Times reported:

But most of Obama’s choices lean more toward pure escapism.

“The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance,” by Sports illustrated writer David Epstein, tries to dispel common myths about what makes athletes great.

Personally, I think that studying sports for patterns that are revealing about humanity in general, such as the roles played by nature and nurture, isn’t pure escapism.


* It’s funny how much more clearly people think about sports than about everything else. Like if someone said that the New England Patriots suffered from a lack of diversity people would laugh at them. But no matter how many accomplishments Silicon Valley has, they still would obviously be better with more blacks and women.

* A couple of years ago the New England Patriots actually conducted a drive with not a single black player on offense. I stuck out like a sore thumb. I wondered when was the last time that happened? Sometime in the sixties, I suspect.

* So has Obama ever suggested that his intelligence derives from his extremely high achieving black father and from his white mother’s highly intellectual family? And has he noted that it is likely significant that his brother is a physicist?

* Sailer: One of Obama’s rare op-eds was in 1994 about The Bell Curve.

My impression is that Obama’s life was turned around by acing the LSAT, which allowed him to apply to the law schools at just Harvard, Yale, and Stanford, with no safety schools. A fellow worked out the math a few years ago and figured that Obama scored at the 94th to 98th percentile on the LSAT, which sounds plausible.

His maternal grandfather’s brother Ralph Waldo Emerson Dunham was a Berkeley Ph.D. who worked for the federal government. My extremely vague impression is that he might have worked on testing and hiring for the feds, but I might be mistaken on that: I found some old academic papers citing work on selecting good employees by “Dunham” but that may have turned out to be a different Dunham.

Obama’s maternal grandmother’s sister was a professor of something like nutrition science, where I think she specialized in quantitative methods in research.

(His maternal grandparents were the less educated black sheep of their respective families.)

* Imagine George W saying to a young black male…..”Son, you were born to play basketball”, which would have been twisted into…”you were bred to play sports.”

* The 95th percentile would put his LSAT score somewhere around 167 and his IQ at around 130, which is plausible.

Obama doesn’t strike me as a quant, though, and he doesn’t seem to be particularly analytical. He seems to have more of a verbal intelligence to me.

* Obama has good verbal intelligence. His big feat is he can repeat what people tell him back to them more cogently than they said it in the first place, which is not easy. I imagine it’s one reason his family thought he’d do well in the diplomatic corps, where it’s very important to be able to accurately grasp and then summarize the messages that Washington and foreign capitals want to communicate with each other.

* Even more impressive, Obama’s mother was admitted to U. of Chicago at age 15. She didn’t accept, but would have been in the company of a lot of distinguished people: Jim Watson, Susan Sontag, Robert Silvers, George Steiner, Paul Samuelson.

* Obama is no genius. His two auto bio books are lame. His academic accomplishments are zero.

Obama is the not the great statesman. But he is a good teleprompter reader. His diplomatic initiatives are crap. His military initiatives are crap.

Obama was saved by the mafia who blackmailed John Roberts and served up two hollow men as campaign opponents, McCain and Romney.

* His fans make the mistake of describing him as some world-historical genius. He isn’t. But he’s not quite a dolt, either. He’s moderately intelligent, and has a number of personality flaws and ideological blind spots that work against his success. He’s low energy, and he doesn’t seem to be able to stay “on” for long stretches of time.

I think Steve has said in the past that Obama would have been a good Dean of Diversity at a moderately sized university. That’s about right, as long as the university campus was safe and Obama didn’t have to deal with misbehaving ghetto yutes. Basically, you don’t want the guy in any position where he’s responsible for outcomes that matter. President of the United States is not a good match for his strengths and weaknesses.

* As persons of non-color, it’s certainly very easy to look at stuff like this and get angry. And there is nothing inherently bad about getting upset with ethnocentric blacks and their white libtoid enablers. The problem comes when we expect a large majority of blacks to adopt our cultural and moral norms, and/or expect masochistic or [like in Rodham’s case] evil leftoids to stop enabling blacks’ worst behavior.

Instead of setting unrealistic expectations, we must learn to emulate the rank tribalism of blacks, at least until we can wrest political power back from them. As much as the compassionate side of me would like to believe that whites and blacks can live peacefully and prosperously together without white supremacy, I see very little evidence that this is the case. The last four years or so have demonstrated beyond any remotely reasonable doubt that the average black and the average white inhabit vastly different moral universes and will for the foreseeable future. We’re about Justice, they’re about Just Us.

* Just wanted to say a big thank you to ESPN for playing that “Same Love” commercial at every station break. If they hadn’t done that, why, I could easily have gone five, ten, or even twenty minutes without thinking what a wonderful thing homosexuality is… and that would be horrible.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (
This entry was posted in Genetics, Sports. Bookmark the permalink.