There are reams of social science on what "discrimination" is. How is it formed? What level of bias rises to the level of "discrimination"? These questions and more abound. We see these questions regarding the hiring of Charley Strong, the first black head football coach at the University of Texas. UT is famous or infamous for having had the last all-white football team win the national championship in 1969. UT was not last member of the old Southwest Conference to recruit black players, but it was far from the first.
There has been some criticism about Red McCombs because he suggested that Charley Strong would do better as a coordinator or a position coach. In essence, Mr. McCombs was suggesting Coach Strong was not ready to be a CEO and head coach. The criticism acknowledges that racism does not consist merely of use of racial epithets. Racism also includes imposing a higher standard on minority candidates. Buck Harvey, with the San Antonio Express News, supports Mr. McCombs. He reminds readers that red McCombs hired a black head coach for the NBA back in the 1980’s when black head coaches were rare. See Buck harvey’s post.
Sure, but, you know, that is the thing about racism. Racism is rarely obvious and it is always situation dependent. As I have mentioned before, I believe we all suffer from some form of latent racism. Racism, or stereotypes, really, is nothing more than filling in a lack of information with whatever limited experience a person might have. For example, when I was a National Guard and Army Reserve officer, active duty officers reacted to me and my cohorts with stereotypes all the time. To some degree, stereotypes are just human nature. But, those reactions always changed as we worked together on some training event. I wish I had a dollar for every time an active duty counter-part would look at me incredulously when I assured them that yes, my soldiers could accomplish a particular task.
And, as Coach Strong says, any criticism will change as he finds success as the new head coach at UT football.