The “new” South Africa won the gold medal in the men’s 4×100-metre relay in Athens. Ryk Neethling, one of the swimmers, presents this photo on his site, without crediting the source (apparently AP):

Screenshot with window title ‘Ryk Neethling Image Gallery – Mozilla’ shows four smiling blond men wearing laurel wreaths and green-and-yellow South Africa windbreakers. Each holds up a gold medal

I don’t suppose anyone noticed that a country whose population is overwhelmingly black is represented by four blond-haired men? Now, maybe these fellows have brown hair in wintertime or whenever they’re out of the sun for long periods. Nonetheless, they’re blond now. What century is this, let alone decade?

(Of course, a lot of people think blacks are no good at swimming; read Jon Entine’s book for a discussion. But “black” isn’t the only alternative. South Africa is a multiracial society.)

I’m up for some T-shirts we can wear in the stands at swim meets: FOUR NON-BLONDS IN 2008!

The foregoing posting appeared on Joe Clark’s personal Weblog on 2004.08.18 13:23. This presentation was designed for printing and omits components that make sense only onscreen. (If you are seeing this on a screen, then the page stylesheet was not loaded or not loaded properly.) The permanent link is:

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