cnev wrote:...it may be more a cultural thing than strictly a race issue.
Culture is learned behavior. Language is a part of culture. No one pops out of the womb speaking French -- or playing blues. Anyone can learn a language, and most people say that music is a language. One might learn it with an accent -- but everyone
has an accent.
There is no cultural obstacle to prevent a white person from learning the blues language. True, we do not have the "advantage" of 700 years of subjugation, generations of malnutrition, centuries of public humiliation, repeated patterns of shattered family structure, unnatural patterns of imprisonment, and so on. This is the basis of a powerful argument in favor of African American superiority in the blues, if anyone cared to make that argument in a rational way. Even so, you can't tell me that any individual black blues superstar is drawing upon that cultural heritage at any given time. When Hooker plays "Boom Boom," he's not thinking, "Wow, 700 years of slavery." When Freddie King plays "Hideaway," he's not thinking, "Man, if Mom had eaten fresh vegetables when she was carrying me, I'd be about 50 points smarter." Music doesn't work that way.
There is no cultural barrier to learning the language of the blues.
To me you can use a similar argument about basketball. Are there white players that play as well as black players sure but the overwhelming majority are black so it's just more than coincidence. So what is that something else and is it the same type of something else that gives a black blues player that little something that whites don't have?
"That little something" is pretty subjective, but the genetic facts are not. At this writing,
geneticists cannot even agree on a genetic foundation for the concept of race, much less a genetic cause of talent for basketball, or blues.
...I do also believe that you can be gentically prediposed to excel at certain things and also predisposed to lack ability at other tasks.
I do not believe we are all capable of umlimited success in anything we do just by putting in the time.
That's a different question from the racial issue -- similar, however, in that there are no genetic answers at this time
. (My spouse is a genetics professional, so I keep on top of the genetic headlines, at least, and racial/talent "genes" tend to be headline-makers.) Science may prove otherwise some day, but so far it hasn't.
You can believe anything you want. I believe Mitt Romney is a unicorn. I believe science will prove that some day, and I will keep on believing that until I am proved wrong. Belief doesn't make it so, however.
"You can't write a chord ugly enough to say what you want to say sometimes, so you have to rely on a giraffe filled with whipped cream." - Frank Zappa