My former accordion teacher (Contino's cousin) a top notch Jazz organist/accordionist once said about Black musicians; they are either good or bad, nothing in between.
You should have taken that opportunity to tell him what a ridiculous statement that is. That is precisely how stereotypes are born. When it comes to music (and most things), Blacks are no different from any other group; there are good musicians, bad musicians and a whole lot in between. Perpetuating these myths serves no good purpose and only causes people to see groups other than their own in a different (and usually negative) light. I've heard the same kind of drivel (right here on THIS board) about Black athletes; that their success is the result of God-given talent', as though they just 'showed up' one day, fresh from the ghetto, donned a NFL jersey and ran for 200 yards. One does not become a world-class athlete without thousands of hours of work and tremendous personal sacrifice in order to hone their craft. This is true no matter the color of the athlete.
The problem with statements like that is that, in most cases, they sound innocent to the person saying (or repeating) them. Some even think they're complimentary. THEY'RE NOT. It's the bedrock that bigotry and prejudice is built upon. It's how we subtly brainwash our children and pass on these beliefs from generation to generation. I think it's way past time for it to stop.
Torch, I'm sure you didn't mean anything mean or malicious by referencing your teacher's comment....but that's PRECISELY my point. It's like the current political climate where we've learned to 'normalize' rude behavior, name-calling, and all the things we used to abhor. I'm not SUPER-sensitive but felt compelled to speak up here (for all the reasons I listed). I really hope you don't take this as a personal attack because it's not. I'm just trying to bring awareness to a situation that affects me personally.