Sunday, April 15, 2007

A Day For Progressives To Be Proud

Whether or not you are a sports fan, everyone who cares about where we have gone, and will go as a nation must stop for a moment today and celebrate. Today marks 60 years since Jackie Robinson broke the color line in baseball.

It is all the more remarkable in light of the Imus brouhaha this week. Clearly, progress is incremental. And to those who say this should not viwed through a political lense, I say: WRONG.

The very same voices of "celebration" today, the right-wing, mod-squad of morons who like Rush Limbaugh and his pill bottle spew racist insult after racist insult--before and after downing half a kilo--would have stood up to oppose Jackie Robinson's introduction into baseball in 1947. They would have called it unnatural or decried the role of government in pushing for this (see Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia of New York, a real progressive Republican).

In fact, one year later, when President Harry Truman embraced civil rights in the Democratic 1948 platform, Strom Thurmond bolted the party to run as a Dixiecrat. He eventually (1964) became a Republican, and today these very backward-ass, resentment whores make up the core of the GOP. These same kinds of people oppose the ERA, gay rights, any affirmative action and a variety of other methods to bring us to the point where we are a society that truly is equal.

So take a moment to remember Jackie and what a wonderful man he was. And then remember that this is what you're fighting for.

** Picture courtesy of ESPN


At 1:38 PM, Blogger Paddy said...


At 2:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glenn Sacks had two interesting posts about the integration of baseball.


The OTHER Drive to Integrate Baseball (Part II)

Though Flood’s challenge to the reserve clause is interesting, perhaps the most fascinating part of the book is its description of what one might call “The Other Drive to Integrate Baseball.” Jackie Robinson integrated major league baseball in 1947, and while things certainly were rough, within a few years there were dozens of blacks playing in the major leagues, and overt racism dissipated. There were also some very honorable stands–some big, some small–made by some high profile figures to help Robinson and to dissipate the hostility.

Not to get all religious on you, but this morning I took my daughters to Hebrew School and their homework was to discuss this quote from Rabbi Hillel: If I am not for myself, then who will be for me? And if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?

I think Sacks' discussion of Jackie Robinson and the stands taken by others fit into that theme very nicely.

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