Saturday, September 3, 2011

"the condition"

Just a little political spit-balling from the cheap seats. . .

. . .and, for the sake of this observation, the operative words are " first" and "black"

When Branch Rickey signed Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, making Robinson the "first black" ball player to play in the modern era Major Leagues, he understood it wasn't going to be the most popular management decision he ever made.

Both he and Robinson knew that however good Jackie Robinson preformed on the field (and he was really, really good) they both were stepping into a steaming heap of bigoted abuse. So there was "the condition"; Robinson had to agree to just take all the disrespect that would come his way on the chin, without comment or retaliation.
The last thing either he or Rickey wanted, was to fuel the fear driven fires of white bigotry with the image of an angry black man and cloud their vision of the bigger picture.

For 10 seasons Jackie Robinson just played the game (a career total of 1382 games) and no matter what anybody said or did, on or off the field, he never said a word.

He played in six consecutive All-Star Games, six World Series and when he walked away from the game, his lifetime batting average was .311 with 137 home runs, 734 RBIs and 197
stolen bases.
He was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in 1962 and his uniform number, 42, was retired across all major league teams, (a high honor in MLB). After he died in 1972, Jackie Robinson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.

But for all that success and accomplishment, Jackie Robinson did something so outstanding that the rest pales by comparison. He opened the door to ball players of color and by staying true to "the condition", when he left the game, that door stayed open. Without Jackie Robinson there would be no Roy Campanella, or Willie Mays, no Elston Howard, Reggie Jackson, Rafael Soriano or even Derek Jeter, who was born of a black father and a white mother.

And there's my clever segue to our current President. . .

In June, 2008 as the Democratic primaries were winding down, Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton, the last two Democratic contenders, attended the 56th Bilderberg meeting at the Westfields Marriott in Chantilly, Virginia.
When the meeting was over, so were the primaries.
Barak was offered the Presidency and Hillary was placated with the office of Secretary of State and a future seat
on the IMF.

The powers that really rule the world had made their executive decision. (McCain never really had a prayer, he was just next-up on the Republican roster).
But maybe, just maybe, the Bilderbergs understood the
"first black"
President of the United States wasn't going to be the most popular management decision they ever made; and maybe, just maybe, they knew they'd be stepping into a steaming heap of bigoted abuse and so, there was
"the condition"; Obama had to agree to just take all the disrespect that would come his way on the chin, without comment or retaliation.
After all, the last thing he or the Bilderburgs wanted, was to fuel the fear driven fires of white bigotry with the image of an angry black man and cloud their vision of the bigger picture.

In the three years since his election, from time to time, I've been as frustrated with how the guy rolls over for the obstructionist, predominately old white guy, Congress he's been saddled with as anyone else. (Like, when's he gonna grow a pair, start kickin' ass and taking some names?)

The dude signs an "Affordable Healthcare Act" and a "Recovery & Reinvestment Act", repeals "Don't Ask, Don't Tell", sees to the killing of Bin Laden, puts more boots on the ground in one worthless war and takes them off the ground in another, he doesn't invade Libya, he turns 50 and takes a vacation with his family and now he can't even get a
speech scheduled. . .
No matter what Obama does, the obstructionist Republican House only gives him sh*t; and still, the guy never says an overly aggressive word.

It was during the "debt ceiling" mayhem that I started thinking back to Jackie Robinson.
He was the "first black" ball player in the modern era Major Leagues but, he wasn't the last.
Barak is our "first black" President but, there are a lot of other politicians and legislators of color out there on the horizon. Despite anything else, Obama's outstanding achievement is,
he opened the door; and maybe, just maybe, by staying true to "the condition" (whether it costs him a second term or not), that door will stay open and he won't be our last.


Sir Peter Anderson said...

My Theory of Obama
Along about 2006, a small group of the people who actually run the world (Bilderbergers?) were sitting around in the library after dinner. Burled oak walls, coffered ceilings, a fireplace the size of the average dining room, ancient glove leather club chairs, and even, more ancient brandies in hand…
They were discussing the next President of the United
“I think we’ve pretty much worn out the ‘cowboy thing’”, says one.
They all agree, but what’s next?
As they ponder, a voice from the back of the room says,
“Well, there’s this Negro land from Chicago…”.
As they warm to this amazing idea, the thought occurs…
“After the Negro lad they’ll be ready for anything!”
And so, Barack Hussein Obama became the President of the United States, and NOTHING CHANGED!!!
Sir Peter Anderson

dick said...

Hey OWEbama don't let the door hit ya on the way out!.......1-20-13. It'll be alooooooooong time for the next door to be sure.

Arthur Winstanley said...

It's sometimes surprising what you can learn about people you thought you knew.

These comments by Peter (who I'm willing to excuse because he's an older, set in his ways guy) and Dick (who's name now seems more appropriate than ever) have, in this instance, been educational.
But, as always, small minded-ness misses the point.

I've attached herewith a few comments I received via regular e-mail about this post. I trust their authors won't mind my sharing them. . .

"Dear Arthur, Bravo!  I love you." - Johanne

"This was a great piece!" - Donna

"Thanks, one of your best offerings ever! Well written." - Marty

"Good work, Art." - Rhonda