The Filibuster

holy+cow.jpgA few weeks ago Milton Bradley very publicly decried the racist
comments hurled at him from the bleachers at Wrigley.  But since he
wouldn’t give specifics the press has been having a field day, claiming
he’s making it all up.  It blows my mind how blind they are.  I’m no
fan of Milton’s, but you can’t walk through Wrigleyville without seeing
someone in a “Pujols Mows My Lawn” shirt, or those famous “Horry Kow!”
Fukudome shirts.  I think in this case he’s absolutely right, and the
press would rather continue to crap all over the guy than grudgingly
admit that he has a point.

Ted
Chicago, IL

____________________________________

As much as soccer is the world’s game, baseball is still America’s game. And as games and culture tend to do, it reflects much about a nation’s character. If you watch soccer you know that the Germans play a very methodical game much like the methodical German people. Same goes for the “beautiful game” played by the Brazilians.

But what does this recent statement from Milton Bradley say about the state of our nation? Well, if you paid attention at all during the Presidential race last year, you know that Ted and Milton definitely have a point.

The state of race relations in this country has not come all that far since the times of the king of the racists, Ty Cobb, or Jackie Robinson’s first foray across the color lines. We may pretty it up these days with Rainbow coalitions and politically correct buzz-words but the fact of the matter is, there has never been an actual, frank discussion about race in this country despite what we’d like to lead ourselves to believe. As much as it pains me to say it, Cubs’ fans are not the problem. They’re nothing more than a symptom of the problem.

It’s not exactly the same thing but this reminds me of being in Wrigleyville a couple years ago late at night. I was walking with a few guys and there had definitely been some drinking going on. As we walked to find a cab, some thin young guy came hurrying down the street toward us and one of the guys in the group jumped at him and then started harassing him, calling him “f@g” this and “f@g” that. This poor guy was scared sh!tless and the rest of us were too stunned to even say anything. Finally someone pulled the guy from our group away and he looked around at us like it was the funniest thing ever. As the guy who had been getting harassed walked away as quickly as possible, the rest of us just stared at this d0uchebag standing there obliviously with a huge grin on his face, all of us still shocked at what had happened.

And again, it’s symptomatic. Racism and homophobia come from the same place and the fact that neither one has ever been dealt with directly in this country means that it will continue to go on. Whether or not someone said what Milton says he heard is not the point. The fact that we really shouldn’t be surprised that it happened is.

-A

13 Comments

Sad but so true, Allen. I think I mentioned on this blog that I went to a game at Comerica and heard the most vile things spewed at a Mariners fan by a bunch of morons. It happens everywhere. I’d love to think we’re making progress, but I doubt it.

- http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Have we made as much progress as we should? No. Have we made progress? Yes. Jane is very wrong to think that we are not making progress. Boston – to many people is a racist city – our baseball team was one of the last to have a “player of color” but our basketball team started an “all black line” because to Red all that mattered was that you could play the team. And I’ve lived though the days of people calling my Celtics racists – being too white when Larry Bird played – did they miss Parrish and Maxwell? There is enough blame to go around on both sides. Let me ask you – did you take your friend to task for harassing that young man? That is when change will take place – when we stand up to friends and strange and say no. I have. I could not be a good mother to my boys if I allowed them to see people being harassed and I did nothing to try and stop it. That is also the reason you will never see or hear me cursing and swearing at players. It is just plain rude and not right. We really do lead by example – people don’t always like it when I ask them to “watch their mouths” but it won’t stop me from doing it. If more of us did that – speak politely and to ask others to do so – then the world would be a much better place. It is easy to sit back and wring our hands and say “all is wrong” – it is hard to do something about it. Maybe we bloggers can all take a pledge to not swear at players and to treat other teams as we want ours to be treated. I’ve said it many of times on my blog – “There is no room for hate” on Julia’s Rants. Can all of the bloggers here say that?

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Talk about smacking the nail on the head… you did. Spot on. I’ve been to Wrigley. Chicago people are not shy and they don’t give a damn if you’re on their team or not. The fact is that Milton hasn’t done much to endear himself at any stop during his career. Sad to say.. I’m very happy the Dodgers unloaded his baggage and ended up with a completely different fellow in his stead.. Andre. They couldn’t be any further apart on the spectrum of character.

But, as you stated, we “think” we’re moving forward. We’re not. The Human Race is rife with problems that may never be cured… only endured.

Buz – http://buzblog.mlblogs.com/

You are absolutely right, Allen, we haven’t come as far as we like to think when it comes to race relations. Oh sure, maybe we elected our first non-White president, but look at all the people who hate him just because he isn’t white. I know a lot of lifelong Democrats who switched parties simply because they refused to vote for a black man. I doubt very much that Obama’s enemies would be spewing all this garbage about him being a foreigner and a Muslim if he were a white man with a name like John Smith. Obviously, I don’t think his critics are all racist, certainly there are a lot of valid concerns about some of his policies. But there is a lot of anger and distrust leveled at him simply because of the color of his skin.
-Erin
http://plunking-gomez.blogspot.com

Not exactly the subject I think I would want to cover in a post… but since it’s out there, I dont think it matters what color, race, nationality, sex, sexual orientation, religious beliefs, political party, age or supporter of whatever, you are going to come across someone, somewhere who is going to show intent towards discrimination, the volume of it or intensity of it may vary, but the hurt applied to the reciever has a similar result. Some discriminations are, as we all know illegal, some however are an accepted part of our life and are not even seen as discrimination, never the less discrimination of any sort is without question wrong. My question would be why are some seen as a detrement to society and yet a large number aren’t….? as for the incident described in the post, just because he’s black and in Chicago doesn’t automatically make what he said the truth….facts make the truth and without all of them the discision of right or wrong can not be made…assumption is the mother of all…….
~peter
Outside the Phillies Looking In
http://devilabrit.mlblogs.com

Racism shouldn’t be tolerated and the people or person who said whatever was wrong. Do we know if he is telling the truth? No. And Milton isn’t a guy who i would trust or believe. I do think we have made strides or Barack wouldn’t of been elected. Some overdo it with race. ( being racist or accusing people of being racist because they don’t their way.) It’s very sad.
http://ClevelandBaseball.mlblogs.com/

“The state of race relations in this country has not come all that far since the times of the king of the racists, Ty Cobb, or Jackie Robinson’s first foray across the color lines. ”

Allen, while I’m sure you are a fairly intelligent **** sapien, the above statement demonstrates that even you are capable of suspending said intelligence and devolving into **** moronicous.

Do race problems still exist? Of course. But do you really think the likes of Ty Cobb would survive one day in the today’s majors without getting pummeled like Robin Ventura in a Nolan Ryan headlock?

Yes, we are quite a ways from race relation nirvana, but to say race relations haven’t come “all that far” is ludicrous exaggeration and pretty damn insulting to all who have fought to get us where we are today.

And another thing, you….

Sorry, I need to run to Staples…just ran out of Righteous Indignation(tm).
;^)
–Jonestein

Oh… burn! Al is down for the count from that Jonestein left hook.
–Jeff

so does Al always post and then hide???never a rebutle in the comments part…
~peter
Outside the Phillies Looking In
http://devilabrit.mlblogs.com

Al is WEAK. He is afraid to converse with his commentors. Very, very afraid! Since we started in February ’08, I can count on one hand how many times he’s commented back to his readers. BOO!!!!!!!!!
–Jeff

In general I prefer not to respond in the comments. If there’s a valid point made, it’s fodder for another entry. However, I will say this in response to Jonestein. I stand by my assertion that race relations have not come very far since Jackie Robinson or Ty Cobb. Merely driving racism underground instead of confronting it head on is not progress. It’s avoiding the problem. It’s putting a band aid on a gushing jugular. If race relations really have advanced then how did both Strom Thurmond and Jesse Helms haves seats in the Congress up until a few years ago?

-A

Allen – Again, I’m not arguing that we don’t have a ways to go in race relations, we certainly do, and likely will in our lifetimes. But saying we haven’t come that far since the time of Cobb & JR is, again, ludicrous exaggeration.

Let’s take your strawman Thurmond/Helms argument, which attempts to indict an entire nation based on two politically backwards-a$s states – How many states do think Thurmond/Strom could get elected in from 1905 to 1956 (beginning of Cobb’s career to the end of Robinson’s)? Certainly more than two. How about present day, excluding states with names containing “Carolina”? Hardly the same number as in the 1905-1956 bracket. Those two relics would be laughed off the political stage, even in my home state of Texas, which isn’t exactly a bastion of progressive thought.

This utopian scale of measurement you use for race relations is certainly desirable, but hardly accurate. Racism, along with religion, is a mind virus that will take decades to eradicate.

–Jonestein

I agree on the religion tip there, Jonestein. Never thought of Texas as a “bastion of progressive thought” myself but I dig that phrase and will modify it for my own personal needs going by Jeff “The Bast^rd of Progressive Thought” Lung since that’s how I ended up being born anyway.
–Jeff

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