The world of sports and the presidency of Donald Trump have collided in yet another example of modern racial divisiveness. I have long held that the VAST majority of Americans are not racists and get along very well in all walks of life. From time to time I feel obligated to quote from the manuscript of a book I am just competing as a backdrop to opining on the most current racially charged event. To wit:
“If we take a fresh look at America, we might just discover that we are not a nation of racists after all, but rather the victims of racial baiting by politicians and the mainstream media. We should keep in mind that billions of times every day … yes, billions … black and white Americans smile and nod to each other as we pass on the streets. We serve each other in restaurants and stores. We work side-by-side in factories and offices. We do favors for each other. We come to each other’s aid. We cheer alongside each other on both sides of every sports arena. We play on the same teams. We chat on social media. We die alongside each other in battle. We become lifelong friends. We adopt each other. We fall in love and marry each other. We laugh together at the same movies and we weep together at shared tragedies.”
Despite my generally positive view of the American people – of all backgrounds — I do recognize a disturbing growing tension being promoted in the name of identity politics with a subtext of political race-baiting. The cause is easily identified. As a political strategy, the Democratic Party is working overtime to convince the black community that Republicans and white folks are racists and that they are the victims of society-wide oppression. In fact, examples of racial hostility pale compared to the overwhelming examples of racial harmony – but that is not the narrative Democrats so callously proffer.
The Democrats’ toxic racial strategy promotes highly publicized examples of divisiveness – as well as the interpreting of benign events as racially charged. Even if racist incidents are miniscule in number and are not representative of the general population as seen in everyday life, they do garner undeserved publicity – which, in turn, convinces folks that the extremist view of racism in America is the norm.
The Democrats false, but pervasive, narratives of pandemic racism – as a divide-to-conquer political strategy — has imposed racism into virtually every aspect of American life. The most recent example comes from Bean City, U.S.A. – Boston. Sadly, it involves a feature of American life that was once –and should be – a respite from the serious issues of the day. Of course, I am referring to sports.
Sports are entertainment. It is composed of games. It is America’s pastime – something we enjoy apart from our more serious concerns of the day. Not so anymore.
The latest manifestation of the everything-is-about-race mentality has to do with the tradition of inviting championship teams to the White House for an Oval Office celebration. These have always been among the least political occasions at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
Following tradition, President Trump invited the 2018 World Series winning Boston Red Sox to the White House – along with the coaching staff. The invitation had nothing to do with politics or race. It could have been an example to the nation that there are a lot of things we can share without tiptoeing into the murky waters of politics.
Unfortunately, half the team decided to snub the President. They decided that politics was more important than this nonpartisan occasion. More important than recognition for winning the World Series. More important than the sport of baseball. More important than the young people who love the sport. This had to be yet another occasion when individuals decided to let their political prejudices take dominance over the purpose of the White House gathering.
At last count, all the black members of the team have rejected the invitation and all the white members are going to attend. Coach Alex Cora, of Puerto Rico, will also demur – assumedly over the alleged treatment of his island home by the Trump administration.
This is the kind of shabby action that has resulted from the #NeverTrump Resistance Movement. Nothing related to Trump can be acceptable – nothing. It is a result of a racist policy that has dishonestly pitted all people of color (which includes Hispanics, Asians and anyone with a skin tone darker than a California beach bum) against white America – especially white males with those “toxic genes.”
MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough was saddened to see the Red Sox protest break so starkly on racial lines. He wished that at least one of the white players would have joined in the protest to make it more bipartisan. Of course, Joe could have conversely wished that at least one of the black players would have decided to attend the White House ceremony. I suspect that Scarborough would have liked to have had ALL the white players refuse to attend. Ya think?
If they want to have sports be for everyone, then they should respect everyone by not using a social occasion to express political views. The black players who have decided to stay home may believe that their insult is surgically directed at Trump, but, in fact, they are insulting those millions of Americans who are not part of the Resistance Movement. They are corrupting the sport, itself. And they are wrong if they believe that their action draws positive attention to racial issues or wins over new supporters for a civil rights agenda. Au contraire.
They have unnecessarily offended many fair-minded people and further widened the racial divide. They have set back the cause of civil rights by aggravating and misrepresenting the issue.
Red Sox officials assured the country that the difference in viewpoint did not create tension in the locker room. Each side respected the decision of the other. While that sounds like an obligatory public relationship statement, I am dubious. I cannot help but believe that the black players are not disappointed to see their white teammates reject their protest. And I cannot help but believe that the white players do not harbor some resentment for creating a sidebar controversy that diminishes both the event and the team’s achievement.
We have seen the same twisted thinking with the presentation of the Medal of Freedom to a man of color, golfer Tiger Woods – indisputably the greatest living golfer and one of the greatest of all time. But because the medal was presented by Trump, many Democrats and black leaders were appalled. There was chagrin that Woods did not reject the honor. It was the old traitor-to-his-race mentality.
Woods was as worthy of the honor as any past recipient – and more so than some. Had the honor been bestowed by President Obama, the same said critics would have cheered both Obama and Woods for respectively bestowing and accepting of the honor.
It has been more than two years since Trump was elected President of the United States, and yet the hostility to that reality emanating from the left has continued unabated. In fact, it may be getting worse.
I have spent a lifetime in support of civil rights and economic opportunities for minorities – especially the oppressed by long-empowered Democrat political machines in our great urban centers. But I do not admire the politicization of everything. If the black players wanted to make a positive statement about the sport of baseball and the country that invited it, they would be heading to the White House.
So, there ‘tis.