By 1974 - 27 years after Jackie Robinson had become the first black player in the major leagues - there still had not been a black manager, and this was considered scandalous by some. One black player in particular - Frank Robinson - had it in his mind that he should be baseball's first black manager, and he got his wish when the Cleveland Indians hired him to be their player-manager for the 1975 season.
|Great, great player. Big flop as a manager|
One reporter - it may have been Jim Murray, Roger Angell, George Will....I'm too lazy to dig up the exact article - made the observation that Robinson's hiring didn't really mark any sort of milestone in race relations, and that the real evidence of equality would be when a black manager could be fired without controversy.
Robinson, indeed, turned out to be not much of a manager. Like many players with Hall of Fame talent, he had a hard time relating to the everyday struggles of the mere mortals under his care. He eventually managed four teams over 16 seasons, finishing over .500 only six times, and a 2005 poll of 450 major league players found him regarded as the worst manager in baseball. By the end of his career, any vestige of baseball's institutional racism had vanished, and Robinson and other black managers were able to be fired simply for being bad managers, without anyone noticing their race. Bravo, equality.
Which brings us to the case of Barack Obama. Four years ago, much of America was enamored with the idea of electing a black president. The candidate himself liked to encourage the idea that his election would be something historic, and would help bring about some kind of "post-racial" society. Voters lapped it up, overlooking the fact that he had not even finished one term in the Senate, had no executive experience and was less qualified to be president than any candidate of the past 150 years.
Predictably, he has failed. By any objective standard - unemployment, poverty levels, budget deficit, national debt - the Obama presidency has been one giant step backwards, both for the country, and for the idea of a color-blind society. Both the president and his supporters have fallen back on bogus cries of "racism" whenever he is criticized. Some of the clowns at MSNBC even cried "racism" when the president was criticized for playing too much golf.
(Because, you see, there's a golfer named Tiger Woods, and he's black, and he's had some embarrassing personal moments, and so if you mention that the president plays "golf," you're clearly using racist "code words" because he and Tiger Woods are both black. I wish I was making that up, but that was actually the position of MSNBC buffoon Lawrence O'Donnell. Watch the video here.)
Personally, I've always found the idea of affirmative action and other race-based preference programs offensive, because they are based on the premise that black Americans aren't capable of competing on their own. George W. Bush called it the "soft bigotry of low expectations" and he was exactly right. I don't know how anyone could help but feel humiliated and degraded when Harvard says, "You're not really qualified to attend our school, but we'll let you in anyway because of your skin color." How does that help anyone?
(A friend of mine once said that he would never want to go to a black doctor. Not because of racism, but because he could never be sure if the person had even been qualified to get in to medical school, or had simply been allowed in because of some racial preference program. That's the real, bitter, fruit of the affirmative action scam.)
Four years ago the country said to Barack Obama, "You're not qualified to be president, but we'll give you the job anyway because of your skin color." And we've continued that sort of condescension right through to this week, when any reasonable person would have to agree that if Obama were white, and the economy were in the exact same state it is now, he'd be 10 points behind in the polls.
Which is why we need to send a message Tuesday that says racism is totally over, and that we can now fire a black president with the same enthusiasm with which we hired him. Show the world that we can - as Dr. King dreamed - judge Barack Obama by the content of his character, not the color of his skin. It will be one giant leap for equality and a color-blind society.