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Barack Obama is Jackie Robinson in 1947

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bluestateguy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:34 AM
Original message
Barack Obama is Jackie Robinson in 1947
When Jackie Robinson was signed to the Dodgers the GM, Branch Rickey, told Robinson that he would be unable to fight back against the inevitable racial slurs and invective that he would be sure to receive on the field. He would just have to put up with it. If he fought back, he would be blamed, no matter what the facts. Rickey initially bound Robinson to this promise for three years.

Barack Obama receives racial invective every week. Some of it is veiled, some of it is not so veiled. But this White House has chosen to either not respond, or if they do, to bypass the racial politics and simply treat the attacks as if they were part of regular every day political rough and tumble. If Obama or his senior White House staff were to call out the racists directly, THEY would be ones accused of playing racial politics, and Obama would be accused of being the scary "angry black man". That is exactly what the racists want. In the meantime, it is up to us and other parties to call out the racists and not allow their hatred to go unanswered. We have to respond, because the White House cannot.

Rickey actually released Robinson from this promise after one season. Perhaps this White House will take on the racists more directly after the next election, if everything works out well.
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soleft Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:36 AM
Response to Original message
1. I've been thinking the same thing
62 years later so much has changed, and so much hasn't.
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:46 PM
Response to Reply #1
20. The fact Obama is President
means there's a lot of change but too much for racists to handle.

Jackie Robinson was a pioneer in his field back in the day and Obama is another in the 21st Century..my hope is that some of these die hard racists will wake up before their poison does them in.
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T Wolf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:36 AM
Response to Original message
2. Many months ago, I posted something similar and was accused of being a racist. Better watch out
for the backlash...
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:37 AM
Response to Original message
3. Robinson experienced shit Prez. Obama can only dream about. In the Army. In baseball. Real estate.
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Bullet1987 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:43 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. The level of vitriol may not be the same...
But the same rules are being applied. How can you say otherwise? This has actually been a common tactic used by certain people against Blacks for a while. They get to say what they want, when they want, and when someone calls them out on it...they're accused of using the race card.
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:09 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. Jackie and Rachel had a hell of a time buying a house in NY. How basic is that?
Ella Fitzgerald couldn't stay at the same hotel as the rest of the band.

Our president has never experienced that shit.

Racism is out there. I saw it up close and personal when I lived in Charleston, SC. It's U-G-L-Y. There is a 'black tax'. Black women pay more for cars, black families can't get as much for their houses when sold, etc. I know those things happen. But our president has been able to hurdle a lot of this hardship when he went Ivy League to Columbia. Good on him. He didn't grow up in the South - I went to two schools in two states that had racial riots or places where there were racial riots. Hawaii, because of the South Asian and military cultures didn't have the same black/white dynamic as you have here in the contiguous 48.

He has certainly caught some shit, but it fades away compared to what Jackie experienced in the army and early baseball. "Baseball's Great Experiment" is a terrific book about this.

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butterfly77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:38 PM
Response to Reply #6
19. And then they pretend to be outraged..
as they always do they accuse you of what THEY are actually doing..
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BeyondGeography Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #3
12. Not really the point
Both had to play the game by a very different set of rules and exercise incredible amounts of self-restraint because of the color of their skin. The fundamental cruelty and dishonesty of this country helped put Robinson in an early grave. Consciously or not, one of the reasons so many of us stand so strongly behind Obama is because we want a better outcome for him.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:43 AM
Response to Reply #3
13. But the point is the first black President would be similar to the first black
anything, including major league baseball player.

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bullwinkle428 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:42 AM
Response to Original message
4. I was thinking the same thing last night, as I was watching Jimmy Carter's comments.
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OneGrassRoot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:42 AM
Response to Original message
5. I'm white and grew up around, and am still surrounded by, proud racists....

These people are proud of being bigots and racists.

I believe it is a much bigger issue than some may believe or want to admit, but there is one aspect of it I'm grappling with now, as my instinct is to always call it out and expose it for what it is.

I've noticed several DUer's say that doing this and bringing attention to racism actually makes life MORE difficult for the black community, as well as Obama.

Jimmy Carter speaking out was mentioned as being a not-so-great thing for the black community nor Obama.

I don't walk in their shoes. I don't know. I absolutely don't want to make life more difficult for anyone, other than the ignorant racists and other "evil-doers" ( ;)) in our midst.

It makes sense that exposing it will eventually lead to healing, or the marginalization of the crazies. But, again, I don't want to make life more difficult for the innocents.

Maybe it's when high-profile people expose it that it's dangerous and we little peeps can still do our part?

I don't know.....I'm at a loss.




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nevergiveup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 08:45 AM
Response to Original message
7. Yep, Obama can't go there yet and
every time he does he drops in approval numbers, the gates fiasco being an example. I am sure Obama cringed when he heard about Carter's comments. He is scheduled for all the talk shows this week-end to push for health care reform and all the questions are going to be about Carter's comments. I suppose there is never a good time to meet this issue head-on and Jimmy Carter certainly spoke the truth but Obama's presidency and many people's health care will rise or fall on whether he gets a good health care bill and we are down to the wire.
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:07 AM
Response to Original message
8. The teabaggers know this, too.
And anyone who suffered through the primaries - right here on the DU.

the race-baiting will continue until it achieves its desired affect.

Rush Limbaugh is dedicating most of his show on how the "liberals" are turning this into a race-issue. He's probably having a field day today about Carter.
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soupkitchen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:29 AM
Response to Original message
10. It's preventing him from framing Health Care as the civil rights issue it is
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 09:30 AM by soupkitchen
He has to talk about the moral issue, but Health Care is much more than a ambiguous moral issue; it's a fundamental civil right in a civilized society.

But I'm sure he feels he has to stay away from using terms like civil rights because in the tiny American mind the term civil rights gets identified with race based issues; although civil rights are actually about the rights and dignity of all human being.

Still, I think the Jackie Robinson analogy is apt. I just hope Obama knows how to steal home in a close game.

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krawhitham Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:31 AM
Response to Original message
11. Larry Doby gets no respect
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Captain Hilts Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 09:54 AM
Response to Reply #11
14. He doesn't get enough dap. Absolutely agree. nt
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HopeOverFear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 10:07 AM
Response to Original message
15. Agreed.
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PopSixSquish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:01 PM
Response to Original message
16. More on the Selection of Jackie Robinson vs. Others
Satchel Page and Josh Gibson were much better known in the Negro Leagues at the time. Some even called Josh Gibson "the black Babe Ruth" and although there is disagreement on his baseball stats, he was quite the slugger.

However, both of these athletes were passed over due to concerns about Page's age and Gibson's "mental stability" and the Dodgers signed Jackie Robinson. Page was finally signed at age 42 and Gibson died of an aneurysm at age 36.

Even though I was beyond excited at President Obama's election in November, I knew that he was going to have to be the calmest, most Zen individual ever. It's what I call the "Somebody had to be Jackie" syndrome. Somebody has to be first and take all the good and bad that comes with it as we move forward in this country...



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Doctor_J Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 12:13 PM
Response to Original message
17. Yes and no. Robinson began a torrent of AA players into the big leagues
that started soon after he played. There isn't going to be another black president for awhile
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Cha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-16-09 05:34 PM
Response to Original message
18. Thank you for this bluestate..I
Edited on Wed Sep-16-09 05:35 PM by Cha
missed this. Rec'd.

It's not hurting Obama that he downplays these racist attacks..sometimes in such a combustible atmosphere you have to let the idiots hang themselves, metaphorically speaking, with their own white sheets.
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