Friday, April 23, 2010

Please, seriously, stop crying about immigration laws...

Honestly, over the last few years, with all the protests and the rallies and the garbage I have had to hear on the issue of illegal immigration (because that's the real issue), I thought I had just about enough of it all. I felt immune to it all now, as if I had been somehow inoculated against the stupidity. I didn't think I could possibly get more pissed off at the issue. And then today, President Obama, in response to Arizona's new immigration enforcement bill, opens his big mouth and echoes the idiotic rhetoric I was so tired of hearing. STOP IT! PLEASE! I BEG YOU TO STOP IT!

Here's what's on my mind...

1) America has the right to, you know, require people to actually enter the country legally. I know, I know, it sounds like a crazy concept, but it's true. Please, by all means, try to enter other countries illegally and then live and work there. Let me know how it goes. The reality is, the federal government has dragged its feet on the issue for way too long. So, I certainly don't blame Arizona for doing something about it. In fact, I commend them for doing so. Good for you. Hopefully, other states will follow suit.

2) If you, either as an immigrant or defender (legally, spiritually, whatever) of immigrant rights, honestly believe that America is so damn corrupt, why are you here? Why? All I keep hearing is that laws like these will somehow now fire up witch hunts or something, and we'll be just beating Hispanics in the streets. What freaking world are you living in? Seriously? Again, if you really believe that, why are you? Get I know I would if I believed some nonsense. Fortunately, I'm not insane.

3) This is an offshoot of my second thought, but this mini-rant deserves its own number. Please stop making this issue about "immigrants." No one is "attacking" all immigrants. This is about illegal immigrants. Stop trying to meld the two issues together, so that you can garner sympathy.

4) Obama should be absolutely ashamed of himself for coming out so quickly and denouncing the law, especially when his administration has dragged its feet on the issue just as much as the previous one. Of course, he isn't ashamed of any of the other crap he pulls, so it's not like I should expect him to suddenly grow a conscience

Friday, April 16, 2010

I don't see the color crisis in baseball...

So, it’s no surprise that Jackie Robinson Day once again dredged up the rumblings about the African-American presence in Major League Baseball. And I’ll admit that the stats definitely don’t lie. In 1995, African-Americans made up 17% of MLB rosters. Today, the number is somewhere around 10%. That’s a pretty big drop in 15 years, especially considering it was even lower a few years ago. But as any real baseball fan knows, stats don’t always tell the whole story.

Of course, it did not take this latest anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the baseball color barrier to bring this issue back into the limelight. Last month, Torii Hunter had plenty to say on the subject, much of which is the same stuff he and other African-American players have been saying for awhile. But one of his statements certainly stirred up some minor controversy. He told USA Today, “It’s like, ‘Why should I get this kid from the South Side of Chicago and have Scott Boras represent him and pay him $5 million when you can get a Dominican guy for a bag of chips?’ . . . I’m telling you, it’s sad.”

Now, as offensive as Hunter’s statement may be to some, it does actually have within it a nugget of enlightenment. The massive influx of Latin (and then followed by Asian) ballplayers certainly has helped to diminish the number of black players…and white players…and all colors in-between. It’s not like this has affected only African-Americans. It’s across the board.

The reality is, this is the year 2010. A man named Barack Obama is the American President. There will always be prejudices in the hearts of men, because it’s just a natural response to that which is different. But grand institutional bigotry is a thing of the past. The owners of professional sports franchises only care about getting the best players they can within their budget constraints. That’s it. They don’t care what color they are or where they are from.

Thus, even though African-Americans only make up about 10% of the MLB players today, I think it’s quite unfair for certain commentators to make the claim that the legacy of Jackie Robinson is somehow getting lost. If anything, his legacy, as well as the appreciation of baseball’s history in general, is stronger than ever thanks to the game’s global presence.