By John W. Lillpop
Baseball legend Hank Aaron gained fame and fortune with quick, powerful wrists and precise timing which enabled him to react to a baseball hurled at 100 MPH, often crushing the ball out of the park. In 1974, Aaron broke the home run record of Babe Ruth; Aaron’s record has since been supplanted by Barry Bonds with a big assist from steroids.
Regrettably, Aaron took his eye off the ball recently to engage in a bit of race-baiting against Republicans.
The firestorm erupted after 80-year-old Aaron, the senior vice president of the Braves, said in an interview with USA Today that America today is "not that far removed" from the racial intolerance of the mid-20th century.
On the 40th anniversary of his home-run record, he said, "Sure, this country has a black president, but when you look at a black president, President Obama is left with his foot stuck in the mud from all of the Republicans with the way he's treated. The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts."
Referring to current race relations in the country, he added, "We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements. But we still have a long ways to go in the country."
To prove his point, Aaron cited the decrease in U.S.-born black baseball players as evidence of modern-day structural racism.
There are only 67 black players in the major leagues, with three teams not represented by a single African-American player: the San Francisco Giants, Arizona Diamondbacks and St. Louis Cardinals, according to USA Today.”So, Republicans are responsible for the fact that there are only 67 black players in the big leagues, and that the number of blacks has decreased?
And it’s OK to blame the GOP for the fact that the San Francisco Giants, with a long and stories history of employing black superstars such as Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, et al., has no black players on its roster at the present time?
Shame on you, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell!
Just where is black Attorney General, Eric Holder, when you need him? Covering up his complicity in the IRS scandal, or attacking Voter ID laws and other measures taken to prevent voter fraud?
Let Aaron’s cry be a Clarion call to Holder and the US Congress: We must have an investigation to determine why there only 67 black players in baseball!
Let guilty GOP members be perk- walked off the floors of the US House and Senate to send a strong message: Having only 67 black ball players in the big leagues is unacceptable and possibly unconstitutional. These human rights violations may require black president Barack Obama to issue Executive Orders to bring equality and justice to America’s past time!
Perhaps Holder and Barack could also take a cursory look at the National Basketball Association where blacks represent 90 % of the affiliated players? Or would that be racist?