Et tu Hank? In his day, Hammerin’ Hank was a breakthrough character. In the days before it was acceptable to have ‘coloreds’ (as blacks were then referred) as members on athletic teams, Aaron was a pioneer in the sports world and to this day exists as a hero to millions. But unlike what many people may think, he was and still is celebrated not because he’s black, but because he was good.
Had he batted .187, no one would have heard of him. This is the case today in all professional sports, whether it be baseball, basketball, football and even hockey. There are numerous black and Hispanic players ascending to prominence because of their natural abilities. Talent is obvious and is recognized. Nobody would insert someone of questionable talent into the big leagues and deflect any criticism of such a person as being racist in nature. If they stink, they stink.
Odd then that such a circumstance exists now with the incumbent President of the United States. Despite a term and a half of demonstrably inept management capabilities, poorly thought out programs and misguided national policies, the only fall back that tribal supporters can defend with is that all criticisms are rooted in racism. It’s as if they kept pulling out the Charizard card in a Pokémon game as the all powerful one stop defense play.
Back in the day when Bill Clinton was president, any time that he was cornered on his policy failures, his wife Hilary famously declared that there was a ‘vast right wing conspiracy’ against her husband. Despite the claim by many that Bill was in fact the first black president, they were reluctant to play that race card, because even for the Clintons, that was a stretch. So the right wing card was the one played. We can bet every last dollar in the kids’ trust funds that if and when Hilary decides to run, any opposition against her will be characterized as ‘anti-women’. Boy, the fat transsexuals with harelips but no political or discernible talent should run for office because no one will be able to knock ‘em.
Aaron may have been a great ball player in his day and it’s likely that his early experiences in life has colored everything else in his worldview. That’s understandable. Turkeys will mistrust humans even if they’re vegetarians. The greatest irony in Aaron’s sentiment is that this is exactly the mindset that sought to exclude him from the game 60 odd years ago. They sought to exclude him despite his talent because he was black. He’s now excusing the President for his lack of abilities because he is black. In doing so, he diminishes the achievements of those that have come before him and those that will yet come.
Sharpton, Jackson, Belafonte, all are discredited for their irrational utterances; but you too Hank? Say it ain’t so.