Remember when Tony said, "I actually think historians are going to look back and say I brought this city back, and that I'm one of the best mayors in the country right now"?
Yeah. That was awesome.
Meanwhile, there was also this bizzare column by Marc Fisher in Sunday's paper. It purports to explain how baseball can be a positive force for racial unity. Unfortunately, he chose to use the Senators Mark I as an example. What was his second choice, Pat Buchanan? Sens owner Carl Griffith, now residing in Hell, steadfastly refused to desegregate the roster until well after Jackie Robinson's debut, and also came up with the unusual innovation of segregated bleachers.
Then he goes into this story of this one guy who loved the team; alas, he was black. He wanted to be on the radio, but had to sit on the roof because the team didn't allow blacks in the press box. He essentially had to trick a radio station into broadcasting his show. And in a book about the Senators, the author "notes that black Washington repeatedly rose above the racism of baseball's owners to embrace the team as a point of civic pride." Well, that's not really racial unity, is it? They're enjoying the team despite being repatedly stepped on.
[Hal Jackson] believes to this day that sports is a powerful tool blacks can use to pry their way into the white power structure.Don't know if that's necessarily the lesson we want to be teaching our black youngsters. Number of black majority owners of a major professional sports team in America: 1 (Bob Johnson). Number in baseball: zero.
Fisher doesn't mention that in the 1940s, when the Grays of the Negro League started playing in Griffith Stadium, blacks eventually started going to those games instead of the Senators' games, which finally prompted the team's move to whiter pastures (Minnesota). So, in the end, baseball really was a racial divider!
Anyway, somehow, this is all supposed to be relevant to Washington's current situation:
That's the choice Linda Cropp, the D.C. Council chairman who stands between Washington and baseball, faces right now: Ride to higher office on a wave of spite or bring us together. History teaches the right answer.Say whaaa? I haven't really heard race brought up in the context of the Nationals (at least, not by the people involved). But it sounds like Fisher's arguing that, in the interest of racial harmony, predominantly black D.C. should give 29 white baseball owners a free $600 million-plus stadium. This makes sense how?
Mlah. Nobody here even knows how to approach talking about racial harmony, let alone actually practice it. For more hilarious sports-related racism, read this article about George Preston Marshall, original owner of the Redskins, now also residing in Hell:
"We'll start signing Negroes," Marshall once quipped, "when the Harlem Globetrotters start signing whites."That's sports in D.C. for you: always a uniter.