“I think that’s the number one thing that’s missing, I think, in the game is speed. You know, with the need for minorities, you can help yourself — you’ve got a better chance of getting some speed with Latin and African-Americans. I’m not being racist. That’s just how it is.”
It may have been a solid two weeks since National League manager Dusty Baker uttered that politically incorrect statement during an interview, but the firestorm hasn’t cooled off since. In response, Major League Baseball has scheduled sensitivity training for all Major League coaches and managers, and civil rights leaders are applying pressure on baseball to fire Baker, as well as planning protests at each Major League Stadium on opening day if their wishes aren’t heeded. Cable TV outlets have gone wall to wall covering the growing scandal, and Attorney General Loretta Lynch has vowed to investigate this episode to see if any hate crimes have been committed.
If you’re surprised you missed this controversy, don’t be, it never happened. Oh, the interview happened all right, with Baker making that exact statement as well articulating this thought many years ago, “What I meant is that blacks and Latins take the heat better than most whites, and whites take the cold better than most blacks and Latins. That’s it, pure and simple. Nothing deeper than that.” If you don’t know who Dusty Baker is, and why in our politically correct day and age he hasn’t been run out of town yet with pitchforks by the media, like say Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder was many moons ago, it may help to explain that Dusty Baker is African American.
So there is no misunderstanding, let me clearly state that I have no evidence, nor do I believe, Dusty Baker is a racist. His reputation is that of being a player’s manager, meaning ballplayers of all shapes and sizes love playing for him, which would indicate that over his long managerial career he has demonstrated that he cares for all his players no matter what ethnicity, and they respond in kind by playing hard for him. But what I am saying is in polite society, whether we like it or not, we have an unwritten, but firm, set of rules of what can and cannot be said, and if we are truthful we should acknowledge the rules vary greatly depending on one’s race and ethnicity.
Culture in the best of times can be confusing, but in modern schizophrenic America it is downright chaotic. The current unwritten rules when discussing racial matters is that non-whites have greater latitude than whites to talk about race without worrying that their comments will be construed as bigoted. In addition, not all non-whites have the same speaking privileges. For example, Latinos and Asians do not have as much leeway as African Americans to discuss race, and in areas such as college admissions, it is culturally acceptable to affirmatively articulate discriminating against Asians. Liberal politics, of course, trumps all the above rules. If you are an African American or Latino and happen to be a prominent conservative, the normal rules of discourse no longer apply. And if they say something that rankles the left they can expect to be labeled as “not being Black or Hispanic enough,” a charge that can never be leveled at a prominent liberal African American or Latino.
I firmly believe that overwhelming numbers of Americans from all races and ethnicities are exhausted by the current unwritten but socially enforced speech restrictions, and hunger for a day when it will all go away. But I’ve also been around the politically correct block enough to know that day isn’t anytime in the offing, and any honest dialogue on race in America would soon break down into hurt feelings and bitter recriminations on all sides. For this I blame our political class. They do, after all, have a vested interest in perpetuating voting blocks based on race and ethnicity. To state the obvious, the Democratic Party would be a minor electoral force if it could no longer convince non-whites that without the DNC they would suffer massive discrimination. Also not boding well for the future is both parties are investing a small fortune in analytics, so they can craft messages designed to appeal to subgroups and not the citizenry as a whole. So much for one nation under God, more like a million different Balkanized fiefdoms.
As for Dusty Baker I say live and let live. He is entitled to his opinions, just as I am mine, and the country would be better off if we didn’t go off the deep end every time someone said something politically incorrect, especially if this applied universally to everyone, no matter race or ethnicity.
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