On Racism in the News

racecoverThink about how “race” has been a headline the past 10 days. Yep, race, that label humans attach to other humans because how one looks.

We have our first African-American president, who actually is biracial; whom many voted for or against because of race. We have a distinguished professor of Black culture at a prestigious university making calls of racism against an officer who also trains peers against racial profiling.

We have a presidential news conference with President Obama making a mistake when answering a question. As fellow blogger Tim Valentine explained to me, the president answered as a Black man and not as a president. Yes, Tim, thanks for helping me understand.

We have a Latina nominated to the highest court amidst charges of racism in judicial ruling, yet none have been cited. We have a senator voting against her because of potentially biased judgment, yet he was denied a spot on the Federal court because of his racial views.

We have a Fox News Commentator calling President Obama a racist. We have countless of viewpoints on race from columnists and bloggers. We have CNN airing a news documentary, Black in America 2 (which I watched), and the first promotion of their fall news documentary Latino in America.

We have a Boston policeman accused of making inflammatory, racist remarks; yet who knows have many other incidents across the USA and around the world that were racist and didn’t produce a major headline.

Change in racial attitude requires 4 key steps: education, reflection, admittance, and reconciliation. Put another way, we have to learn to increase our awareness, examine our personal beliefs, admit our short comings, and actively seek to change what we do.

I think of a recent interview I saw when a person said they had just boarded an airplane and then noticed both pilots were Black. Yes, he initially wondered about whether or not they could fly the plane, BUT he caught himself. Besides admitting to himself that the thoughts were ludicrous, he also publically talked about his thoughts being wrong.

Pope John Paul II going to the prison to forgive his shooter is remarkable forgiveness. In terms of race, I recall the meeting between Elwin Wilson and Rep John Lewis (D-Ga).

Earlier in the year I posted about my trip to the Understanding Race exhibit that toured through Cincinnati. It was a great learning experience. The exhibit is currently in Philadelphia (Franklin Institute) through 9/7/09 before opening a several month stay in Los Angeles (California Science Center) in late September. If you get a chance, go to learn about yourself. FYI: The exhibit’s online site is also a great resource and includes a virtual tour.

We’ve come so far in the past 50 years, but the journey still has a long way to go. I sincerely wish that race was irrelevant – unfortunately it isn’t – but maybe that day of irrelevance will come in the future. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but I wonder what will happen first, racial irrelevance or the fall of the new Rome … personally I hope for racial irrelevance.

Additional Information

Image courtesy of the American Anthropological Association

On a Golfing Example of Life

I enjoy interesting stories about people who touch the special string in my heart, and it’s been a while since posting my last one. Brendan Foster, Nick Nelson and Adam Bender, Rebecca Alexander, Erik Compton, and others seen by clicking the Life category provide a variety of inspirations for all of us.

Besides life being full of ups and downs, many of us seem to have the knack for adding to our woes through exaggeration and denial. In the same light, one’s attitude greatly influences self.

Although each of our lives encounters its share of people who are either negative, self centered, a chip on their shoulder, or numerous other issues, the world still contains many good people. Unfortunately, it seems to be human nature to dwell on the few nimrods affecting us at the moment.

I play golf and have for a long time. Recently a golf-league friend sent me a Golf Channel link for an interview with an everyday person with an extraordinary attitude – Butch Lumpkin.

The YouTube video below shows his story. As a supplement, then click this Golf Channel link to hear his story.

All-Time Lukes

I haven’t seen Luke in 15-20 years, but through the Internet we’ve reconnected. He writes an interesting blog about various topics about the Bible and archeology. He’s participating as a volunteer in Israel on an archeological dig at Elah Fortress excavation and has posted reports.  Keep up the good work Luke!

In honor of Luke and his work, I pursued an all-time team. Good news is that player nicknames include Old Aches and Pains, Buster, the Nashville Narcissus, Mongoose, and the Hot Potato. Sadly, only 18 Lukes have played in the bigs; thus I’ve been forced into creative mood to field a team – but this team is still not good enough to even compete with the All-Time Randys.

Ladies and Gentlemen. Now taking the field, the All-Time Lukes.

1B – Luke Easter
2B – Johnny Lucadello
SS – Luke Appling (HOF)
3B – Billy Lucas Lush
C – Luke Sewell (AS)
OF – Luke Scott
OF – Eddie Lukon
OF – Matt Luke
DH – Johnny Lucas

SP – Red Lucas
SP – Luke Hamlin
SP – Luke Walker
SP – Luke Hudson
SP – Luke Hochever

RP – Gary Lucas
RP – Luke Prokopec
RP – Ray Lucas

Mgr – Frank Lucchesi

To see more All-Time Teams, click the All-Time Teams link under Sports listed in the Category sidebar to the right.

On Sports Shorts 072809

On Pete
Seems that some Hall of Famers have approached Commission Selig about reinstating Pete Rose. Ha ha … fat chance Bud Selig changes his mind. As I’ve said in a previous post, although I think Pete should be in, I can live with Pete not being in the HOF, and not working in the game. But the one thing I can’t accept is #14 NOT being a retired number in Cincinnati.

On the Reds
Here’s more good Cincinnati news. Reds ownership believes the Reds are still in the race. “If we can get our pitching to show up and get our hitting to show up at the same time, we’re still possibly considers.” Mr. Castellini, you’re a good guy and the organization is better today because of you. But outside of the month of May, the situation you described hasn’t happened. The team is not very good.

On Bill James Stats
Bill James is a noted statistical guru in baseball … no question; but now he publishes a report saying there no harm of steroids in baseball. Hmmm … now what does that do to his credibility? What will Commissioner Selig say or do?

On an Alternative HOF
Larry (Nutball Gazette) sent me an article of interest written two years ago. The writer suggested an Alternative Baseball Hall of Fame for Cheaters – thus for Bonds, McGwire, Sosa, Palmeiro, etc. And he suggests Cincinnati be the location because it was home to Pete Rose. Yes, he broke rules and makes questionable choices, but he didn’t cheat; and to put his troubles in the same category as the steroid guys is ludicrous.

On NFL Training Camp
NFL talk is also increasing as training camps are opening. We in Cincinnati are proud to say “We’re #1!” What other city can boast being the long-term worst football-baseball team combination in the country?

On College Football
Kickoff to the college football season is about a month away, so the talk is intensifying. Meanwhile, many of the BCS teams continue to play soft out-of-conference schedules for two reasons: more home-game revenue and padding their record to get more bowl revenue.

Meanwhile, I bummed as I just discovered that The Sporting News is not having one of my favorite fantasy games: Salary Cap College Football.

On Health Care Negotiations

Some have wondered why I haven’t written much about the health care issue currently being negotiated in Congress. Here’s my 7-point explanation.

  1. This issue is both complex and important, thus requires serious study.
  2. The White House has been vigorously pushing its agenda since taking office. I’ve tried to keep in touch with topics, but I can’t keep up with everything. Thus to be honest, I haven’t given this issue the time and energy it deserves.
  3. Speaking of the White House, so much seems to be in rush mode. As I’ve noted before, sometimes I wonder what’s more important: getting something passed or getting it right? To me, this “rush mode” has caused me to lose some faith in President Obama.
  4. As I’ve written many times before, I don’t trust Pelosi-led legislation. I know it’s the nature of politics, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it or even accept it.
  5. I lack confidence and trust in both parties at the moment. I’m sure they are members of both parties who are really trying to build something together, but they face opposition from both the left and the right.
  6. The amount of lobbying money on this issue must be staggering. The number of TV ads I’ve seen the past several weeks is amazing. To be honest, I just can’t by into the fear and distortions that each side creates.
  7. As an organization, government is inefficient. That’s not a partisan take, but a reality. On the other hand, it has the power for sustainable change. So then what?

In other words, what a mess in a time of need!