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The Presidency and Prejudice

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I have been out of touch for 24 hours eclipse chasing (I’ll put pics at the end of this post) but note as I peruse the news that little changed in my 24 hours far, far away in horrific traffic from Wyoming to Colorado.  President Trump is under unprecedented scrutiny.

There is not nearly as much fake news as the president accuses there of being, but there is a lot of spun news, interpreted news, incomplete news and just plain old biased news.  Every good thing he does is downplayed and every misstep is depicted as the mistake that will end mankind as we know it.

If one is honest it should be obvious that from the morning after the election the man has suffered under a prejudice, even bigotry, from many quarters that not only expects his failure but does everything it can to aid it.  I do not have my blinders on and far from support every breath the man takes, but I hope and pray for his success, and am just fed up with a press so willing, and so prejudicially willing, to destroy a presidency.

There was a story in The Atlantic a couple of years ago entitled “Black Workers Really Do Need to Be Twice as Good.”  It discusses sociological evidence supporting the long held belief that subjects of prejudice have to be twice as good at something just to be on a level playing field with those not subject to the prejudice.  Gotta think that applies to President Trump.  He clearly is not going to be, and has not been, allowed the “rookie mistakes” made by many presidents early in their tenure in office.

As I thought about that I thought about the movie “42.”  The movie is the story of Jackie Robinson’s first year in the majors, breaking the color barrier.  In the scene where Branch Rickey, played by Harrison Ford, offers the job to Robinson, played by Chadwick Boseman, Ricky gives an an incredible speech that was featured even in the trailers for the film.  That speech is the best advice that could be offered to the president right now so I will reprint it here.

Jackie Robinson: You want a player who doesn’t have the guts to fight back?

Branch Rickey: No. No. I want a player who’s got the guts not to fight back. People aren’t gonna like this. They’re gonna do anything to get you to react. Echo a curse with a curse and, uh, they’ll hear only yours. Follow a blow with a blow and they’ll say, “The Negro lost his temper.” That “The Negro does not belong.” Your enemy will be out in force… and you cannot meet him on his own low ground. We win with hitting, running, fielding. Only that. We win if the world is convinced of two things: That you are a fine gentleman and a great baseball player. Like our Savior… you gotta have the guts… to turn the other cheek. Can you do it?

I truly hope the president can.

And now those eclipse photos – it really was worth the extraordinary effort…


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