Jackie Robinson Racism

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There are few constants in baseball, it’s a game unlike any other where a fraction of a second or a break in a wind gust can alter the game severely. Each ballpark is unique in it’s architecture, whether punctuated by a crooked outfield wall or a risking interference every pitch by having the bullpen in foul territory, baseball diamonds has as colourful a personality as the men which play upon it. Yet, there is one constant in every stadium; a placard with simply ‘42’ written upon it, overlooking the diamond as if it were a guardian angel on the shoulder of a baseball God. This number belonged to the most important man in baseball history: Jackie Robinson. In 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first black man to play Major League Baseball…show more content…
His passion for the betterment of himself, and his fellow African Americans came into being out of realization of the differing sociopolitical environments he faced upon his transition from Georgia to four sport athlete at University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). Simon wrote a particularly cruel irony in his newfound freedom that despite his freedom to play integrated football at UCLA, upon his joining the army, those same people who cheered his athletic accomplishments pushed for staunch segregation in the barracks. It was the contrasting environments that drove Robinson’s push for rights. Unlike many blacks trapped by their situation, Robinson was gifted an escape and thus had the rare ability to be both a black man loved, and a black man loathed by whites. It is this juxtaposition that motivated his baseball and post-baseball activism. The contrasting world view of UCLA football and the U.S. army gave Robinson clarity that there was tangible hope for an advancement and that if blacks can gain the affection of whites with something as impactful as sports, that civil rights were a battle worth undertaking as the mindset of black equality had already infiltrated the white consensus. Furthering his formative mindset was an incident with the…show more content…
Though personally inclined to the Republican party, his political leanings, Robinson spoke on his affiliations, stating, “I 've never identified myself with one party or another in politics. I look at the actual candidates and issues themselves, no matter what the party label”. Robinson’s shift from traditional Republicanism represented an ideological shift in the habits of black voters in the late 1950s. For so long it was the Party of Lincoln, only now forcing the hand of its once most vaunted constituents due to the lack of civil rights progress. Robinson represented a symbolic figure for black America in the matter and his voice and influence helped prosper the sentiment of independent black voters who are beholden only to themselves and other blacks. His action provided an important ideological benchmark that was echoed by Martin Luther King Jr. in 1958, stating that he was not inextricably bound to either party. Robinson acted as a catalyst for the change in political affiliation and proved instrumental in re-establishing black votership through peace. Robinson further quipped about his independence, stating, “It would make everything I worked for meaningless if baseball is integrated but political parties were segregated”, demonstrating a palpable awareness that his role as a baseball player was hollow if he could not
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