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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mac Engel/Star-Telegram (Ft. Worth): Is Josh Hamilton being forgiven because of his color?

He has a high school diploma, and he was the No. 1 pick of a professional sports organization but blew all of that money on crack and booze. And he is covered in tattoos. And he has young children.

And he speaks often about his faith in Christianity, and his love and faith in Jesus Christ. And he just had another relapse.

Do you both forgive and accept him despite his troubles? Does he merit these second and third chances?

If the person in question is Josh Hamilton, the answer from Cincinnati to Tampa to New York and here in the great state of Texas is yes, yes and yes.

Now the tricky part—would you feel the same way if Josh Hamilton was not a white dude?

Would Josh Hamilton have been asked, let alone agreed, to make his first TV interview since his now famous relapse on Glenn Beck TV—as he did on Wednesday afternoon—if he weren’t white?

The race card may be an easy out for a column, but here we sit in the middle of Black History Month and there is no better time to ask an uncomfortable question: Does Josh Hamilton inspire, generate sympathy and are people largely accepting and supportive simply because of the color of his skin, and to heck with the content of his character?

Even though many of us can’t empathize with Josh’s talents or his demons, does the way he speaks and the color of his skin make us comfortable, thus more forgiving?

Oh yes: Mac Engel, too, is white.

Mike Emeigh Posted: February 16, 2012 at 03:19 PM | 120 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Cooper Nielson Posted: February 17, 2012 at 12:11 PM (#4063408)
He was, however, stupid enough and weak enough to get behind the wheel of a car while he was drunk. I think that's the difference between public perception of Cabrera and that of Hamilton, not their color or outward expression of religion, or whatever.

I would be very surprised to find out that Josh Hamilton has never driven while drunk.
   102. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 17, 2012 at 12:16 PM (#4063412)
#92 Dunno about lost HOF votes, but it was fairly common to read about Raines' coke problems in the late 80s and through the 90s, while you almost never read about Molitor's. It was a consistent thing -- it'd pop up in a column or two every year (and not just one clown recycling an article)

Well, having the nickname "Rock" didn't help.
   103. Dr. Vaux Posted: February 17, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4063437)
I would be very surprised to find out that Josh Hamilton has never driven while drunk.


I guess I would, too. But Cabrera was caught. I'm talking about the mass reaction to the two men, not necessarily their actual levels of failing or fortitude, about which I don't know the tiniest bit, since I've never met them..
   104. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: February 17, 2012 at 12:51 PM (#4063442)
While searching for any Josh Hamilton drunk-driving arrests (can't find any), I came across this gem.

Isn't he already in rehab? How would suspending him help anything? Especially since they failed to suspend his manager for a worse offense.
   105. Randy Jones Posted: February 17, 2012 at 12:57 PM (#4063448)
Isn't he already in rehab? How would suspending him help anything? Especially since they failed to suspend his manager for a worse offense.


Suspending him would keep this story in the news for much longer as the Union would instantly file a grievance. That would make the reporters' jobs easier as they wouldn't have to work to come up with story ideas.
   106. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: February 17, 2012 at 01:16 PM (#4063474)
That would make the reporters' jobs easier as they wouldn't have to work to come up with story ideas.


The lady must be a part-time blogger/full-time NBCSP reporter.
   107. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: February 17, 2012 at 05:40 PM (#4063758)
I kill a higher percentage of threads per post than anyone...
   108. The NeverEnding Torii (oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh oh) Posted: February 17, 2012 at 06:51 PM (#4063786)
"So this time, it's not just, 'OK, it happened, we'll move past it and maybe it won't happen again,' " he said. "We want to find out why it continues to happen." Hamilton, the 2010 AL MVP, said he feels shame about his mistakes, but is willing to admit them.


This sounds like a guy who hasn't really gone through the rehab/recovery process properly. Josh Hamilton is a grown man. You can't just hire a series of guys to be his Guy That Makes Sure Josh Does Not Do Bad Things to solve the problem. He has to be able to learn how to resist the temptations himself.
   109. Fancy Pants Handles lap changes with class Posted: February 17, 2012 at 09:06 PM (#4063832)
This sounds like a guy who hasn't really gone through the rehab/recovery process properly. Josh Hamilton is a grown man. You can't just hire a series of guys to be his Guy That Makes Sure Josh Does Not Do Bad Things to solve the problem. He has to be able to learn how to resist the temptations himself.

Trust, but verify.
   110. Morty Causa Posted: February 17, 2012 at 09:17 PM (#4063836)
   111. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: February 18, 2012 at 12:17 AM (#4063900)
I kill a higher percentage of threads per post than anyone...

And you condemn black metal bands for their actions...
   112. Something Other Posted: February 18, 2012 at 09:28 AM (#4063956)
Addiction is a disease, sure, but you can't compare it to other diseases that just happen beyond a persons control. Unless your Mom was drinking/smoking/doing drugs while she was pregnant and you were born with the dependency, you still have to make the choice to get involved in that lifestyle to begin with before you're ever going to know you have a problem.

It's like lung cancer for chain smokers; it's a real disease, of course, but it's an entirely preventable, self-inflicted disease. And I think that's why some people have a hard time finding sympathy for addicts. It seems a bit unsympathetic to me, but the opinion that addiction is just unfortunate bad luck and it's beyond the "victims" control just isn't accurate. Well, it might be correct now, but they had a choice at the beginning knowing full well that such habits can be addicting and dangerous for some people. Therefore, they are responsible for their actions and whatever negative consequences they see in their lives because of them.
This post has me convinced. I'm going to head over to the emphysema ward in a few minutes and taunt those sorry old bastards, "You know what? You deserve this. You should have known better when you were 18, 19 years old. Even though we didn't know then that there was an hereditary component to addiction. Doesn't matter. How does that cigarette taste now, loser?"

It's not a challenge with Allen, since he's been so bad in anything I happened to see while, say, at a party where one of his more recent films was playing on a tv in a corner.

I'm the same way about Jeffrey Jones in Ferris Bueller. It's not that he's bad in that movie--it's that he spends the whole movie being made fun of, and that's enough for me.
I was being kind. Since his short, non HOF peak, Allen's been a disaster. In addition to being a world-class scumbag.
   113. Something Other Posted: February 18, 2012 at 09:40 AM (#4063959)
FTFL:
As Josh Hamilton's success in the outfield grew, he became a popular spokesman for drug and alcohol recovery speaking to various community groups and even wrote an autobiography "Beyond Belief" which talks about how his faith helped him quit addiction. He is married with four daughters, three with his wife Katie Chadwick.

Josh Hamilton never should have written that book.

[sorry]

This is an extremely sad chapter for Hamilton and, while it may be unlikely, the Rangers should suspend Hamilton from spring training and put him in a rehab program.
The Rangers "should...put him in a rehab program"?

That's not how it works, friend.

The hysteria is unwarranted, imo. Hamilton did what drunks do best, and that's drink. So what? It happens millions of times a day, all over the world. Go to a meeting, tell whomever's there you got drunk, then listen to what other people do so they don't have to drink again. It's hard. It's not complicated.

"So this time, it's not just, 'OK, it happened, we'll move past it and maybe it won't happen again,' " he said. "We want to find out why it continues to happen." Hamilton, the 2010 AL MVP, said he feels shame about his mistakes, but is willing to admit them.

This sounds like a guy who hasn't really gone through the rehab/recovery process properly. Josh Hamilton is a grown man. You can't just hire a series of guys to be his Guy That Makes Sure Josh Does Not Do Bad Things to solve the problem. He has to be able to learn how to resist the temptations himself.
Not only that, but where's that "we" coming from? (Not to mention "shame" which, in most programs they'll tell you is just more drama in a life already overfull of it.)

At any rate, of the alcoholics I know who have gone through the process, after a couple of years it becomes self-evident "why it continues to happen." You pick up a drink and drink it. It's not a mystery. Recovery then follows from figuring out what you have to do in order not to pick up the first drink.

I have the impression Hamilton has never done things like gone to daily meetings for a period of months, if not years. As you noted, there's something at least a little off in the way he talks about it.
   114. Booey Posted: February 18, 2012 at 11:29 AM (#4064006)
This post has me convinced. I'm going to head over to the emphysema ward in a few minutes and taunt those sorry old bastards, "You know what? You deserve this. You should have known better when you were 18, 19 years old. Even though we didn't know then that there was an hereditary component to addiction. Doesn't matter. How does that cigarette taste now, loser?"

I never said anyone "deserved" it. But people need to stop acting like there's nothing anyone can do to prevent addiction. Stopping might not be a choice anymore, but starting is. Are you going to have much sympathy for someone that punches walls every time they get mad and then complain that their hands hurt? Hereditary or not, everyone knows drugs and alcohol CAN be addictive to some people. If you choose to do them anyway, you're accepting that risk. Just like daredevils that like to jump motorcycles or people like the Crocodile Hunter who make a living messing with vicious animals, anyone who chooses to participate in dangerous activities is responsible for the consequences if things so south. Acknowledging that is not in any way laughing at addicts or saying that Hamilton "deserves" his hardships. He's a fun player to watch and he seems like a nice guy and I hope for his sake that he can put his troubles behind him.
   115. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: February 18, 2012 at 12:01 PM (#4064024)
"So this time, it's not just, 'OK, it happened, we'll move past it and maybe it won't happen again,' " he said. "We want to find out why it continues to happen." Hamilton, the 2010 AL MVP, said he feels shame about his mistakes, but is willing to admit them.


Not only that, but where's that "we" coming from? (Not to mention "shame" which, in most programs they'll tell you is just more drama in a life already overfull of it.)


I have virtually no experience with addicts in any form but Hamilton's use of "we" seems like a positive to me. I view it as someone who understands that trying to do this on his own is not the right approach and he needs to lean on those around him.
   116. base ball chick Posted: February 18, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4064043)
Booey Posted: February 17, 2012 at 09:51 AM (#4063252)


Addiction is a disease, sure, but you can't compare it to other diseases that just happen beyond a persons control. Unless your Mom was drinking/smoking/doing drugs while she was pregnant and you were born with the dependency, you still have to make the choice to get involved in that lifestyle to begin with before you're ever going to know you have a problem.


- it has nothing to do with what your mom was doing when she was pregnant

what it has to do with is the fact that almost all addicts started out doing the substance when they were teenagers.

and almost all teenagers are idiots who do really stupid stuff without first thinking it out. AND they want to be teh kewl too. AND they don't never think that the bad can possibly happen to THEM. and when it does, getting out is beyond difficult.

and fact is that "lifestyle" for a teen - or at least someone before age 21, almost always involves alcohol.

as for people who turn to substances when they are older than 21, well, not sure what to say except that why would they think they would ever have a problem with any drug? most people don't START with crack/meth



It's like lung cancer for chain smokers; it's a real disease, of course, but it's an entirely preventable, self-inflicted disease. And I think that's why some people have a hard time finding sympathy for addicts. It seems a bit unsympathetic to me, but the opinion that addiction is just unfortunate bad luck and it's beyond the "victims" control just isn't accurate. Well, it might be correct now, but they had a choice at the beginning knowing full well that such habits can be addicting and dangerous for some people. Therefore, they are responsible for their actions and whatever negative consequences they see in their lives because of them.

- non users have trouble finding sympathy for addicts because they really think that once an addict, the person can simply make a decision to not be an addict and that is the end of it forever, sort of like refusing to wear clothes made by, say, tommy hilfinger. and they don't/won't understand that some people have different DNA and that they just can NOT do a little bit of any substance, like they can.

i'm sure that almsot all the guys on this here board have had moren a few alcoholic beverages at times. but if you have to you CAN stop at 1 beer or 1 drink and that is that. it's just that alcoholics just CAN'T

and no, i don't know why neither
   117. Booey Posted: February 18, 2012 at 02:00 PM (#4064075)
what it has to do with is the fact that almost all addicts started out doing the substance when they were teenagers.

and almost all teenagers are idiots who do really stupid stuff without first thinking it out. AND they want to be teh kewl too. AND they don't never think that the bad can possibly happen to THEM. and when it does, getting out is beyond difficult.


Oh I agree that most (all?) teens are stupid. But that doesn't mean they're not old enough to take responsibility for their own actions and the consequences of their bad choices. And Hamilton seems like he is. I DO have some sympathy for him, because he seems like he's owning up to his mistakes and genuinely trying to change.

non users have trouble finding sympathy for addicts because they really think that once an addict, the person can simply make a decision to not be an addict and that is the end of it forever, sort of like refusing to wear clothes made by, say, tommy hilfinger. and they don't/won't understand that some people have different DNA and that they just can NOT do a little bit of any substance, like they can.

That's not really it for me. I can understand why people can't stop . I have a much harder time understanding why people start in the first place. I've seen first hand from my own family how substance abuse/addiction can ruin lives, so yeah, I'm sure it's tougher for me to be sympathetic towards people suffering from self inflicted problems than many others. I guess you could say it's my own bad habit and I'm working on it. I certainly have a lot more sympathy now than I would've 5 years ago.
   118. base ball chick Posted: February 18, 2012 at 05:53 PM (#4064153)
booey

it's why teenagers are NOT adults. and why i have such a tough time with courts doing stuff like charging 11 year olds as adults

as for getting started in the first place

there i don't know what to tell you. bot me and husband looked at our family members and said - NOT going there. absolutely NO alcohol or substances allowed in the house. no exceptions. not one, not ever. and we have told our kidz too and they have gone to funerals.

i keep thinking about whitney houston's daughter - 18 years old and already 2 years (we know of) of drug/alcohol problems. neither parent could get him/her self together enough to try to get themselves clean or to at least try to save their daughter

then again, there are plenty of parents who are addicts/users who buy their kids alcohol, cigarettes, start them using illegal drugs (see dave navarro, mackenzie phillips)
   119. Morty Causa Posted: February 18, 2012 at 08:34 PM (#4064205)
It isn't all cultural. A person's brain literally and physically isn't completely developed until he/she is an adult.

The executive functions of the frontal lobes involve the ability to recognize future consequences resulting from current actions, to choose between good and bad actions (or better and best), override and suppress unacceptable social responses, and determine similarities and differences between things or events. Therefore, it is involved in higher mental functions.

In humans, the frontal lobe reaches full maturity around only after the 20s,[1] marking the cognitive maturity associated with adulthood.


Frontal lobes of brain

Another cite on this: Get away from the idea that we are designed from scratch on this perfect model we deviate from--we are Rube Goldberg creations.

Jensen says scientists used to think human brain development was pretty complete by age 10. Or as she puts it, that "a teenage brain is just an adult brain with fewer miles on it."

But it's not. To begin with, she says, a crucial part of the brain — the frontal lobes — are not fully connected. Really.

"It's the part of the brain that says: 'Is this a good idea? What is the consequence of this action?' " Jensen says. "It's not that they don't have a frontal lobe. And they can use it. But they're going to access it more slowly."


We, all of us, still want to think there's a "you" beyond and separate from you that can control that you. It's all the same you.

   120. Morty Causa Posted: February 18, 2012 at 08:50 PM (#4064210)
From that second link:

Nature made the brains of children and adolescents excitable. Their brain chemistry is tuned to be responsive to everything in their environment. After all, that's what makes kids learn so easily.

But this can work in ways that are not so good. Take alcohol, for example. Or nicotine, cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy ...

"Addiction has been shown to be essentially a form of 'learning,' " Jensen says. After all, if the brain is wired to form new connections in response to the environment, and potent psychoactive drugs suddenly enter that environment, those substances are "tapping into a much more robust habit-forming ability that adolescents have, compared to adults."

So studies have shown that a teenager who smokes pot will still show cognitive deficits days later. An adult who smokes the same dose will return to cognitive baseline much faster.
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