Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Schram: Washington’s sorry monument to Jackie Robinson

Even the Frank Howard monument makes more sense.

So today we’ll educate ourselves by taking a guided tour of Washington’s monument to Jackie Robinson. You never heard of it? Probably not. After all, it doesn’t tower above the capital skyline like George Washington’s, nor sit and gaze down at us like Abe Lincoln’s. Washington’s monument to Jackie Robinson stands just 131 pages tall, a monument originally made of paper and microfilm. It is the FBI’s file on Jack Roosevelt Robinson. Part of it is the FBI’s investigation of all those evil death threats. The rest mainly feeds FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover’s conviction that America’s civil rights movement was but a tool of Soviet Communism’s plan to subvert American democracy.

Read the FBI’s words for yourself. The FBI memos, originally stamped “CONFIDENTIAL” or “SECRET,” were declassified in 1984.

...The FBI files also contained this intelligence from the anti-communist sleuths of the House Un-American Activities Committee. They had come up with something in their search for communist links with Jack Roosevelt Robinson — but neither the committee nor the FBI checked further before writing this:

“ ‘Soviet Russia Today,’ for December 1938, page 29, reflected that one J. R. Robinson of N.Y.C. was a contributor.” Time out! Baseball’s future star, Jackie Robinson, was then a 19-year-old student at Pasadena Junior College, now Pasadena City College, in California.

To read the FBI files on Robinson today is to come away shaking our heads at how we could ever have let things get so out of control in that era of anti-commie witch-hunts.

What the FBI files purport to report in the rest of the Jackie Robinson story was so tame, so lame, that their sum total is, yet again, our shame.

Repoz Posted: April 18, 2013 at 05:21 AM | 7 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Bug Selig Posted: April 18, 2013 at 06:42 AM (#4417677)
So I should be ashamed because a paranoid lunatic compiled a file that apparently contains nothing before I was born? I'll get right on it.
   2. John Northey Posted: April 18, 2013 at 08:06 AM (#4417697)
I think the shame is how the US allowed it to happen again. This time for 'terrorists'. Since 9-11 you've had all kinds of anti-privacy laws passed getting Orwellian rules put in place while feeling safe by fighting for looser gun laws. Safe bet it will get worse again post-Boston Marathon bombing, regardless of who did it. Very bizarre, but the way it works right now down there.
   3. Rants Mulliniks Posted: April 18, 2013 at 08:25 AM (#4417704)
Very bizarre, but the way it works right now down there.


Yep, the State of NY is now issuing subpoenas to psychiatrists to hand over their supposedly confidential patient records so they can seize some more guns.

   4. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: April 18, 2013 at 08:31 AM (#4417707)
And now this thread is worthless. Goodnight, everybody!
   5. Charles S. storms out of Wrigley before walk-off Posted: April 18, 2013 at 10:36 AM (#4417819)
So I should be ashamed because a paranoid lunatic compiled a file that apparently contains nothing before I was born? I'll get right on it.
You don't have to be ashamed, and personally it has nothing to do with you. But if as an American, I am going to be proud of the founding fathers who designed our constitution as a beacon for (evolving) freedom throughout the world, the heroes that liberated Europe in the 1940s, or the doctors, architects, inventors, and thinkers who helped make America what it is today, then I must be equally ashamed of the darker sides of our history, including slavery, the internment of Japanese-Americans during WW2, and the "paranoid lunacy" of Hoover's FBI.

You can't have one without the other.
   6. DJS From Suplex City! Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:30 AM (#4417866)
But if as an American, I am going to be proud of the founding fathers who designed our constitution as a beacon for (evolving) freedom throughout the world, the heroes that liberated Europe in the 1940s, or the doctors, architects, inventors, and thinkers who helped make America what it is today, then I must be equally ashamed of the darker sides of our history, including slavery, the internment of Japanese-Americans during WW2, and the "paranoid lunacy" of Hoover's FBI.

I don't do that, either. The accomplishments of others are their accomplishments, not mine. Even if I think it could be better, America's a pretty sweet place to live, but I'm under no illusion that I was given the privilege of being American out of merit.
   7. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: April 18, 2013 at 11:38 AM (#4417874)
Even if one does let in the good while trying not to focus on the bad, I don't see anything wrong with it. Being perfectly rational 100% of the time means you're a sociopath. If being less than even-handed on such things helps you get out of bed in the morning and helps you associate with your fellow man, you shouldn't have to apologize for that.

Ironically enough, I think, for some, wallowing in things like 'guilt' or 'tragedy' is in some way also a 'self-esteem' boosting exercise. By being more empathetic to the suffering others go through, we might be able to better convince ourselves we're 'good people.' And this is also fine. As I said, "whatever gets you out of bed in the morning..."

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Los Angeles El Hombre de Anaheim
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogBaseball Hall of Fame to eliminate some inactive voters
(67 - 9:06pm, Jul 30)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 7-30-2015
(60 - 9:02pm, Jul 30)
Last: What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face?

NewsblogRangers Get a New Ace in Cole Hamels
(32 - 8:59pm, Jul 30)
Last: Dock Ellis on Acid

NewsblogOT - 2015 College Football Pre-Season Thread
(4 - 8:56pm, Jul 30)
Last: i'm only STEAGLES when it's complicated

NewsblogOTP - July 2015: Winning the Political Game: Politics is More Like Baseball Than Football
(6038 - 8:56pm, Jul 30)
Last: JE (Jason)

NewsblogDodgers To Acquire Latos, Wood, Jim Johnson In 3-Team Deal; Olivera To Braves - MLB Trade Rumors
(70 - 8:56pm, Jul 30)
Last: Joyful Calculus Instructor

NewsblogTrade Chatter - 2015 Deadline
(503 - 8:44pm, Jul 30)
Last: Dock Ellis on Acid

NewsblogJon Heyman on Twitter: "carlos gomez and mike fiers go to houston"
(3 - 8:18pm, Jul 30)
Last: Batman

NewsblogPirates acquire Joakim Soira from Tigers | MLB.com
(1 - 7:51pm, Jul 30)
Last: BDC

NewsblogLet’s make a steal | NBC SportsWorld
(9 - 7:32pm, Jul 30)
Last: Rennie's Tenet

NewsblogMets Continue to Act Like Small-Market Team | FanGraphs Baseball
(54 - 7:16pm, Jul 30)
Last: Dog on the sidewalk

NewsblogMets-Brewers nix deal for Carlos Gomez | MLB.com
(14 - 7:11pm, Jul 30)
Last: ReggieThomasLives

NewsblogIndians, Cardinals believed to be working on significant trade - MLB Daily Dish
(37 - 7:04pm, Jul 30)
Last: Squash

NewsblogBBTF 2015 Shooty Memorial Softball Meet-up!
(338 - 5:43pm, Jul 30)
Last: JE (Jason)

NewsblogOT: Soccer June 2015
(1419 - 5:26pm, Jul 30)
Last: ursus arctos

Page rendered in 0.1979 seconds
48 querie(s) executed