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and gaze down at us like Abe Lincoln’s. Washington’s monument to Jackie Robinson stands just 131 pages tall, a monument originally made of paper and microfilm.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. will not yield to this monkey court 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 and the Infinite Sadness 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
dirk
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogJoe Maddon is to become Cubs manager, sources say
(62 - 10:33am, Oct 30)
Last: Charles S. will not yield to this monkey court

NewsblogSan Francisco Giants at Kansas City Royals - October 29, 2014 | MLB.com Box
(39 - 10:31am, Oct 30)
Last: Booey

NewsblogMadison Bumgarner, World Series legend - McCovey Chronicles
(27 - 10:29am, Oct 30)
Last: Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site

NewsblogOT: NBC.news: Valve isn’t making one gaming console, but multiple ‘Steam machines’
(969 - 10:29am, Oct 30)
Last: Random Transaction Generator

NewsblogOT: Politics, October 2014: Sunshine, Baseball, and Etch A Sketch: How Politicians Use Analogies
(4581 - 10:28am, Oct 30)
Last: David Nieporent (now, with children)

NewsblogVanguard after the Revolution | NBC SportsWorld
(50 - 10:24am, Oct 30)
Last: Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play

Newsblog2014 WORLD SERIES GAME 7 OMNICHATTER
(1429 - 10:20am, Oct 30)
Last: The Chronicles of Reddick

NewsblogJapan Times: Nakamura belts three-run homer in 10th to put Hawks one win away from Japan Series title
(9 - 10:17am, Oct 30)
Last: Rennie's Tenet

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 10-30-2014
(4 - 10:15am, Oct 30)
Last: Nasty Nate

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - October 2014
(573 - 9:55am, Oct 30)
Last: Willard Baseball

NewsblogAngell: The World Series is Almost Over
(1 - 9:22am, Oct 30)
Last: sotapop

NewsblogHeyman: Pablo Sandoval is on Boston's 3B wish list, but so is Chase Headley
(25 - 8:14am, Oct 30)
Last: PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth)

NewsblogRoad maps to pitching success in Game 7 | FOX Sports
(9 - 1:14am, Oct 30)
Last: Ray (RDP)

NewsblogESPN: Jose Canseco shoots self in hand
(66 - 11:53pm, Oct 29)
Last: eric

NewsblogOT:  Soccer (the Round, True Football), November 2014
(15 - 11:14pm, Oct 29)
Last: CWS Keith plans to boo your show at the Apollo

Page rendered in 0.2282 seconds
52 querie(s) executed