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No. 42: Is This an Annual Thing Now, and if So....Why?

Michael BrandesContributor IApril 16, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 15:  Los Angeles Dodgers Kids in the Field honor Jackie Robinson by wearing his #42 during a pre-game ceremony before the start of the baseball game against  the San Francisco Giants at Dodger Stadium on April 15, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. All Major League Baseball players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson day.  (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

OK...I have plenty of respect for Jackie Robinson and his achievements, and the fact that he broke the color barrier in MLB. But must we dwell on it every year? There isn't a person in the USA who even has an INKLING of sports who doesn't know about Jackie Robinson.

How about we let the Jackie Robinson story alone so that it remains an important slice of history instead of driving it home year after year and diluting it's importance?

What I fear is that this has become a nation driven by politically correct, socially over-indulgent media and government who water down the achievements of a Jackie Robinson or a Rosa Parks or a Martin Luther King just by constantly bringing it to the forefront.

I think everyone is aware of the plight of the black man and woman in this country, and I also believe that most of us couldn't be sicker about the way blacks were treated by whites in the past. But it certainly wasn't our doing by any stretch of the imagination, and those days are over.

It's time to let it go and to stop feeling that amends need to be made by constantly honoring black people who have made significant contributions to society AND history. Their deeds and achievements speak for themselves, and need not be flaunted year after year.

We need to move forward as a people. We have learned from the past and we recognize the great achievements of Jackie, Rosa, Martin and other people of color who have contributed to our society.

We need to stop seeing black and white and start seeing people. It's time to move ahead and stop trying to make up for things we can never make up for, and that were not our doing to begin with.

Racism will never end unless we stop separating the races and end the seemingly endless public worship of one race over the other. Was Jackie Robinson's contribution to the sport of baseball more significant than Babe Ruth'sI think not.

And while I don't minimize Robinson's contribution and the hardships he faced breaking into a racist organization like Major League baseball was at the time, I think that baseball might not have even prospered into what it has become if not for Babe Ruth.

Yet I see no special day set aside for Ruth where all players wear his No. 3 for one day. Is that the way things should be, or is it better to honor these men for what they have achieved instead of what color they were?  

Isn't it time to move on?

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