Friday, September 11, 2015
Barack Obama, the Jackie Robinson of Our Day
The people who like to brand Barack Obama's presidency as a “failure” are saying more about themselves than Obama or about their understanding of politics. Like baseball Hall-of-Famer Jackie Robinson (1919-72), Obama broke new ground in the USA and has had to put up with relentless mean-spirited attacks to block his way and undermine his efforts.
During Robinson's career with the Brooklyn Dodgers (1947-56), not only were there ballplayers who deliberately tried to injure him, there were fans of a certain mindset who claimed he really wasn't all that good. Some still say it. Of course they had to overlook his Rookie of the Years award in 1947. Same with his Most Valuable Player award in 1949. Same with his six times being selected as a National League All-Star. Robinson received those honors in spite of the abject racism in the air in those days, attitudes that blinded some of those who were voters.
Fortunately, Robinson's stats still speak for themselves – .311 lifetime batting average; 197 stolen bases, etc. It should be noted that he didn't start his 10-year MLB career until he was 28 years old.
Like Robinson's accomplishment's were, Obama's have been made as part of a team, and they were made in spite of relentless focused efforts to undermine him and deny him fair treatment. Today, 59 years after Robinson's last game in a Dodgers uniform, those who assert that Obama has been a failure as a president obviously have no interest in speaking the truth. Some of them are still claiming he's a closet Muslim who was born in Kenya.
As it has turned out with history's view of Jackie Robinson, historians will know what label to put on all that crap. And, in my view Obama has been the most successful president in a long time, maybe since the days when Robinson was pissing off racists.