Monday, December 8, 2014

The Rant returns............
.........far sooner than I had anticipated. Its because of my new Dragon dictation machine and a quick healing from shoulder replacement. I had promised myself to take a month and a half off to recuperate and not bother with blogs. I'm renouncing this pledge in order to comment on several current issues in American society as reflected in an unlikely venue – the sports section of The Washington Post on Saturday, December 6, 2014. Whether or not anyone other than family read my blog, I find it beneficial for this (now) 89 year older to get some things off his chest. I'm even going to hold to a regular schedule with a Rant or Rave the 2nd and 4th Mondays of every month. I hope you will check them out.


      What a marvelous picture! Five St. Louis Rams expressing their feelings about a societal issue. How insensitive and callous of the the Bear's Mike Ditka to be affronted by this display! How in keeping with the spirit of Gandhi and King was the players actions! Or does Ditka reflect the blindness of American society? For how long has our world suffered from the silence of good people remaining quiet and failing to see the misfortune of others by not wearing their shoes? .
     How could Jason Werth, star outfielder for the National League East champions Washington Nationals, be such a great clubhouse leader yet so blind to his social responsibility as a role model for youth? Admitting he was going over 90 miles an hour, he's going to seek a jury trial? Oh, he did have a cute response to the officer when asked what he was doing by responding with the statement, "pressing my luck". Such a remarkable example of the rich white man flaunting rules that are established for the benefit of all of us. I wonder what the responding officer, unsheathing his pistol, might have done had the driver been a member of one of America's minority groups. I can't help but think about how our society would be improved if people in power and money (aren't they the same), addicted to speed, with uncontrolled sexual desires, poisoned with power or a host of other "sins" would admit their problem and seek medical help. Are you reading this, Bill Clinton?
      Sally Jenkins, stellar sports writer for the Post, continues the tradition of insightful sportswriters who have long commented on the American scene through their writings. Her article looks at the entrenched society and stopgap measures in the hopes of finding ways to protect vested interests and maintain the status quo in the face of deep-seated problems. Continuing to depend on committees appointed, staffed and chaired by the same people protecting their turf is no way to solve the complex problems of the NCAA or the nation. I can think of no other organization, group or governmental agency that has brought needed changes to our society from race to sexual orientation to opportunities for disadvantaged youth than sports and sportswriters from Boswell to Albom who have diligently and effectively reported on the American scene by joining athletes in citing areas of needed change.
        For most of a century I have seen many changes in our nation's story. Having had more time to reflect on almost 90 years as I recuperated from surgery. it's increasingly apparent to me that most of the beneficial changes in our society began on athletic fields as individuals/anonymous groups have stood up to established mores. I never once imagined that I would see the football team for Alabama composed of the players that are now a part of that team. We in the “Greatest Generations had them drink at different fountains and sit in the back of the bus. Change in society was furthered by Jackie Robinson, Branch Rickey, Curt Flood, and a host of other individuals that our insightful sports writers could list for us.
Yet how remarkable it is that our nations capital supports the team whose nickname is offensive to one of our most offended minorities. Please check my previous blog number four. Surely there must be something individuals can do to help Dan Snyder see the light.
I welcome your thoughts for possibly expanding these thoughts and turning them into a fruitful discussion.;

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