Tuesday, April 23, 2013

"42": The Power of Courage and Moral Certitude and the Impotence of Ignorance and Bigotry

My latest post at The Objective Standard blog--42: The Triumph of Courage and Moral Certitude over Irrationality and Bigotry--is a brief encapsulation of the movie 42: The Jackie Robinson Story. The movie tells the story of the end of Major League Baseball's "color line" that separated white and black professional baseball players--in particular, blacks of African decent. 

I would note a couple of additional things. The breakup of baseball segregation was accomplished long before government got involved. De-segregationists didn't rely on government force in the form of laws against "discrimination," bureaucratic regulations, court orders, or executive orders. No posturing politician contributed to their cause in any way. What we see are a couple of self-motivated private citizens battling—and ultimately shaping—the tide of history, powered by the conviction that they were right. All they needed was the freedom to act.

To be sure, legal action is sometimes needed, but only in regards to repealing laws that impose segregation, such as the Supreme Court's Brown vs. Board of Education or certain sections of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Finally, I don't think the story would be complete without the understanding that baseball desegregation was really a two-front battle. While we celebrate the great and high profile Jackie Robinson, we must not forget the black man who, in the same year 1947, broke the American League color barrier. Just weeks after Robinson broke in with the Dodgers, Larry Doby joined the Cleveland Indians, having been signed by another courageous owner, Bill Veeck. As I previously noted, Doby faced at least as hard a struggle as Robinson.

You can read my TOS post here.

If you haven't seen 42, get out and see it. 

Related Reading:

Larry Doby, American Hero

Title 2: Government vs. Private Action

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