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America's Growing Pains Bring Out the Best in People

23 May 2013 2:38 PM | Lora Bigcraft (Administrator)

America’s Growing Pains bring out the Best in People

By:  Parrish L. Stahl

Recently the movie 42 came out which chronicles the life and struggles the legendary Jackie Robison, the first African American to play in the major leagues.  Whether you love the game of baseball or not this is a movie everyone should see.  Baseball is part of the fabric of America and during hard times the game is there to say in part to the world, that the health of America over its history; has often been tied to the game.   Excluding African Americans or any deserving athlete was wrong; and thus America was wrong.  Jackie Robinson was a great ball player, but by all accounts he was a good and brave human being.  He literally made so many around him change their minds and see injustice because of the person he was.  Every player and person that followed no matter what their race or individual struggles had doors open because of him.  Our president is our president because of every person who came before him.

Are not people that open doors of any kind a path of righteousness for our country?  Jason Collins may be the first openly gay player in the NBA but many insiders say he is not the first.  He is the first one to be brave enough to announce to the world publicly who he is.  The response to his announcement has been overwhelmingly positive.  Is not America ready to do the right thing on a variety of civil rights fronts?

Ed Roberts, who many people call the father of the Independent Living Movement, started the first Center for Independent Living in Berkley, California in the 1960’s.  His message of access, right to choices and working to end discrimination had so many things in common with Jackie Robison and Jason Collins, but what stands out is the bravery it takes to be one of the firsts or the few.  Are not we all better off because of growing pains and the struggles we all endure?  Sometimes people and movements get complacent.  We need to remember that Jackie, Jason and Ed were a beginning; we owe it to them to keep the world moving forward.  What can you do help with what is a continuing struggle?  Can you share your knowledge of how far we have come, but also understand that there is a long road ahead? 


  • 01 Jun 2013 11:59 AM | Parrish Stahl

    I want to point out words and phrases in your column that stood out to me: Jackie Robinson the first African American to play in the major leagues, fabric of America, health of America, excluding African Americans, injustice, human being, individual struggles, righteousness, brave, civil rights, end discrimination.

    If I am analyzing your story, I see a coded message that explains the continued exploits of not just African Americans but, all minorities and persons with disabilities. I also see in your message that there have been some significant gains in America regarding what we really stand for but we still have a long road ahead of us because of the same resistance our "first" had to endure to help get "us" to where we are. Great topic Parrish and thank you for the insight.

    God bless you,

    Thomas K. Burke
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  • 01 Jun 2013 12:01 PM | Parrish Stahl
    o Tracey Solomon-Eagleson I always tell my children that if a person is nice to you and treats you right, that is all that matters. I can honestly say they treat everyone the same way, and that is how they want to be treated. I have taught my kids to never see color, disability, gender, sexual orientation, religious beliefs of other people, etc., as anything but something that makes them more interesting to know. I have raised them to be unique and respect others and they will get the same in return.
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  • 01 Jun 2013 12:03 PM | Parrish Stahl
    Parrish, thanks for sharing. Suggest sending it to MLive editorial staff.
    -Catherine Brechtelsbauer
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  • 01 Jun 2013 12:04 PM | Parrish Stahl
    Thanks for sharing this. Nicely said!
    -Julie Nemecek
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  • 01 Jun 2013 12:32 PM | Parrish Stahl
    Lori Johns Neu likes this.
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  • 01 Jun 2013 12:34 PM | Parrish Stahl
    Really liked this. Janis Adams
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  • 01 Jun 2013 12:36 PM | Parrish Stahl
    Chad Butler says a big thumbs up!
    Link  •  Reply

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