George Weigel at First Things sings the praises of Jackie Robinson, who broke the National Baseball League’s “infamous” color line.
Now, I strongly disagree with Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that there is something iniquitous about separate public schools for separate races. Races have their own distinct cultures, histories, and identities and rightfully wish to pass these on to their children. Forcing blacks and whites into the same schools meant that only one people’s collective memory could be taught. In this case, it was the collective memory of the negroes that was imposed on the whites, as we see from the fact that history and social sciences are taught from a relentlessly anti-white perspective, with no one even bothering to ask what motives other than malice whites might have had for building their distinct societies. Still, it’s a legitimate concern that blacks will be at a disadvantage when their schools are inferior, and forced integration is one way to deal with this.
Similarly, I see nothing wrong with a golf club or other social organization that caters to only one race or ethnicity. Spontaneous associations, what some American conservatives call “civil society”, are a good thing, and racial consciousness is not a bad thing. Still, I have heard the argument that these groups are important places for professional networking, so groups not invited can be at a disadvantage. This is not a strong enough reason to suppress monoracial clubs, but it is a legitimate concern.
What possible reason, though, could there be to object to whites having a sports club to themselves? It’s not that blacks didn’t have opportunities to play baseball. Robinson himself started in a separate negro league. How does it hurt anyone else if white America wanted to have a sports league for just those of European descent? How are blacks in any way at a disadvantage in school or in the professions because of this? Weigel seems entirely incurious about the motives of these “bigots” who objected to yet one more of their spaces being violated. One suspects that America’s “original sin” that he invokes but does not name is actually the existence of whites as a consciously distinct people.
If anyone wants to play the “Oh, how would you feel…” card, go ahead. I have zero problem with other races having activities from which outsiders like me are excluded. I don’t mind even when they’re the majority. I’ve said before that I agree with Catholics being excluded from the British crown. I’ve said before that the group of immigrants that included my ancestors were a net negative for America. If my group were to end up in the position of blacks in 1940s America, some things about that would bother me. The majority having a sports league to themselves wouldn’t be one of them.
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