Hank Aaron’s truth about racism

Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron (Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images)
Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron  (Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images)
Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron
(Photo by Dave Martin/Getty Images)

Hank Aaron, a deserving member of baseball’s Hall of Fame and the man who broke the total home runs record of Babe Ruth, made the mistake of speaking the truth recently when he told USA Today that America is still a racist nation.

Said Aaron after noting that he received a lot of racist hate mail as he closed in on Ruth’s record and adding that he still has that mail because it serves:

“To remind myself that we are not that far removed from when I was chasing the record. If you think that, you are fooling yourself. A lot of things have happened in this country, but we have so far to go. There’ s not a whole lot that has changed.

“We can talk about baseball. Talk about politics. Sure, this country has a black president, but when you look at a black president, President Obama is left with his foot stuck in the mud from all of the Republicans with the way he’s treated. We have moved in the right direction, and there have been improvements, but we still have a long ways to go.

“The bigger difference is back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts.”

To prove not all that much has changed, the racists crawled out from under their troglodyte bunkers and invoked obscenities and racial slurs to claim they aren’t racist.

Notes columnist Jonathan Capehart in a piece published in today’s Washington Post:

“Hank Aaron is a scumbag piece of (expletive) (racial slur)’” a man named Edward says in an e-mail to the Braves front office obtained by USA TODAY Sports.

Edward invokes the epithet five times in four sentences, closing with, “My old man instilled in my mind from a young age, the only good (racial slur) is a dead (racial slur).” . . .

Marion calls Aaron a “racist scumbag.” Ronald won’t attend another Braves game until Aaron is fired. Mark calls Aaron a “classless racist.’” David says that he will burn Aaron’s “I Had A Hammer” autobiography.

Bring up racism in today”s society and you find those who embrace bigotry screaming the loudest in claiming they aren’t what they are.

Sadly, I hear racial slurs used too often in conversation locally nowadays.  Much of it is directed at America’s first black President: Barack Obama.

So it’s no surprise that much of screaming and yelling about what Hank Aaron said comes from those who can’t handle being called what they are: Racists, bigots, homophobes and haters in general.

We saw the ugly face of racism in the so-called, and easily discredited “birther” movement that tried to claim Obama was not an American by birth.  Much of that hate came from the Republican-dominated “tea party” movement.  Interestingly, calling the tea party a “movement” is valid only if you compare it to a similar movement called diarrhea.  Like diarrhea, the tea party creates something that stinks to high heaven and is composed entirely of fecal matter.

Does this mean all Republicans are racist?  Of course not but as long as extreme right-wing zealots dominate the party’s agenda, they will be considered part of a mass that classifies blacks and other minorities as something beneath them.

It is sad that Hank Aaron now is enduring more hate and bigotry from the racists who still exist in our society.  All he did was tell the truth and when he did, racists screamed out in pain because the truth hurts.

As it should.

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