Whites and racism, and Larry Rothschild…

I can’t really blame them.

On October 23, Chicago Sun-Times staff reporter Stefano Esposito wrote an article titled, “Blacks, Latinos agree racism a ‘major problem,’ whites say no”. According to a University of Chicago study released the week before, 69% of African-Americans and 51% of Latinos considered racism to be a “major problem”. Only 29% of whites and 32% of Asian-Americans expressed the same sentiments.

U. Of C. PoliSci professor Cathy J. Cohen hinted that this might be President Obama’s fault, saying, “This is another missed opportunity on the part of the president” and “…his unwillingness to lead around issues of race, instead of just reacting to crises, has left a void there that has been filled by the right wing, in many ways.”

Really? It’s funny how so many political pundits have come out of nowhere to opine on Obama’s administration. Whether criticizing his spending, policies, or the trips he takes, glorified bloggers and analysts have taken shots whenever given the chance. Suddenly, because there is a president of African descent, he’s supposed to be the man who leads this country towards racial harmony? What happened to questioning the agendas of the other 42 presidential administrations? Didn’t they all feel obligated in some way to tackle the issue of racism in this country? I guess some people think that only a president of color would take the initiative and address the issue of racism in this country.

After I read the article, I discussed it with a good friend of mine who said he wasn’t surprised that so few whites still view racism as a major problem in the US. To be perfectly honest, I wasn’t either. I don’t think that most whites are totally oblivious to the fact that racism still exists. But, how can whites feel that racism is still something to be seriously worried about when (I’m assuming) most of them haven’t ever faced racial discrimination? I asked a few of my white friends if they’d ever been discriminated against because of their race, and they all said they hadn’t. I asked them if they knew of any white friends or family members who had been victims of racism, and once again, they said no. I’d like to think that the same goes for most white people. So, it isn’t very hard to understand how so many whites don’t view racism as a serious problem in the US. I’m not saying that every minority has a Rodney King story, because I surely don’t (although I have been on the receiving end of nigger about a dozen times and some unwarranted stops by the police). However, racism against minorities in this country has been well-documented. In that, I don’t even include the unfairness aimed towards women for so many years. I know that there are some whites who’ve been discriminated against, but I feel that sometimes we (minorities) make them feel as if it doesn’t count because there’s not exactly a long history of whites facing racism in this country. It’s not right, but it’s definitely realistic.

With President Obama in office, I’m sure a good number of whites think that his election means that we’re finally getting past the racism that has plagued this country for hundreds of years. Hell, many people of other races felt the same way after November 4, 2008. Whites came out in droves to support Obama, but I feel that some of that was a mirage. If you don’t understand my point, look up the 1982 California gubernatorial race between black LA mayor Tom Bradley and George Deukmejian. About the only difference between the 2008 presidential race and that one was the number of young people who came out in support of a particular candidate.

Are there whites who feel that racism is a major problem in the US? Yes. Are there more whites who feel that racism is no longer a major problem in the US? In my opinion, yes. However, before you accuse white people of being insensitive to racism in this country, put yourself (unless you’re white) in their shoes.

Send me a postcard from the Bronx.

Recently, former Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild left the team to take the same position with the New York Yankees. Several Cubs fans voiced their displeasure on Twitter, which I found absolutely…normal. One person tweeted that it would be hard to say that Rothschild “sucks” because the Yankees signed him. Wow. I guess Jason Giambi, Rondell White, Carl Pavano, and now AJ Burnett mean nothing to him. To “mourn” the loss of someone who enjoyed marginal success in a Cubs uni is nothing out of the ordinary for most Cubs fans. When Mark Derosa was traded to the Cleveland Indians, I thought that Cubs Nation was going to implode. I had almost forgotten that Derosa didn’t post a line of .330/40/130 and lead the Cubs to a World Series title. Derosa, good? Of course. Derosa, great? Child, please.

I never blamed Rothschild for Kerry Wood and Mark Prior’s many injury woes. But I do blame him for not helping them make adjustments to avoid some of those injuries. I blame Rothschild for not discovering sooner that Prior didn’t have perfect mechanics, as so many analysts said when Prior came out of USC, hailed by many as “the greatest college pitcher of all-time”. I blame Larry for not working with Wood on keeping his walks and pitch count down. It’s not Larry’s fault that Carlos Zambrano is a 6’5″, 250-lb nutcase. It is Larry’s fault, however, that Z’s skills seem to have regressed since your favorite GM, Jim Hendry, gave him an extension in 2007. You’d think that a pitching coach would be able to help a pitcher with Zambrano’s repertoire and skill set become more than a serviceable starting pitcher. 34 wins over the last 3 seasons is simply unacceptable. I blame Larry for Carlos Marmol’s inability to get 3 outs in a row on a consistent basis. I blame Larry for Ryan Dumpster, after 2008. You know, for Dumpster being just an above-average pitcher like he’s been his entire career. Larry should take part of the blame for the incompetence of Aaron Heilman, John Grabow, and Jeff Samardzija, too.

Larry Rothschild wasn’t the worst pitching coach ever, but he’s certainly not Leo Mazzone, Dave Duncan, Rick Peterson, or Mel Stottlemyre, either. I really wish that Cubs fans would stop lamenting the loss of everyone not named Todd Hundley, Dusty Baker, and Milton Bradley because it’s insanely annoying. Good riddance, Larry, and good luck with Mr. Burnett and those damn “Joba Rules”.

P.S. I miss Karen and the Moondance Woman!!!

P.P.S. Yes, you heard right. I am indeed a gangster…


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