Some Thoughts on African Americans, Major League Baseball and Cultural Assumptions

More than 10 years ago, I was speaking with an African American pastor in New York City, talking about our respective burdens. He said to me, “You’re trying to get prayer back in the schools. I’m trying to get education back in the schools.”

He too was a believer in prayer. He simply wanted to emphasize that, in the world in which he lived where the school system was so broken, there were even more fundamental matters to address. At least in the schools where I was advocating for the option of prayer for the students, the children were also getting a solid education. Not so in many of the schools in which this pastor worked.

Again, this is not a matter of either-or. It’s a matter of cultural assumptions. My world may be very different from your world.

In my recent article “A Bipartisan Proposal for Voter Integrity and Photo IDs,” I referenced the hypocrisy of Major League Baseball in moving the All-Star game from Atlanta because of new voter ID requirements—the very ID requirements that are needed to pick up will-call tickets at an MLB game.

To me (and many other conservative commentators), this was a strong point. How could the MLB protest the requirement that voters have photo ID—as if it was somehow unfair to Black Americans—when that was the MLB’s own requirement for picking up tickets?

I still believe it’s a strong point in terms of a double standard. But it’s a much less compelling point to some of my Black American friends.

One of them wrote to me (with appreciation for my article), “I think you trivialize the ID situation though. Your comparison to picking up MLB tickets is a little tone deaf because you haven’t thought about how many Black folks go to MLB games in comparison. This was a major assumption. Most Black folks care nothing about MLB so to suggest that the two are somehow equivalent shows the disconnect between most conservatives and their Black constituents.”

He was 100% right. I hadn’t thought for a moment about how many Black Americans went to MLB games. The question hadn’t dawned on me.

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SOURCE: Charisma News