Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Jackie Robinson: A Friendship in the Midst of Racism

Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese

April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first black major league baseball player. Despite the immense about of hate and anger towards him, one person had the courage to become his friend.

Racism is an ugly and repulsive belief that millions of people around the world still believe in this poisonous mentality. Therefore, it is always good to hear of stories of people who took a stand against racism despite what people thought of them. Today’s story is about two professional baseball players. One that had to face the evils of racism everywhere he went…and another who decided to show people how he felt about racism and be a friend to his teammate.

Jackie Robinson was the first black to play major league baseball. Breaking baseball’s color barrier, he faced jeering crowds in every stadium. While playing one day in his home stadium in Brooklyn, he committed an error. The fans began to ridicule him. He stood at second base, humiliated, while the fans jeered. Then, shortstop Pee Wee Reese came over and stood next to him. He put his arm around Jackie Robinson and faced the crowd. The fans grew quiet. Robinson later said that arm around his shoulder saved his career.

Same story different version: One example of friendship remains with me as vividly as the moment I first heard of it as a boy. In his first seasons with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Jackie Robinson, the first black man to play Major League baseball, faced venom nearly everywhere he traveled–fastballs at his head, getting spiked on the bases, brutal epithets from the opposing dugouts and from the crowds. During one game in Boston, the taunts and racial slurs seemed to reach a peak. In the midst of this, another Dodger, a Southern white named Pee Wee Reese, called timeout. He walked from his position at shortstop toward Robinson at second base, put his arm around Robinson’s shoulder, and stood there with him for what seemed like a long time. The gesture spoke more eloquently than the words: This man is my friend. ~ Willie Morris, Parade Magazine

These are great stories of a special man that wasn’t just a leader but also an unconditional friend to someone else that was going through unimaginable circumstances. There are many people who are lonely, made fun of, and need someone to stand up for them…regardless what others say. So, be a friend… a real friend to someone today!

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Coach Phatty is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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8 comments on Jackie Robinson: A Friendship in the Midst of Racism

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By Randy Mitchell on April 17, 2013 at 11:45 am

If more people followed Pee Wee Resse's actions, racism would slowly cease to exist. Thank you for writing this article.

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By Barbara MacDonald on April 17, 2013 at 03:01 pm

Ditto to what Randy says... we do need more people in this world who see with their hearts rather than with bias...well done Rich.

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By Coach Phatty on April 17, 2013 at 05:33 pm

Thank you so much for your comments. I truly DESPISE racism!! If it was possible to take all of our skin off and live together, no one would ever be able to tell the difference between people. I really feel like I would have been the "Pee Wee Reese" in this story.

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By Barbara MacDonald on April 17, 2013 at 05:49 pm

You and I both Rich...I have no tolerance for prejudice of any kind...One Love....Bob Marley : D ...Amen.

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By Uttam Gill on April 17, 2013 at 09:49 pm

It is very heartening to see that by and large people are awakening to centuries old menace of racial belief…Taking clue from Pee Wee Reese gesture we all need to pursue hard to eliminate age old belief…Racial hatred/ discrimination is rather an impediment for natural corollary of evolution to work towards building a robust species of homo-sapiens…I have seen this aspect of racism which over the thousands of years working under the cloak of caste system here In India and it is still prevailing…I am from Punjab and we are Aryans(JAT Community),we are farmers by profession… our forefathers 3000-4000 years moved from Central Europe to the Indo Gangetic plain…they had different features, body stature and color of the skin as compared to the original inhabitants of the Country and the aboriginals are known as Dravids…The whole caste system then established to avoid contacts with the aboriginals…it was about conquerors and conquered…I must say the caste system is a surrogate of Racism only…It is certainly a very disgusting form of belief and to me it has hampered the growth of my country…Rather caste system is a major road block for my country to go ahead towards human growth and the progress in this regard so far is dismal…Let’s Hope the new generation would bring in radical change in our thoughts...

Great Article

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By Coach Phatty on April 17, 2013 at 10:34 pm

Thanks for your replies Randy, Barbara, and Uttam!!

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By riginal on April 18, 2013 at 12:06 am

Instead of the "we pee emotionally on anyone outside our 'chosen' herd" self- induced "better than thou" mob mentally which exists literally from cradle to grave in all walks of life perpetuating loneliness,suicide,hate, we need more parents of the Pee Wee Reese ilk to instil this basic human emotion in their kids, "how would you feel if a herd of gutless wonders trampled all over your reason for being?" Some parents need to take a long hard critical look in the mirror at themselves also. Monkey see monkey do! Careful with your emotional pee and over whom...the winds of good fortune can also blow ill...Great piece go well armed. cheers.

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By malcom on January 21, 2015 at 12:36 am

can i tell you that the article is awesome. and i am very please being casino player and i can tell you to go for slots or even mobile slots.

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