Jackie Robinson: A Legitimate Civil Rights Hero

Posted on April 15, 2016 by Robert Ringer Comments (23)

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Today is the 69th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers, which ended a long and shameful era in American history.

In case you missed it on television, I would urge you to go online and watch PBS’s two-part series on the life of Jackie Robinson. Watching his remarkable story brought a lot of disparate thoughts to the surface.

First, Jackie Robinson’s life was similar in many ways to the rise and fall — and rise again — of Muhammad Ali. Both, of course, were great athletes and both were outspoken about racial injustice, but their personas were quite different.

Ali had a boisterous, in-your-face style, while Robinson was soft-spoken and polite. Ali was semi-illiterate, at best, while Robinson was college educated (UCLA) and highly intelligent. But make no mistake about it, both were courageous black heroes who impacted American society in major ways.

Unfortunately, another thing that Ali and Robinson had in common was that both men incurred debilitating diseases at relatively young ages. Ali, who throughout most of his career sported a chiseled, muscular physique, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease more than three decades ago.

For those of us who witnessed some of his historic clashes — especially his two fights with Sonny Liston and his three brawls with Joe Frazier — it’s hard to believe that today’s Ali is the same brash young man we loved or hated at various times so many decades ago.

But Jackie Robinson fared even worse than Muhammad Ali on the health front. While Ali is barely able to function at age seventy-four, Robinson developed diabetes — perhaps in its early stages while he was still playing for the Dodgers — ultimately losing the sight in his right eye and most of the sight in his left eye.

At one point, doctors told him that he would soon have to have both of his legs amputated. But that never happened because, mercifully, Jackie passed away at the tender age of fifty-three. It was a sad day for all Americans, black and white alike.

I’m a sucker for a good love story, and Jackie’s relationship with his wife, Rachel, from the time they first met, was one for the books — right up there with Yuri and Lara in Doctor Zhivago. Rachel, who will be ninety-four in July, was Jackie’s best friend — and the source of his strength — and he leaned heavily on her throughout their fairytale marriage.

It tugs at your heart strings to hear Rachel now say that what she misses most about her beloved husband’s long absence (which, hard as it is to believe, has now been forty-four years) is having someone in her life to whom she could talk to about anything and everything.

But perhaps more than anything else about his life, Jackie Robinson will always be remembered for his awesome mental toughness. It was incredible how he was able to perform at such a high level on the field while handling the daily insults directed at him.

These insults included not only the worst names imaginable, but the fact that he was not allowed to stay in the same hotel as his teammates or eat in the same restaurants with them early in his career. Thomas Jefferson, ironically a slave owner himself, described Jackie perfectly when he made his famous observation that “One man with courage makes a majority.”

In the latter years of his ten-year tenure with the Dodgers, Jackie became one of the earliest — and perhaps most influential — dignified black activists. I say dignified, because he wasn’t divisive, he didn’t lead any riots, he didn’t call for violence against anyone, and he never displayed any hatred toward whites.

In other words, Jackie was a legitimate black activist. When one thinks about the class and style he displayed in making his feelings known about racial injustice, one can’t help but to contrast his dignified approach to civil rights to that of the shameless race hustlers of today. I have to believe that if he were still alive, he would be dismayed by the actions of mindless groups like Black Lives Matter and the New Black Panthers.

Like Martin Luther King, Jr., I also believe Robinson would be deeply troubled by the devolution of the black-activist movement and how sinister politicians (including black politicians!) have trapped generations of blacks into government dependency, a dependency that has resulted in the breakup of the once notoriously strong black family unit.

I know it’s difficult for blacks who are now trapped on “Uncle Sam’s Plantation” to understand what politicians and illegitimate black “leaders” are now intentionally doing to them, but hopefully that will change in the future.

What is needed are hundreds, if not thousands, of strong black leaders with the values and character of people like Jackie Robinson, Allen West, Dr. Ben Carson, and Sheriff David Clarke to emerge in the future and succeed in educating new generations of blacks. The key challenge for such leaders will be to help blacks trapped in poverty understand that they are being used by wicked people — people who claim to be looking out for them — for personal gain.

But that’s another story for another day. Today, let’s focus on that all-important moment in American history 69 years ago when the great Jackie Robinson became the first black player to step onto a Major League Baseball diamond. What an amazing moment that must have been for the fans at Ebbets Field.

Rest well, Jackie. You deserve it. Oh, and by the way, a belated thanks to you for sticking thousands of dollars in my pocket back in 1987 when I sold one of your baseball cards.

Robert Ringer

+Robert Ringer is an American icon whose unique insights into life have helped millions of readers worldwide. He is also the author of two New York Times #1 bestselling books, both of which have been listed by The New York Times among the 15 best-selling motivational books of all time.

23 responses to “Jackie Robinson: A Legitimate Civil Rights Hero”

  1. Nasdaq7 says:

    It is unbelievable the damage diabetes can do to a person and it's the fastest growing disease in the entire world. And to think someone that was so physically active suffered from it, just shows you what a silent killer it is. The more advanced it becomes, the more difficult it seems to control it with medicine.

  2. And that is why I always argue for "level of being", one's personal evolution, NOT race.

  3. Duane says:

    Complete idiotic negro pandering BS article…The blacks had THEIR OWN league and they still should…..
    He was about has edimikated as martian lucifer coon…..

  4. Avery says:

    Why should there be separate leagues? I'm curious.

    • Duane says:

      Why shouldn't Whites and blacks have their own leagues? It was originally like that… wasn't it?
      Are you insinuating blacks do not have the ability to form and manage THEIR OWN league?
      If Whites and blacks STILL had their own leagues wouldn't we have FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION of who WE want to see, sit among and interact with….I prefer be
      Do you have an issue with FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION?

      • Avery says:

        I was asking for UNDERSTANDING. I want to understand the reasoning behind your statement. No insinuation. Should Asians and HIspanics have their own leagues, too? What about people who have parents of different races, should there be a mixed league?

        No issue with FREEDOM OF ASOCIATION. Do you have an issue when 2 or more races associate?

  5. A very direct and honest article whether you are Black or White.

    • Duane says:

      Honest? It was filled with typical pandering BS…Robinson was never an outstanding player….So that leaves he was SO GREAT because he was BLACK and some anti-White zio jew hired him in an ALL WHITE league…..
      If he was doing some nasty shit behind the scenes (like blacks usually do….) wouldn't the jews have quashed it?

      • Ken S says:

        The problem is treat everyone as a individual. If they are Jews or Blacks is not near enough information to start passing judgement on them as a individual. This is what Ayn Rand called the tribal mentality.

  6. zach from mich says:

    Boxing is a brutal sport and I'm not surprised about what happened to Ali. He didn't have to overcome racial barriers as blacks like Joe Louis had been champions decades earlier. In fact he was very popular when he was still Cassius Clay, before joining the Black Muslim movement.

    Too young to see Jackie play but still remember that some whites didn't want Hank Aaron to break the Babe's HR record.

    • Phil says:

      You are right about Aaron; I grew up in Atlanta around that time and saw his record breaking homer. Hank took some vile racist garbage, for sure. And sadly it made him quite bitter. Will not judge him for that.

      Note though that Babe was larger than life, and had many fans. Not sure that simply wanting to see his record stand was a reflection of racism.

  7. Robert rdiamondesq says:

    Thanks for the book referral it looks very interesting. I read a bunch of the sample pages online at Amazon and to my amazement the issues of "income inequality" and demonizing capitalism and success are front and center even though the book was originally released 13 years ago. I did not remember "income inequality" being a liberal issue they were focusing on until several years ado (maybe 2011?) but my memory or awareness is apparently not correct.

  8. RealitySeeker says:

    Nice read. I liked how RJR pointed out two different styles of getting things done. I also enjoyed how he exposed the phony race-baiters, e.g., Black Lives Matter.

    I read another insightful article this week written by Ol' Remus:

    From time to time I run across an idea that rises above insight into the hallowed realm of discovery. No need to bring a lot of background to it, no need to explain it. It needs no external support or defense, and many formerly puzzling things trace back to it. Here's the quote, found embedded in an otherwise unremarkable essay:

    "After hearing this story, that if a belief in witchcraft is nearly pan-African then perhaps some of it came to the New World. Prominent and not so prominent talkers from the American Black population come out with similar theories of vague and invisible forces that are oppressing people, like 'institutional racism' and 'white privilege.'" ~ Henry Harpending (1944–2016), West Hunter blog

  9. Enter text right here!

  10. MR. E. says:

    Tortoise, you're getting too sentimental in your own old age. Jackie Robinson was a vicious anti-white racist. He always felt as if Whitey was cheating him and his fellow blacks. Don't rely on some TV special for the truth; read Jackie Robinson's three books that were published under his name.

    In each book, Mr. Robinson has plenty of choice words to say about Whitey; both in 1947 and after he had retired several years later. He was no more than a race hustler who put the pressure on whoever in the "white power structure" could grant him and his brethren favors and privilege. And if they didn't? Well, let's just say the Reverends Jackson and Sharpton learned a lot from Jackie Robinson.

    On the field, Jackie Robinson showed a lot of hustle. Off the field, he showed even more "hustle." Consult the original source documents, Tortoise–then rewrite your article to reflect the truth.

  11. Paul Herring says:

    Racism is inherently wrong. Whether a person is a white supremacist, black supremacist or any other colour supremacist, they're all out of order. Why so? Because the Bible says that 'through one man (Adam) all nations of men came'.

    It's hard to believe that what happened to Jackie Robinson because of a colour bar in the US meant that he couldn't share accommodation and meals with his team-mates. I hear the same thing happened to Nat King Cole who couldn't stay at the hotel he was performing at! What sort of hypocrisy and inconsistency is that?

    Humans hold different views on this, I realise. However, when we get back to bare wood or metal after the varnish and paint has been removed we'll find what one of your leaders (Lincoln in the Gettysburg Address I think) said: 'all men are created equal'. He was espousing what the Bible said before him and that standard is still good enough for me.

  12. Nasdaq7 says:

    Recently there has been a huge campaign by liberals across the world especially on the Internet to inform white / Caucasian individuals that they are "so privileged", but we ( if you are white / Caucasian ) all know we worked hard to get where we are. We invented as no one before us, yes we took some ideas from other countries but in the end we invented tens of millions of ideas and we are in this position because we continue to invent. So we worked for it. We innovated for our wealth and what was acquired via colonialism, slavery, segregation, whatever was very unfortunate, but overwhelmingly we invented. Rome had banking long before other countries. Roman law forms the basis of much of modern and international law today.

    Wikipedia Roman Law

    "legal developments spanning over a thousand years"

    So we worked for our position, for our wealth, it took effort. It didn't just magically fall into our hands. We had to explore, take the effort to work hard, the average working hours in Europe was 18 hours a day. Young children as old as 5 worked in factories, the pollution was so bad that the children had to clean the chimneys of houses. Only in 1864 Lord Shaftesbury brought in the “Act for the Regulation of Chimney Sweepers”. That's for how long the children were used as laborers.

    So for liberals and others to persistently call upon our "privileged wealth and position", just remember we also worked hard for it, 18 hours a day, we saved money, we didn't have it and of the government welfare of today our previous generations knew nothing about. You are lucky if you inherit the wealth that others worked for, the innovations others had to invent, the intellectual effort they had to put forth, if you simply inherit that wealth from the "privileged". Gaining wealth for free was never the norm throughout 97% of history. People had to rise up early in the morning and go to bed 9pm at night, working hard until machines started to do most of the work and helped out. Manual labor was what life was about and international trade across the world did not simply exist, or came about without effort. That had to be developed over thousands years. Painstakingly wealth was created. Not easily. Not in an instant. The "privileged" reach that point with extreme effort and innovation. 400 million white people had to work hard to advance quickly, faster than anyone else. You can either accept that truth or moan and groan forever – but it won't help. You will have to work hard too to have a chance of success, it won't just happen overnight. It might be a long struggle for most people to become middle class / wealthy or to remain wealthy.

  13. Jim Hallett says:

    I, too, saw the 2-part JR documentary on PBS by Ken Burns (a very talented filmmaker, despite him being a hopeless libtard!) and enjoyed it. Jackie withstood a lot, and while no one will know what was actually going on in his head, his approach was much superior to that of current race-baiters like Rev. Al and Jesse. His wife, Rachel, is a real gem, and in addition to losing Jackie in 1972, she also lost her oldest son the year before in a car accident. I'm not sure how many of the current generation appreciate what Jackie endured, but I do know of many black fans that will always root for the Dodgers, no matter where they live. I didn't start following the game until 1958 so just missed him "live", but he was a major cog in Brooklyn winning 6 pennants in 10 years (though only dispatching the Yankees once – in '55), so true baseball fans should always appreciate his contribution to the game (even if his HOF plaque fails to acknowledge his breaking the race barrier).

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  15. sabirbhai says:

    it is so nice

  16. theboxers says:

    Nice about Jackie Robinson, but i love Mohammad Ali!
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