I get that "white people solve racism" is an annoying thing in Hollywood movies, I really do. But sometimes it really was the case that white people of character actually intentionally chose to make a difference in the field they controlled, and Branch Rickey was one of those people: he signed Jackie Robinson out of business sense and idealism. The business sense doesn't cancel out the idealism, which was significant and showed up in other areas of his life, too. Which you would know if you bothered to learn any of the story, as the author of the above-linked post obviously did not.

Excuse me: University of Michigan alumnus Branch Rickey.


Andrew Stevens said...

Here, here. Unquestionably, Jackie Robinson had it tougher both in life and in the process of breaking the color line. But without Branch Rickey, there is no Jackie Robinson legend.

Moreover, the guy who wrote it should be absolutely thrilled to learn the whole story. Despite Branch Rickey's crucial role, Branch Rickey is only familiar to baseball historians and aficionados; whereas everybody's heard of Jackie Robinson.

Katherine said...

Also, say what you will about the Kennedy family, but President Kennedy and Bobby made a difference in advancing civil rights and Ted & Caroline saw the promise of Barack Obama. Would these things have happened otherwise? Sure, eventually. Whites may not have been saviors but whites with conscience and connections knew they had to do the right thing--at long last.