To the editor:
The lead up to, celebration of, and honored remembrance of Memorial Day – particularly in light of our rising “woke’ consciousness of systemic, pervasive racism as the “cause celebre” narrative of America – has hardened a few questions in my mind. Thus, this missive.
Why did my mother abandon her dishwashing to join the family in front of TV, hug and kiss my father on the cheek, to see “Jackie” come to the batter’s box, or run the bases, especially if he was “on third"? My mother, who grew up on a farm in the center of lily-white-from-shore-to-shore Ireland, was not a sports fan yet wanted to see “Jackie” play. Why? Systematic racism? “Tokenism” for African Americans? Jackie Robinson, who is now referred to by revisionist biographers as “Jack,” was loved by my mother is the answer. And, before leaping to the “tokenism” of Barack Obama’s eight years in office by a majority of American citizens, or Dylan’s 1970s song of wrongful imprisonment, do we forget the whole civil rights movement? Never impressed anyone, huh?
We should endorse the teaching of our grandchildren that America is racist at its core, that their gender is not really their gender until they choose, or “realize,” it? Such questions are, of course, racist and homophobic.
Just the same, they come to mind when I pause to consider Memorial Day and a mother’s joy at an individual’s success.