I decided to take a temporary break from reading Presidential biographies. I thought it would relax my mind a bit, and give me a little intellectual R&R time. I decided to read baseball books, because when it comes to sports, baseball has always been my first love.
My plans to unwind were rudely interrupted as I read the biography of Hank Greenberg, one of the greatest baseball players ever. He played in the 1930s and 1940s. To my heartbreak, I learned only Jackie Robinson was more slandered, slurred, and publicly denigrated than Greenberg was. Why was he the object of so much spewed hatred? Because he was a Jew.
Racial, ethnic, and religious bigotry are always ugly. I think one of the reasons that stories like Hank Greenberg's unnerve me is; in my heart of hearts I know if I had lived in these settings and times, I would have been among the scoffers. If we do not understand this about ourselves, history becomes a dead letter to us. In observing yesterday we see what any of us is capable of today.
When I read of the weaknesses of others, I am forced to look deep inside myself. Would I have done any better had I been in their situation? Probably not. We do share the common lot of humanity. Depravity has stalked us all since Eden. I'm grateful for the progress we have made in the USA, but we must remain ever vigilant to safeguard the dignity and reputations of all others, and to do a better job of promoting the infinite worth of every human being.