Today the Republican National Committee (RNC) unveiled its new website. Ironically and just in time for the major league baseball post season, added to their site as one of two dozen “GOP Hero” is Jackie Robinson. Jackie Robinson as you know, is credited for breaking the color barrier that was professional baseball. Just great, not only do us Negroes have to contend with the argument that Martin Luther King Jr. was a Republican, now we have to add Jackie Robinson to the mix.
According to the site Jackie Robinson was a “Great Republican” who campaigned for Richard Nixon's presidential campaign in 1960. Oh, and let’s not forget that in 1964, he also supported New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller's campaign. He did both, but according to his autobiography “Jackie Robinson: A Biography,” by Arnold Rampersad, Jackie Robinson identified himself politically as a “registered independent”.
The book acknowledges Robinson's support of Republicans, but quoted Robinson, speaking in 1959, this way:
“I guess you’d call me an independent since I’ve never identified myself with one party or another in politics.” He was, in fact, a registered independent. But already Robinson had shown a clear disposition to support Republicans, and in particular Nixon.Jackie Robinson also had to say this about the Republican Party after Barry Goldwater won the nomination over Rockefeller, when speaking about the GOP 1964 National Convention:
That convention was one of the most unforgettable and frightening experiences of my life. The hatred I saw was unique to me because it was hatred directed against a white man. It embodied a revulsion for all he stood for, including his enlightened attitude towards black people.If Jackie Robinson was a Republican he damn sure didn't sound like it, did he? But hey, that's revisionist history for you. If Jackie Robinson was a “Great Republican Hero”, can you imagine what they'll be saying about George W. Bush in about another 50yrs from now? The irony of Robinson’s description of the party is that there isn't that much difference strategically by the GOP of today. They are as divisive now as they were back then, and they play on the further polarization of the nation for political expediency.
A new breed of Republicans had taken over the GOP. As I watched this steamroller operation in San Francisco, I had a better understanding of how it must have felt to be a Jew in Hitler’s Germany.
But I guess if you visit the site like I did, and you think like I think, you couldn't help but to laugh at how they painstakingly took care to be sure that they had a few minorities splashed on their hero page other than Michael Steele [Click here to check it out]. My spider sense is tingling and telling me that had John McCain won the presidency instead of Obama, they would give two shits about Jackie Robinson – or any other minority for that matter. One has to wonder how come they have yet to lay claims to Kunta Kinte.