I’ve seen a lot of links to these remarks, so here they are via MoJo:
On Wednesday, after the Baltimore Orioles trounced the Chicago White Sox in front of over 48,000 empty seats at Camden Yards, Orioles’ manager Buck Showalter offered a blunt assessment of the ongoing protests happening just beyond the stadium gates.
When a Baltimore resident asked what advice Showalter would give to young black residents in the community, the manager explains [emphasis added]:
You hear people try to weigh in on things that they really don’t know anything about. … I’ve never been black, OK? So I don’t know, I can’t put myself there. I’ve never faced the challenges that they face, so I understand the emotion, but I can’t. … It’s a pet peeve of mine when somebody says, ‘Well, I know what they’re feeling. Why don’t they do this? Why doesn’t somebody do that?’ You have never been black, OK, so just slow down a little bit.
I try not to get involved in something that I don’t know about, but I do know that it’s something that’s very passionate, something that I am, with my upbringing, that it bothers me, and it bothers everybody else. We’ve made quite a statement as a city, some good and some bad. Now, let’s get on with taking the statements we’ve made and create a positive. We talk to players, and I want to be a rallying force for our city. It doesn’t mean necessarily playing good baseball. It just means [doing] everything we can do. There are some things I don’t want to be normal [in Baltimore again]. You know what I mean? I don’t. I want us to learn from some stuff that’s gone on on both sides of it. I could talk about it for hours, but that’s how I feel about it.
Fans watched from outside the stadium gates after demonstrations in response to the death of Freddie Gray forced the team to play the first game behind closed doors in Major League Baseball history. At Wednesday’s press conference, outfielder Adam Jones, who related to the struggles of Baltimore’s youth as a kid growing up in San Diego, called on the city to heal after the unrest.
The piece, as suggested in the title, goes on to note that white people in general could take note and learn something from these guys on how to discuss race. And he’s right. But what he doesn’t explain is why? It’s a pretty simple reason, actually. It’s because Showalter and others has actually spent a lot of time with black people, and he’s spent time with folks who have grown up in just the kind of areas that Freddie Gray grew up in. I think that that is a large part of it.
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Speaking of Mother Jones, they are having their annual fundraising drive. I pitched in 5 a month for a year.