by Bill Martinez & Bob Cook
Have you Heard! Another true American Hero has tarnished his unblemished reputation as a superb Athlete, as an Achiever, and as a Role Model for millions of Americans; someone whose dream was big enough to overcome an apparent lack of opportunity. That man is our Hero, Hank Aaron, and the sad incident in question involves the unfortunate remarks taken from his speech given at an Official Anniversary Celebration of his remarkable achievements. On one hand, Hall of Famer Aaron’s political statements regarding blacks in America reveal his pain and perspective. But to what purpose? Have his comments advanced the dream and future that Martin Luther King preached about? Sadly I do not think that was achieved.
His comments are unfortunate in as much as they take blacks and this country backwards, not forward. And we simply must not retrace our steps as our needs are to move forward. Racial division does nothing for unity as it creates and promotes a racial grievance industry that preys on debilitating perspectives which only serve to keep all Americans–especially black Americans–enslaved to an ideology that limits opportunity and exhausts contributions to our families, society and country.
I am saddened to hear Hammerin’ Hanks painful perspective. I remember admiring him as a kid, as I was the consummate baseball player. I can honestly say, I didn’t consider Aaron’s color. What I did admire was his gentlemanly manner even when he was being attacked while chasing Babe Ruth’s record. You also had to respect his gift of hand speed that was the force behind all those home runs.
This is what I love about sports; it’s not about your skin color, it’s about delivering and making it happen. Seven hundred and fifty five home runs later, there was a lot of “making it happen” going on. As a kid and as an adult, I am a fan of Hank Aaron. And I can truly admit that skin color had nothing to do with it.
Of course, I’m not black and I didn’t experience the hatred and prejudice that too many blacks grew up with, but that’s not to say that as a Hispanic American I have not experienced racial bias, because I have. But I look at how far our country has come. For goodness sakes, We The People elected our first black president, not once but twice. As a minority American I am extremely proud that our system of equality has risen above the natural inclinations of a culture based on racial prejudices.
I believe that there is a growing surge of all Americans, a tidal wave of every color, creed, and race whose cultures make up this exceptional country. Taking us beyond the past, it is a cascade which moves all of us forward to an even freer America in which success and respect are determined by the content of one’s character and not the color of one’s skin. May God bless you and the United States of America!
About Bill Martinez,
From doing public affairs radio while in the Marine Corps to working with Wolfman Jack, Bill Martinez has spent 40 years talking AND listening on the radio. “There is so much information going on out there, it is important to discern what is the truth and what is the lie.” We’re excited that Bill will be with us at Coach is Right, separating fact from fiction for our readers in every article.
Bill Martinez Live is heard M-F 9-11a (ET) in over 150 markets across the country. And on Bloomberg Radio in southern California M-F 3-4p (PT). Go to www.billmartinezlive.com for all the details