Thursday, January 22, 2015

PREJUDICE and RACISM PLAINFIELD STYLE



MLK Jr once said “History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people.”

Of all places the third event has taken place in the Council. In that chamber and outside that quote, is sad to say, a reflection of the state of affairs in Oz.

The practice of racism and/or religious bigotry is not a white exclusive. Even here in Plainfield despite political leadership’s self-blandishments of municipal diversity; there are African-Americans who are active advocates of restrictive discrimination against Whites and Latinos.

An example of that practice openly surfaced once again at the Council Agenda Setting Session when nearly an hour was given to an ongoing conflict over youth baseball.

This time the complainant was not the long standing independent Queen City Baseball League who during the previous administration had been the subject of discriminatory practices by the Recreation Division?

At this month’s Agenda Session and again at the Council Business meeting a group trying to revive  the old Recreation league as the Plainfield Negro Baseball League appeared before the Council asking for financial support by the Council through Recreation; something that section had never done  for citizen sponsored programs.

It is true that while claiming to be acting for the kids, the Plainfield Negro Baseball League proponents’ agenda seems to be political and aimed at Mayor Mapp. None the less the group’s very name is indicative of racial discrimination.

First let us backtrack; after years of Plainfield’s youth baseball program being sponsored originally by Kiwanis and then by the PAL. When the later dropped its sponsorship an independent civic group had organized the QCBL and for several years they had continued the program.

About three years ago the Recreation Division which had made its facilities available to that group for its local activities decided to sponsor its own league, something it had never done.
Roland Muhammad was placed in charge of that league and an unpublished policy was instituted to exclude the QCBL from use of the city’s facilities during acceptable hours for their programs. This was the subject of many Council meetings when members of QCBL requested remedial action.

The Recreation league’s teams were to be named after those in the old Negro League teams. There should be no objection for any youth baseball league to have teams named after the old Homestead Grays, Crawfords, Black Sox, Elite Giants of the old major Black baseball leagues; as well as the present day Yankees, Cardinals, Dodgers etc.

Nor is it wrong to memorialize for future generations a history of the times in which there was blatant discrimination.

After the previous director of Recreation had resigned; under the new administration for 2014. The Rec. sponsored league and players with the citizen operated QCBL were absorbed into one league.

The 2015 PNBL is an effort to recreate the contentious group sponsored by the previous Recreation Director and led by Muhammad. It was evident that the intent was then and now by its name to have a segregated league that excluded whites and Latinos.

 The very name of this group, Negro, is racist implying that Whites and most likely Latinos would be excluded. The Council leadership should not only never have permitted proponents of such a discriminatory group to appear on its agenda, but above all show support.

Unfortunately members of the previous Administration and Council have openly displayed a close relationship with those advocates of racism. That must be condemned, it is anti-American and dangerous. 

To have members of the City government’s Administration or Council support racism in any form is reprehensible. Yet this has happened in the past and seems to continue to have support now.

We should look to our own house before we complain about others.

5 comments:

  1. Were it a "Latino League" or "Caucasian League", yes of course, the howls would be nationwide by now and the audacity to demand money for them would be the gas on the fire... but alas...this is Plainfield...
    If the very people demanding the money find their comfort in the fiscally incompetent financial house of the former Mayor it gives all the information you need to know about the group.. it's about lining their pockets... it's got nothing to do with the kids. Stellar group setting an awesome example to the very youth they feel comfortable labeling as thugs and criminals in training.

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  2. Anything associated with David Wynn former Director of Recreation should be looked at with suspect. He is a thief and a thug. He should have been prosecuted, found guilty and sent to jail. Instead under the SRB he was allowed to resign and collect a pension for a job badly done.

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  3. In defense of the Negro League history, they accepted anyone who wanted to play the game including women and Jews. Mamie Peanut Jackson was a pitcher from Long Branch who struck out Satchel Paige. The Negro Leagues accepted anyone banned from the game because they were not whit and male. Professor Hogan of Union County College wrote the definitive history of the Negro Leagues for the National Geographic society.Historically Black Colleges and Universities also accept anyone who wants to attend and even today are more diverse than mainstream schools.

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    1. I never said that the various historical "Negro Leaguea' practiced racial or relgious discrimination of any kind. They were formed as a refuge for those excluded by organized (white) baseball. Plainfield does not need a "Ne gro" league; the name reflects the bigoted orientation of its leadership.

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  4. Plainfield's negro league is only about themselves and would exclude and boycott the QCBL kids. So they are not trying to follow the spirit of the original league.

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