by Ric Ottaiano

October 2, 2006

If you are a baseball fan, you have probably heard of the accusations by former major-leaguer Jason Grimsley that Roger Clemens (among others) may have used the banned performance enhancing substance, human growth hormone (HGH). Whether that is true or not remains to be seen. I have my personal opinion, but it is no better informed than that of my mom’s who wouldn’t know Roger Clemens if he plunked her with a slider while she was grocery shopping.

You might also know that Barry Bonds, whose story has been front and center for over a year now, seems much more likely than not to have used steroids to improve his performance. Think of the “cream and the clear”, the BALCO and Greg Anderson indictments and the recent book Game of Shadows: Barry Bonds, BALCO, and the Steroids Scandal that Rocked Professional Sports“.

Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Plaschke wrote a piece today entitled Don’t Be Surprised If “Rocket” Escapes the Bonds Treatment arguing that “America” would not want to believe that Clemens is guilty of cheating because “he is a nice guy, a family guy, a good ol’ guy and, let’s be honest here, a Caucasian guy.”

So according to a fairly well known and read sports columnist, Americans are inveterate racists who have for the most part rejected Barry Bonds not because, on top of overwhelming evidence that he took performance enhancing substances, has been a self-centered misanthrope throughout most of his career blowing off fans and writers alike while physically and emotionally distancing himself from his teammates and not-too-privately carrying on with a mistress behind his wife’s back, but becasue he is African-American.

Before the facts are in and anyone has even had a chance to either defend or indict Roger Clemens, another of our main stream media writers has already weighed in and come to the obvious conclusion that most whites, while maybe no longer outwardly hateful of blacks, still carry a deep-seated, subconscious animosity towards them, especially those who are seen as successful.

We have a problem with race here in America. But it’s not the increasingly less frequent acts of discrimination, or the increasingly level playing field we as a society strive to provide. It’s the continual self-flagellation in some quarters that I like to call the claim of presumptive racism (but never regarding non-whites or other minorities) that injects questions of bigotry and unfairness where none exist.

Now I’m sure Mr. Plaschke believes he has been unscrupulously fair towards Barry Bonds, as I’m sure he believes he will be toward Roger Clemens. Unfortunately, the shame of it is that the rest of us less evolved white folk just haven’t the wherewithal to rise above our nature as he has.

[This article can also be seen at Release The Hounds!]

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