4.10.12

THE MARK OF MATURITY.

George Will offers an observation on the most logical way to recognize the obsolescence of affirmative action.
[President Barack] Obama's administration is in shambles, yet he is prospering politically. This may not, however, entirely be evidence of the irrationality of the electorate. Something more benign may be at work.

A significant date in the nation's civil rights progress involved an African-American baseball player named Robinson, but not Jackie. The date was Oct. 3, 1974, when Frank Robinson, one the greatest players in history, was hired by the Cleveland Indians as the major leagues' first black manager.

But an even more important milestone of progress occurred June 19, 1977, when the Indians fired him. That was colorblind equality.

Managers get fired all the time. The fact that the Indians felt free to fire Robinson — who went on to have a distinguished career managing four other teams — showed that another racial barrier had fallen: Henceforth, African-Americans, too, could enjoy the God-given right to be scapegoats for impatient team owners or incompetent team executives.

Perhaps a pleasant paradox defines this political season: That Obama is African-American may be important, but in a way quite unlike that darkly suggested by, for example, MSNBC's excitable boys and girls who, with their (at most) one-track minds and exquisitely sensitive olfactory receptors, sniff racism in any criticism of their pin-up.

Instead, the nation, which is generally reluctant to declare a president a failure — thereby admitting that it made a mistake choosing him — seems especially reluctant to give up on the first African-American president. If so, the 2012 election speaks well of the nation's heart, if not its head.
Mr Will wrote this column before the fanboys at MSNBC started yelling at Our President for not doubling down on their defense of Moocher Nation. What's in the Nation's head, and heart, has not yet been revealed.

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