John Rocker, a Major League Baseball pitcher for six years, is the author of "Scars and Strikes." After retiring from baseball, Rocker embarked upon a successful career in real estate development.More ↓Less ↑
Very few things in our world actually accrue value the more they are used. Cars depreciate from the moment they are driven off the lot. It’s very doubtful that you’ll ever be able to sell those hundred-dollar shoes you just bought for a profit, and I’m quite certain there will never be a full priced market for used electronics. It’s a simple fact. Most things lose their value and sometimes effectiveness the more use they endure.
This fact of life, while not being an absolute, can also apply to more than just random consumer products. Words, over time, have the ability, as well – to diminish in “value” the more they are tossed around. Hearing the phrase “I love you” from a significant other for the first time generally carries much more impact than it does after many years. The first time a father hears the word “daddy” from his newborn son will likely have much more effect than that same word spoken 10 years later. Words, no matter how powerful the intended or literal definition may be, will diminish in their value and effectiveness the more they are used.
“Racist” is a very powerful word. It’s a word that can weaken the knees and shake the conscience of anyone to whom it is directed. It’s a word that can end any argument and thwart any debate with almost immediate precision. When that big ol’ ace of spades hits the table with the word “racist!” stamped on it, it’s enough to send any discussion from 100 to 0 in half a second flat, with nothing more than the smell of smoking brakes in the air. It’s also a word that is thrown around much too carelessly in our society.
If you have a tendency to follow mainstream media as I do, you have no doubt noticed the obnoxious level of frequency the word racist is being used. Everyone seems to be a “racist” these days. On some occasions when that card is laid there is pointed justification; in many more instances, however, the effort to point the dirty finger of racist accusation is simply absurd, designed to do nothing more than stifle all legitimate debate, derail the creation of common-sense policy, suffocate the enforcement of already existing measures or simply further ingrain the ideal of victimology into American society, along with further securing all of the benefits imparted to those seen as “victims.”
I have very little doubt that a great deal of exception was taken by all 241 members of the House of Representatives when they were accused of being racists for holding Eric Holder in contempt. A list of documents was repeatedly requested by members of Congress. Those requests were repeatedly ignored. It would seem that a contempt action would be the next logical step. Racial bias? How? This is not 1968 Selma, Ala.! I would like to think we have progressed as a nation far beyond our elected officials behaving along the whims of racial bias.
Evidently, according to special-interest groups and fear-mongering liberals, it’s not just House Republicans who are steeped in hatred and bigotry. According to some, legislators in Texas and South Carolina who have the audacity to suggest that a voter should be required by law to produce proper ID are participating in a racial agenda as well. In every corner of this country, members of all races, nationalities, colors, creeds and sexual orientations are required to have valid photo ID to operate an automobile, board a plane, even pick up a prescription. In these and many more scenarios, the identification requirements to perform certain functions are simply seen as the normal way of doing things. Being required to identify yourself prior to electing the next leader of the free world, however, is “racist” – end of discussion.
Do those who suggest this racial bias feel that minorities who may be affected by such a law are incapable of performing such a simple task? Isn’t underestimating someone’s ability to perform a task based on that person’s race the basic cornerstone of bigotry? Sometimes the intentionally blind eye some turn toward common sense borders on plain insanity.
And last but not least, my favorite example of the ridiculous slinging of racial accusations: It’s a gross understatement to say that the American media figuratively burned me at the stake for many years with flames that could be seen from one coast to the other for my supposed feelings of racism and bigotry. The intolerance of John Rocker by the overwhelming majority of media became a bit of an absolute for a long while.
Rewind to 2009-2010 and the steroid and perjury trial of the greatest home run hitter in the history of Major League Baseball, Barry Bonds. Naturally, when a man of his stature, fame and prominence comes under allegation by the federal government for perjury, among several other counts, it’s going to draw quite a crowd. To be expected, media splashed daily results of Bonds’ trial across every media outlet available. Here’s the rub. After several weeks of media coverage many in the minority liberal community – NAACP, Rainbow PUSH and others – strongly chastised the very media that relentlessly crucified me for my supposed racial bias, claiming their coverage was racist, because Mr. Bonds is black! Seriously?! Just in case you were wondering, there was never any similar claims made regarding basically the exact situation that involved Roger Clemens, which got every bit as much media attention.
The “trump card” is wearing out – and it’s wearing out fast!