Remember John Rocker?

In 2000, John Rocker was a relief pitcher for the Atlanta Braves, and was actually enjoying a pretty successful career.  But that same year he said the following in a Sports Illustrated interview:

“Imagine having to take the 7 train [in Queens] to the ballpark [at Shea Stadium], looking like you’re in Beruit riding next to some kid with purple hair, next to some queer with AIDS, right next to some dude who just got out of jail for the fourth time, right next to some 20-year-old Mom with four kids. It’s depressing……The biggest thing I don’t like about New York are the foreigners. You can walk an entire block in Times Square and not hear anybody speaking English. Asians and Koreans and Vietnamese and Indians and Russians and Spanish people and everything up there. How the hell did they get in this country?”

That pretty much ruined his career.  He later apologized for the remarks, and upon playing the Mets later that year at Shea Staium, New York fans chanted “asshole” when he came onto the field.  Three years late his MLB career came to an abrupt end.

Fast forward 10 years.  It appears African-Americans are once again breaking the color barrier, not only in the White House but in bigotry and color prejudice as well.  In a move that probably makes John Rocker proud, Los Angeles Angels center fielder Torii Hunter, who is African-American, used an interview in USA to spew his own hateful thoughts for Latino baseball players, particularly those with dark skin, wide noses, thick lips and kinky hair.

In the report, Hunter was quoted as saying:

“People see dark faces out there, and the perception is that they’re African-American. They’re not us. They’re impostors. Even people I know come up and say: ‘Hey, what color is Vladimir Guerrero? Is he a black player?’ I say, ‘Come on, he’s Dominican. He’s not black.’

“As African-American players, we have a theory that baseball can go get an imitator and pass them off as us. It’s like they had to get some kind of dark faces, so they go to the Dominican or Venezuela because you can get them cheaper. It’s like, ‘Why should I get this kid from the South Side of Chicago and have Scott Boras represent him and pay him $5 million when you can get a Dominican guy for a bag of chips?’ … I’m telling you, it’s sad.”

Who knew people from “the Dominican” worked so cheap?  I guess”fake” black people aren’t worth as much money as “real” black people.  I always knew this concept of “black brotherhood” was a bunch of bullshit, but this is really disgusting.  Just because Guerrero’s ancestors were kidnapped in Africa and forced to work in a sugar cane plantation instead of a cotton plantation makes him no less black then you, Torii,  And given the fact that, just like Dominicans, African-Americans often have a few white and Native American ancestors in their family tree, Guerrero may just be blacker than you, genetically.

The second worst part is the black Latinos, Afro-Latinos, sambos, mulatos, morenos, or by whatever name they may go by have it very hard when they come to the United States, because they must endure double prejudice for being both black and being a Latino immigrant.  First, there is the language barrier as well as their foreign-born status that can socially ostracize them from the larger mainstream American society, especially in a time when so many white Americans are openly expressing fears and prejudice of non-white foreigners.  Anyone who thinks black Latinos have it better in the U.S. because they are Hispanic is an idiot.

Then there is the stigma and disgusting prejudice associated with being black or dark-skinned in America, something that goes on in the Dominican Republic and other Latin Americans countries, albeit to a lesser extent than in the U.S.  Some white ladies clutch their purses upon seeing you, may even cross the street to avoid crossing paths with you.  Walking into a mom and pop store and the guy behind the counter wondering if they are about to be robbed.  As a black man, Hunter should be aware of the stigma of being black in America and should have some sympathy toward Guerrero and the millions of other black Latinos who call this country home.  But instead, in Hunter’s warped, racist mind, Guerrero and everyone else from “the Dominican” is just an impostor.

Now, a  foreign-born black man like Guerrero must also deal with even more prejudice from Africa-American bigots like Hunter who talk about black people as if there were none outside of the United States and talk about slavery as if it did not occur outside of the United States.  Unfortunately, both Torii Hunter (born in Arkansas) and John Rocker (born in Georgia) are Southerners, giving the South a bad name and solidifying the stereotype that all Southerners are inbred, xenophobic assholes.

The worst part of this story is that unlike John Rocker, Torii Hunter refuses to apologize for his remarks.

In a previous life where I was a columnist for Political Storm, I wrote about the hidden racism in not holding black celebrities to the same standard as their white counterparts.  My theory is that mainstream America fails to chastise African-Americans when they do or say something offensive (racist, sexist, etc.) because of notions of white supremacy, the concept among some white people that blacks are mentally inferior to them and therefore should not be held accountable to their actions because they don’t know any better.  The racist notion that blacks are some less civilized or are genetically more in common with monkeys and apes than Caucasians are the cornerstones for this belief usually held by white liberals who I have said for years are just closet bigots.

Well, I don’t believe that black people are mentally inferior or talking monkeys or less civilized than anyone else.  I believe that blacks have the same mental capacities as whites and therefore believe Torii Hunter should face the same fate as John Rocker.  The next time the Angels play at Yankee Stadium, with all the dark-skinned Puerto Ricans and Dominicans in the stands, Hunter should have bottles of Jarritos thrown at him along with chants of “Ca-bron!  Ca-bron” hurled his way when he enters the playing field.  Unlike John Rocker, Hunter will still probably enjoy a long career, as long as the mainstream media and the MLB turn a blind eye in the collective belief that black people simply don’t know any better.

Hating on black immigrants?  Shame on you, Hunter, you racist cracker.  It seems even a century after the abolition of slavery in the U.S., some African-Americans are still doing white peoples’ dirty work.

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