Thursday, April 21, 2011

Does anything sum up deadspin better than this post?

Today, the "Shocking news" that the KKK tried to have an outing at a Cincinnati 1924.

Look, we all hate the KKK except for Dan-Bob who is a member. But does anything sum up Deadspin's

a.) General cluelessness about history/sports
b.) Desire to sensationalize things that aren't sensational

than this post? Look--the KKK is a terrible thing. But anyone who knows anything about baseball or United States history knows that the KKK asking to have a ballpark day in 1924 isn't particularly shocking. I mean, for fuck's sake, you don't really have to even know anything special about baseball and history to know that a racist organization asking to be officially recognized by a public figure or institution pre-1950's isn't that big a deal.

But the more you know about history the stupider it is that Deadspin thinks this is interesting. Let me be brief: in 1924 the KKK was not necessarily known to be the terrorist organization it is today. Between its inception in post-Civil War America as an group to bully newly freed blacks to the height of its murderous prominence in the 1950's and 1960's south, the KKK was really just a social organization. A racist social organization, a la the John Birch society, but nothing the average person--not even the average American would be particularly embarrassed to belong to. It was just a group of men whose intended purpose was American/WASPy "patriotism" which carried with it racist and anti-semitic attitudes. That's shitty, but how many public and private groups and institutions in the 1920's were racist or anti-semitic in some way or another? Many of them. Not to "excuse" the KKK--since we know what they became in the 1950's and 1960's, but let's face it: to the average person in the 1920's the KKK's racist and anti-Jew sentiment was probably looked on about the same as the average "Anti-Immigration" group is looked at now, except without even the whole "beware history or be doomed to repeat it" thing hanging as a stigma over the whole ordeal.

Furthermore baseball itself was full of KKK members, not all of whom were racist. Sure, Cobb was rumored to be a Klan member and was certainly racist, but players like Tris Speaker (who was almost certainly NOT racist, at least not in late-20th century terms) were members because, as said above, it was generally looked at as a social group.

So why is this even worth posting? What is interesting about this, if you have any sort of sense of perspective about US history? Oh, and the comments are, of course, predictably stupid and unfunny. So glad Deadspin is the premiere name in non MSM sports!!!!!


Boner McFart said...

Peter King disapproves of your correct list making skills.

Fred Trigger said...

The only good thing about deadspin is drew magary. I hate the commenters and the stupid +1's they give each other for stupid references.

Anonymous said...

Well, the KKK and others committed wide-spread terrorist acts such as lynching and burning homes throughout the 1920s on a massive scale, but your point still stands that the Klan was much more mainstream then than it was later. Its political and social wings were certainly much larger.

Chris W said...

Oh of course they did that. I didn't mean to suggest they didn't. It just wasn't very well known in most areas of the countries. It was a horrific organization at any point in time, but in the 20's it was looked at as an almost respectable organization.

Chris W said...

Also, even if we were talking about the 1950's version of the KKK alive and well in the 1920's writing this letter, I don't know why it's shocking that

a.) The KKK thought a league that banned blacks from playing in it might host an outing

b.) The Reds still turned them down because they didn't want to host an outing by the KKK

Apparently Deadspin is just streets ahead here, seeing shocking things in this "scoop" that I just can't for the life of me imagine