Saturday, March 02, 2013
THE PERFECT GAME: A Baseball Movie
We had a family movie night. We watched The Perfect Game, a fairly charming vehicle for children about a ragtag group of Mexican kids who go to the Little League World Series and win. It takes place in 1957. The kids as they journey through the southern portion of America are forced to sit at separate counters and to use separate bathrooms.
One of my kids yelled, "America is so racist!"
I was a little stunned by this outburst.
I love America.
Sure, we have had some problems historically. But this would be true of any country. Japan held Korean women as captives and used them as whores during WWII. The Indian nation has a caste system, and although it's been officially disbanded, there was a brutal public rape very recently in which a young woman who had been friends with a Brahmin boy was so damaged that she died. This took place on a bus.
Although her friend intervened he was also beaten badly and now walks with a cane.
Public rape is extremely common in India. Harassment of women is the norm. Just google it for heaven's sake. There are hundreds of cases.
In South Africa, young black men rape the women so often that people take it for granted.
As we look around the world, the Protestant West is as good as it gets. We're not perfect. We're fallen. But we're as good as it gets. It's sheer ignorance not to know this.
I lived in France and was shocked at the news in the papers every morning. Police officers raped women. A woman who was an official "escort" for French diplomats "disappeared" after she named some names of high officials. Her name was Pauline Laffont (she had become a B-movie actress). She was found in a hole up in the mountains although she was not known to hike.
In Finland the blacks are treated quite severely. Even I was told to go home to India. If you read the papers there you can be rather shocked at the almost daily incidents of racial bias. But violence is also pandemic. A man sharpened sticks and put them in the swimming hole so that when kids jumped in they were impaled. If this had happened in America everyone would say "America" is so savage.
I often feel that America has a news blackout with regard to other countries in order to preserve the fiction of multiculturalism. Whereas North Koreans are told that their country is perfect (even though many of them aren't getting enough calories), Americans are told that their country stinks. That everyone in it is a racist and classist and sexist and is irredeemably violent. Anyone with just a tiny bit of foreign experience can attest that we're as good as it gets. President Obama goes around bowing his head in shame because he's completely ignorant of what other countries are like.
I liked the movie The Perfect Game, but the almost seamless beanball thrown by the director is that the boys triumphed against the odds stacked against them by the American establishment. In point of fact, the boys had shoes and uniforms because the St. Louis Cardinals supplied them. The boys were treated rather well throughout their trip, and enjoyed themselves at least partially due to American largesse. Waitresses loved them, a reporter followed their story, and many white males (umps, and other authority figures) guaranteed that their trip to Williamsport could happen without major incident. Meanwhile, the Mexican boss of many of their fathers wouldn't even let them take a day off to watch the final game. No American boss would do that anywhere from Maine to Oregon. The main reason the boys won the game is that they were Christian. God helped them. They said this themselves.
If all the countries around the world were half as fair as America, the globe would be heaven. Americans should learn other languages and get out more. Spend a year in Rwanda. Spend a decade in the Congo. Visit Myanmar. Live in Cairo. Vacation in Syria. Conduct business in Uzbekistan. And stop being so ignorant. We need universal human rights. We should not trade with countries that mistreat their citizens, or that force them to work at violent wages just so that their poor workers can manufacture our toys and clothes. It isn't right.