There was an interesting article in USA Today about the feelings of racism in the motives for the continued scrutiny of Barry Bonds. I'm never quite sure what to think about accusations of racism. Of course it would be naive to think there aren't racist people. There will always be those people who are going to have racial biases. What I don't understand is this idea that there is some sort of wide spread conspiracy against black people. Says Leonard Moore, director of African and African-American Studies at Louisiana State University:
"White America doesn't want him to (pass) Babe Ruth and is doing everything they can to stop him. America hasn't had a white hope since the retirement of (NBA star) Larry Bird, and once Bonds passes Ruth, there's nothing that will make (Ruth) unique, and they're scared. And I'm scared for Bonds.
I think what he'll go through will be 100 times worse than what Aaron went through. I pray for him every night."
I refuse to believe that "white America" is trying to stop Bonds just because he's black. The authors of the finger pointing book Game of Shadows argue that their book calls out a white guy and a woman. More than anything, these two reports are just trying to make a quick buck. Since the time I saw an interview with them, they struck me as the type of guys who would go around kicking puppies and writing stories about the new "puppy kicking scourge" breaking down decent society if they thought that it'd sell.Not counting Bonds and the reporters, there are 8 people quoted in the story. 6 are black, 1 is white and 1 is Hispanic. Of the black people quoted, only Mike Cameron flat out calls out Bonds saying, "I'm a big believer in karma. What goes around comes around. If you don't treat people right, things come back to bite you." More accusatory quotes include Torii Hunter saying "It's killing me because you know it's about race" and former Twin Matt Lawton saying "If (Bonds) were white, he'd be a poster boy in baseball, not an outcast." Perhaps not surprisingly, Eric Chavez and Giants managing partner Pete Magowan - the only non-black people quoted - didn't feel that racism was a factor at all in the investigation.
I may have a problem of perspective. I'm young enough that I've never not known Barry Bonds to be a major league ball player. I have no idea what it was like for Hank Aaron, only from what I've read or seen on TV. I never lived in an overtly racist society like things used to be. Sure there is still racism, but people don't openly walk around being racist. As for my position on the matter, I think an open investigation is the only solution. Either Bonds is exonerated and we can just drop it all together or there is finally conclusive proof of substance use and we can just drop it all together. Wishful thinking, I know, there will be people who will never stop talking about this. There are those are going to be strongly opposed to the investigation as people trying to take down a prominent black man, and that will think if proof is found that they're just trying to frame him. I can't deny that the evidence seems overwhemling, but it still seems a little too circumstantial and he-said-she-said at this point.
As for how I feel about Bonds himself, I try not too. I'd probably be perpetually pissed off too if I had people bugging me with the same questions day after day for years. At times I feel sorry for him. I wouldn't want to have to put up with people's crap. I'd be unfair to form an opinion of him based off of his interviews. I just hope that he's been telling the truth, because I couldn't respect a liar.