Having just banned a commenter for a useless and obnoxious comment on this same post, it it is a wonderful tonic to be able to post JutGory’s masterful Comment of the Day critiquing the Minnesota Twin’s statement explaining their removal of Cal Griffith’s statue. It is a fine fisking of the kind of disingenuous babble we have been getting from organizations of late.
The poll on Cal’s statue so far:
Here is JutGory’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Statue-Toppling, The Ethics Incompleteness Principle, And Calvin Griffith, Part Two”:
Jack: “Taking all of that together, I believe that the Twins are justified in taking down Griffith’s statue, and that it would have been unethical for the team not to.”
Apart from the whole statue-removing thing, here is my problem with this:
Their statement said:
“When we opened Target Field in 2010 in conjunction wit h our 50th season in Minnesota, we were excited and proud to welcome fans to our ‘forever ballpark.’”
Fair enough. Good start. Then:
As such, we wanted to pay permanent tribute to those figures and moments that helped shape the first half-century of Minnesota Twins baseball.
PERMANENT. That is a strong word. But, that is what they intended. Permanent Tribute.
– including a statue of Calvin Griffith, our former owner and the man responsible for moving the franchise here in 1961.
Including the man who moved them to Minnesota. Seems fitting. But for him, they wouldn’t have moved to Minnesota. And, why did he move the franchise? Because of the same racist attitudes that they condemn.
“We cannot remain silent and continue ignoring the racist comments he made in Waseca in 1978.”
I see. So, the permanent tribute was made while ignoring the racist comments you knew about.
“His disparaging words displayed a blatant intolerance and disregard for the Black community that are the antithesis of what the Minnesota Twins stand for and value.”
Good statement of values. The courage of your convictions came at a most convenient and opportune moment.
“Our decision to memorialize Calvin Griffith with a statue reflects an ignorance on our part of systemic racism present in 1978, 2010 and today.”
Not buying it. 1978? Maybe. But, had you heard of Jackie Robinson? The Negro Leagues? All pre-1978. But, 2010? NOT A CHANCE. You appropriately honored the person who was responsible for the very existence of the franchise, asshole that he might have been. OR…you should have just left him out 10 years ago.
“We apologize for our failure to adequately recognize how the statue was viewed and the pain it caused for many people – both inside the Twins organization and across Twins Territory.”
Where does that fit on the Apology Scale?
“We cannot remove Calvin Griffith from the history of the Minnesota Twins,”
We’ll see about that….
“but we believe removal of this [PERMANENT TRIBUTE] is an important and necessary step in our ongoing commitment to provide a Target Field experience where every fan and employee feels safe and welcome.”
Fixed that for you, ya weenies!
“PAST, PRESENT OR FUTURE, THERE IS NO PLACE FOR RACISM, INEQUALITY AND INJUSTICE IN TWINS TERRITORY.”
Past? Past? PAST?! You just admitted that there was a racism, inequality, and injustice in the Twins’ PAST. You say you can’t remove Calvin Griffith from the history of the Twins. There certainly WAS a place for it in the past. Like it or not, it is there. You admitted it was there. You removed a permanent tribute to the person representing the past you now want to deny.
Part of me does not care about the Griffith statue. It is their franchise, their business, whatever. What bugs me is the apparent hypocrisy. This was an unforced error on their part. Had they given this statement in 2010, thanking Griffith for his legacy while explaining the absence of his statue, it would have shown integrity.
Had they said, today, “we condemn some of his past actions and views as antithetical to the current values of the organization, the organization owes a debt to him that deserves commemoration,” it would have shown integrity.
Their actions here don’t exhibit integrity. Weenie weasel words.
And, the biggest irony of all is that the very statement to which they object relates to the basis for the move to Minnesota in the first place. If they really wanted to make amends for that move, they should undo Griffith’s franchise move, adopt a Negro League team name (Indianapolis ABCs, Montgomery Montgomery Grey Sox, Jacksonville Red Caps, Louisville Black Caps,Nashville Elite Giants, Monroe Monarchs, and the list goes on…they could even just change their name to the Minnesota (instead of Minneapolis) Keystones) and move the franchise if necessary (though a change to the Keystones would be interesting).