The Little League Cotton Fiasco: Good Job, Everybody! Now U.S. Race Relations Are In Ethics Zugzwang!

Boy, do I hate this story! As they say in “City Slickers,” “If hate were people I’d be China.”

During the Sunday broadcast of the MLB Little League Classic between the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox, ESPN cameras zoomed in on white Little Leaguers on the Davenport, Iowa team putting stuffing from a plush animal in the hair of second baseman Jeremiah Grise, who is black. This immediately triggered a full-throated cry of racism from the professional race-baiter, because, as you know, this is a racist nation with a racist history and a population full of racists and a black American is hardly any better off than Emmett Till.

Social media erupted with outrage. ESPN piously explained that it was investigating (the supposed scandal that it had triggered.) The social justice warriors and race grievance hucksters followed the path of Carolyn Hinds, a Toronto-based film critic and journalist who saw the viral footage and tweeted that it was “exactly what we think it is and some people need to be taken to task.” (She, of course, didn’t know what was going on, but since it confirmed her biases, said that she knew.) Hinds wondered if the actions were “something that happens regularly with this team,” and what kind of lessons about racial tolerance were being imparted by the players’ parents. The Little League, predictably, tried to grovel away the episode, saying that the kids had “no ill-intent.”

That didn’t come close to illuminating the episode The team’s conduct had nothing to do with racial intolerance, but the obscene reaction to it did. It turned out that both Grise and his white teammate put the cotton-like stuffing in their hair. They were performing an homage to Hawaii Little League star Jaron Lancaster, who has a cool white-dyed Mohawk. There was nothing racial in the conduct at all. ESPN just happened to only show the black kid.

Just an honest mistake, I’m sure.

Davenport Southeast Little League (SELL) released a statement explaining that its players were attempting to “attempt to emulate the white mohawk of the Hawaii team’s star player, who they think is a great baseball player with a very cool hairstyle.” the organization also noted that ESPN’s cameras “did not show the boys putting stuffing on the heads of multiple players and of Jeremiah laughing and loving his new ‘look.’ ”

But never mind: the race-hucksters got their way anyway. First SELL sold out:

“We are in no way trying to minimize the racial insensitivity of the boys’ actions and apologize for any harm this video has caused.We have spoken to the boys to help educate them on why it was inappropriate — which none of them had realized or understood at the time. They understand it now, providing them a life lesson they will carry forward.”

It was not inappropriate. It was not SELL’s place to make children phobic about being children, or to teach them that they were wrong because so much of the country has been conditioned, indeed encouraged, to see racial discrimination and bigotry in everything. What’s that “life lesson”? For white children, it is that you can’t win: if you treat black friends and colleagues the same as you would treat a white one, that’s racist. If you treat them differently, that’s racist too. For black children, the lesson is that whites are always trying to humiliate you because it’s in their DNA. You can’t be part of the group because you’re black and the group ignoring that is an insult, and if you’re not treated like part of the group, you are being discriminated against. You can’t win either, but then it’s always been that way for your race since 1619. It’s best be angry and distrustful, always.

Khari Thompson, a reporter at Boston sports radio station WEEI, took the position that the treatment of Grise was racist regardless of his teammates’ intent. “To a white kid, sticking cotton in your hair — what imagery and history does that evoke?” Thompson asked. “Yeah, sure, it’s fun. It’s nothing. But that’s not the case for somebody like me or somebody like him. … When you are the one person that looks like you and has hair like you, it carries a different meaning. It’s on the adults to do something about that. and it’s really distressing to see … that nobody did anything about that. That’s horrifying to me.”

What’s horrifying to me is that so many blacks in America, and progressives generally, think that adults have a responsibility to teach white children that it is wrong to be color-blind, and black children that innocent gestures having nothing to do with race are still racist.

So, summing up…whites can’t be ethical no matter what they do (well, other than vowing complete submissiveness, remorse and perpetual reparations).  The rational response to traps is to avoid them, but resolving to not interact with blacks at all is also “racist,” even if, in this kind of culture, it amounts to self-preservation. This is Ethics Zugzwang: all options are unethical. For blacks, this cultural norm means that they can’t be part of a white peer group unless they insist on being treated “black”…which separates them from the white peer group.

For American society, it all means that race relations are a steaming, sticking wreck, the worst they have been in half a century. I have no idea how we repair them, especially when organizations like ESPN are dedicated to keeping distrust and tensions high, and organizations like SELL are run by cowardly, pliant fools who would rather poison young minds than stand up to social justice fanatics.


Sources: Washington Post, New York Post

18 thoughts on “The Little League Cotton Fiasco: Good Job, Everybody! Now U.S. Race Relations Are In Ethics Zugzwang!

  1. SELL’s statement: “We are in no way trying to minimize the racial insensitivity of the boys’ actions and apologize for any harm this video has caused.We have spoken to the boys to help educate them on why it was inappropriate — which none of them had realized or understood at the time. They understand it now, providing them a life lesson they will carry forward.”

    Here’s a shorter version: “We love Big Brother.”

    There is a third option, though: The kids can simply say, “Fuck it. Let’s play baseball.”


  2. I have decided that I will start using “preferred personal” pronouns today, so:

    SELL (coward/weenie) should grow some balls. A great first statement could have been followed up with a “grovel” statement of “Give me twenty minutes to gather a crowd, then come kiss my ass!”, but instead they just perpetuated the nausea.

    ESPN (worthless/racist) has become the “Colin Kaepernik” of media outlets…given lots of money to suck most of the time. I gave that mess up two decades ago.

    Carolyn Hinds (who?/who?!?) should probably stick to the “World of Make Believe” that is critiquing Hollywood. Hey Hinds, do you watch an entire movie before reviewing it? Try doing that when evaluating kids’ horseplay in the dugout.

    Khari Thompson (idiot/racist) clearly has never been a kid like I was. So he never had any kid friends like I did. He never played baseball with any kid friends, like I did, nor did he sit in the dugout and do silly things with his kid friends like I did. Khari, I’m sorry your childhood apparently sucked, but do everyone a favor and in your little piece of the world, quit trying to make childhood suck for today’s kids.

    I’m totally sick of this crap.

    • “So he never had any kid friends like I did.”

      I think it’s a safe bet that he doesn’t have very many adult friends, either. He seems like an unpleasant scold.

  3. “To a white kid, sticking cotton in your hair — what imagery and history does that evoke?”

    It should evoke zero history whatsoever, since it’s a damn arts-and-crafts material, like construction paper or dried macaroni. If we’re banning any activities related to cotton because it used to be harvested by slave labor, that’s going to be a major blow to a few industries. Is that what people are considering?

    What does Jaron Lancaster think of fans copying his hairstyle? Is he offended? I’d be shocked if he were.

    Is anyone offended because they’re actually offended? Or are they offended because they feel they ought to be offended because children are partially copying the appearance of someone who isn’t in their own demographic group, which is not allowed, because… some reason? I happen to know there are people who are working towards a future where people are just people. If we’re going to get there, this sort of thing has to stop.

    Jack, I agree with your take on the general situation. An excellent way to counter these ridiculous and harmful message is to challenge them with deconstruction mindset. However, even just using rapport mindset can impress upon people how much better things would be if people weren’t looking for reasons to be offended by things.

    • In a culture where victimhood is the highest form of virtue, being offended is currency. But unlike real currency, this one you can manufacture out of thin air if you don’t have enough. Monopoly money isn’t useful as real money, but fake offense and outrage is almost as valuable as the genuine article in our poisoned culture.

      It’s going to be incredibly difficult getting these people to turn off their printing presses, because they keep getting value out of these imaginary affronts. The only thing that seems to ever shake any of these broken, miserable little shits out of their participation in the outrage economy is when they end up on the wrong end of it. When the mob is banging its pitchforks on their door, then their vocabulary suddenly sprouts words like “nuance” and “context”…

    • I was completely lost on this until EC reminded me that slave labor was used to harvest cotton. I was thinking that the connection was to the wigs that were common among wealthier whites in the earliest days of our Independence, which made no sense.
      You have to be predisposed to racial grievances in order to see them.

  4. Does the Cotton Club in Harlem have to close? Asking for a friend.

    In all seriousness, we should start asking the perpetually offended each time their hackles get up how teaching people to be offended serves society as a whole. We should demand an answer as to why denigrating whites as a group is acceptable to them given that they utter nary a word when racist comments about whites are uttered by their allies. We should not let obfuscate the issue.

  5. It just occurred to me that that isn’t cotton. If it’s from a mass-produced toy, it’s almost certainly spun polyester fill. The two scientists who patented the first polyester fibers were white British dudes. So it turns out the black kid is actually the offender here, appropriating a white man’s invention for his idle fun. That’s how this nonsense works, right?

  6. Did it occur to absolutely no one that these are kids and kids do silly things? Emulating a Little League star is basically an innocent thing: expecting these same kids to equate cotton balls to slavery and racism is asking more than is fair for their age. These are kids!

    So children can no longer be children. And it is clearly up to the progressives to instill — from birth apparently — a deep sense of guilt about America’s checkered history. There are good things in our history as well, but those are conveniently forgotten. If a kid wore his grandad’s WWII medal would that make him a little warmonger?

    Kids live in the day, not in history as adults record and interpret it. And they remain innocent for an astonishingly short period of time. Can’t they just enjoy being kids? Guess not, as long as there are nasty, ill-intentioned, ultra-negative progressive adults out there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.