Arizona’s recent racist anti-immigration law is a “wake-up call,” according to Roberto clement, Jr. who is “heartbroken that nobody is listening.” In an amazing article by Dave D’Alessandro in the New Jersey Star-Ledger, he states that Clemente’s legacy is “deserted” since baseball’s Hispanic players have refused to make an issue of Arizona’s unfair law.
D’Alessandro comments: “How could so many of us forget what it was like before civil rights, when inequality was set in law and bigotry was routine, ruthless and legitimized by some of our most prestigious institutions?” To hold the game in Arizona after enacting such a discriminatory law is an insult to Clemente’s memory, he adds. The elder Clemente once described himself: “I am Puerto Rican, I am black and I am between the walls.”
This is a tough statement to make when I live in Phoenix and want the very best for this city and state. But I just don’t understand how major league baseball’s Hispanic players cannot understand the slap in the face they have received from State Senator Russell Pearce’s racist legislation. One-third of MLB is Latino, and 21 of the 70 playing in the All-Star game are Hispanic.
Roberto Clemente’s wife will attend the game against the wishes of her son. She didn’t want the game played in Phoenix, but felt “obligated” to be there. It still remains to be seen if there will be any major demonstrations at the ball park, and if any of the Latino players will make a statement. I am sure Roberto Clemente hopes so.