Sports

When Jackie Robinson Fought Back

A new movie elevates the trailblazing ballplayer's nonviolence over his furious competitive spirit.

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By now, even most non-baseball fans know the basic storyline of Jackie Robinson, the man who in 1947 broke through the color line of Major League Baseball.

A gifted athlete, college man, and fierce competitor, Robinson was chosen to be first through the racial barrier (though not the first black man in pro ball; that distinction belongs to the 19th-century catcher Moses Fleetwood Walker) in part because he was smart enough to heed Brooklyn Dodgers General Manager Branch Rickey's instructions to greet the inevitable abuse—death threats, beanballs, a constant barrage of hideous insults—by turning the other cheek. "I need a player with the courage not to fight back," Harrison Ford, playing Rickey, explains in the new film 42.

It's the movie's signature line, and the foundation upon which baseball has erected an unwieldy, self-congratulatory myth, now celebrated each April 15 by having every Major League player wear Robinson's otherwise retired jersey number 42. (In the movie's cheesiest moment, future Hall of Famer Pee Wee Reese tells Robinson, "Maybe someday we'll all wear number 42.") There is something irresistibly heroic about successful nonviolent campaigns against majoritarian tyranny, whether at the ballpark or lunch counter. By publicly absorbing violence, martyrs simultaneously hold up a mirror to society while embodying the ideal of an "acceptable" minority: noble, intelligent, and physically non-threatening.

But in our zeal to turn Jackie Robinson into Martin Luther King Jr., we are scrubbing from history his much longer career as baseball's Malcolm X—a righteously angry, relentlessly self-reliant activist and social critic. Robinson played with pacifist handcuffs for only his first two years in the big leagues. From 1949 to his retirement after the 1956 season—and then after his playing career was over—Jackie Robinson fought back.

The fighting version of number 42 was not remotely as popular as the saint. But it's a much more accurate picture of a complicated and interesting man. If baseball, let alone society, wishes to confront head-on the pathologies behind segregation and the fortitude required to overcome institutional racism, then it needs to grapple with the whole, thorny competitive spirit of Jackie Robinson, not the easy-to-digest, sepia-toned myth.

As Branch Rickey himself recalled in 1963: "He was direct, aggressive, the kind that stands up when he is faced with injustice and will hit you right in the snoot." So much for turning the other cheek.

When I was a young baseball fanatic growing up in baseball-crazed Long Beach, California, in the 1970s, there was one book about the national pastime that towered above the rest: Lawrence Ritter's charming, evocative, and influential 1966 oral history, The Glory of Their Times.

Ritter, an economist at New York University, was moved by the 1961 death of baseball great Ty Cobb to track down as many turn-of-the-century professional ballplayers as he could find to testify about the forgotten sights and smells of a bygone era, in much the same way that John and Alan Lomax tracked down American folk musicians in the 1930s and '40s.

The Glory of Their Times has never been out of print since. There is no list of "best baseball books" that doesn't include it, and rightly so. It helped jumpstart the burgeoning field of baseball historiography, and it remains a pure pleasure to read. As the baseball writer Bill James has observed, four of the 22 players interviewed for the first edition—Stan Coveleski, Goose Goslin, Harry Hooper, and Rube Marquard—were inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame within five years of Glory's publication, despite questionable qualifications and no prior momentum to their candidacies. Jim Carouthers summarized the book succinctly and accurately in The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract (2001): "Often imitated, never excelled."

So you can imagine my surprise to recently discover a powerful oral history of baseball that predated The Glory of Their Times by two years. What's more, this now-forgotten book was written by the man whose biopic was the number-one movie in America this April: Jackie Robinson.

The misleadingly titled Baseball Has Done It was not some kind of gee-whiz celebration of the sport's integration. It was a forceful attempt to document the human struggles involved in that monumental project, through first-person accounts from black and white players and coaches ranging from Branch Rickey to eventual homerun champ Henry Aaron to accused racist Alvin Dark. Robinson's explicit aim was to apply lessons learned from baseball to the raging civil rights debate of the day.

Reading the book in 2013 doesn't just deliver a sharp slap of a reminder about how disgustingly racist much of this country still was within recent memory. (Black players still routinely faced "whites only" public accommodations in Florida during the 1960s, for example.) It also calls into question just why a contemporaneous history of great ballplayers discussing their struggles faded into immediate obscurity while Glory's paean to segregation-era ball rocketed to instant fame.

"The right of every American to firstclass citizenship is the most important issue today," reads Robinson's brushback pitch of an opening line. "We Negroes are determined that our children shall enjoy the same blessings of democracy as white children. We are adamant: we intend to use every means at our disposal to smash segregation and discrimination wherever it appears. We are staring into the face of our oppressors and demanding by what right of skin coloration do they consider themselves our superiors."

It's that last sentence that captures Robinson's furious competitive essence in a way that 42, like most worshipful treatments of the man, can't quite convey. Who the hell are you, Jackie was always demanding to know, to think you are better than me?

Growing up even in the comparatively more tolerant environs of Pasadena, California, Robinson looked at life's various unfair playing fields and made a calculated if depressing choice. "When I was about eight I discovered that in one sector of life in Southern California I was free to compete with whites on equal terms—in sports." And oh, did he compete—in soccer, softball, tennis, and ping pong in addition to the three non-baseball sports he dominated at UCLA: football (where he led the nation in punt-return average), basketball (where he was MVP of the West Coast Conference and two-time scoring leader), and track (where he was the national champion in the long jump).

It is a stunning mix of athletic accomplishments, even without the baseball (which was, after all, his fourth-best sport in college). As Colby Cosh wrote in the National Post in 2007, "Add it all up, and who can present a resume that remotely compares? Bo Jackson? Maybe, if Bo had been a Hall of Fame infielder instead of a mediocre outfielder, and had been capable of playing in the NBA and had been Carl Lewis in his spare time."

Mythology requires passing over whole swaths of the Hero's Journey, so you can almost understand why 42 and similar vehicles pass over Robinson's monstrous and wide-ranging competitive record. (Although it should be noted that his first biopic —1950's The Jackie Robinson Story, which actually starred Robinson himself—spent a good deal of time on those formative UCLA days.) But a very funny thing has happened along the way to number 42's canonization: He has become underrated as a baseball player.

When Bill James, the godfather of baseball "sabermetrics" (or "analysis," if you prefer) created a new statistic called Defensive Win Shares a dozen or so years ago, one of his surprising findings was how phenomenal a defender Jackie Robinson was. People generally know that Robinson was the most disruptive baserunner since Ty Cobb, stealing home a record number of times (even in a World Series game!), leading the league in stolen bases, and generally terrorizing pitchers and catchers alike. Indeed, baserunning is his skill most on display in 42. But James found that Robinson played historically high-quality defense at not one but three positions: second base, third base, and left field. 

"If it's a statistical illusion of some kind," he wrote, "it's an illusion that chases him all over the diamond. Never underestimate the power of intelligence, particularly when that intelligence is combined with athletic ability, determination, and a formidable competitive instinct."

Most Hall of Fame players get their start by age 22. Because of discrimination and World War II, Robinson broke into the big leagues at 28, which is even older than the statistical peak years of 26–27. Yet he still managed to win a batting title, lead the National League in on-base percentage, win a Most Valuable Player award, and finish in the top 15 in MVP voting seven seasons in a row while leading the Brooklyn Dodgers to their most celebrated era. His career on-base percentage, the single most important offensive statistic, is 38th all-time. He is without a doubt one of the best five second basemen ever to play major-league baseball.

Perhaps not coincidentally, Robinson's MVP year, 1949, was the first season that his boss Branch Rickey lifted the rule about turning the other cheek. "From that moment on," Robinson writes in Baseball Has Done It, "I defended myself against anti-Negro insults with all the force at my command." As Martin Luther King gave way to Malcolm X, Jackie was no longer so embraced by white audiences. "What's made you change your attitude, Jackie? I liked you much better when you were less aggressive," he reports hearing from a (white) umpire in 1954. "I'm not concerned with your liking or disliking me," Robinson responded. "All I ask is that you respect me as a human being."

For a half-decade beginning in the liberty year of 1949, Jackie Robinson was not just a great pioneer and an all-star talent, he was the very best player in baseball, according to the newfangled valuation statistic Wins Above Replacement. Finally provided a level playing field where he could vent his emotions just like any other ballplayer, Robinson strode the baseball world during the time of Ted Williams and Stan Musial and Yogi Berra and beat them all at the National Pastime. It wasn't about showing up; it was about kicking ass.

This is the Jackie Robinson you only catch fleeting glimpses of in the mythological literature. 42 takes place entirely from 1946 to 1947, so we miss even his contentious and telling court martial in 1944, in addition to the glory years when he took off the gloves. As the leftist sports writer Dave Zirin recently pointed out, "Imagine if Spike Lee had chosen to tell the story of Malcolm X by only focusing on 1959–1960 when he was a leader in the Nation of Islam, with no mention of his troubled past or the way his own politics changed later in life."

If baseball cares as much about Jackie Robinson's history as it noisily professes, the sport and its fans owe it to both themselves and the subject of their adulation to delve into the whole man and competitor, not just the transitory figure who suffered unholy abuse. And maybe they need to ask themselves why they can still recite passages from The Glory of Their Times by heart but have never heard of Baseball Has Done It.

Nostalgia always tells us something about the era in which it's produced. The kind so effectively communicated in The Glory of Their Times, inspired by the racist (and also very competitive and complicated) Ty Cobb, came out in a turbulent mid-1960s riven by questions of race. Americans were much more ready to read about the pastoral, bygone good old days than wallow in the contested difficulties of the present. Lawrence Ritter let good-natured old-timers wax about country hayseeds and train-jumpers; Robinson was using his oral history to, among other things, sharply criticize the game's best player, Willie Mays, for not speaking out about race.

Freezing Jackie Robinson in 1947 amber also lets baseball—and society—off the hook for all the governmental and private racism that was still actively poisoning the country two decades after Branch Rickey's great experiment. Better to remember that one magical year than dwell on all the different southern minor leagues that were still being integrated well into the 1960s. When your face is unlovely, it's always more fun to look at old photographs than the bathroom mirror.

Perhaps the most surprising part of Baseball Has Done It is Robinson's report that during his Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 1962, "No one mentioned that I was the first Negro in the Hall of Fame, or that another bastion of prejudice had fallen. No one was thinking about such things that day." He says this as a point of pride, that the quality of his performance—the content of his baseball character—was evaluated on its own merits and found victorious. Maybe one day that can again be true.  

NEXT: NSA Bugging of EU Offices Leaves Officials "Deeply Worried," "Shocked"

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  1. Smiling and turn the other cheek blacks are an easier sell to white America.

    1. If that were the case, you’d think that Uncle Tom of Uncle Tom’s Cabin (the book, not the various “interpretations” that have appeared in minstrel shows and theatrical productions) would enjoy greater approval as an example of not fighting back and shaming your tormentors into virtue.

      1. I’m not sure that counts, since the slave characters in the story weren’t really able to fight back; running away was the greatest act of defiance they could manage, and refusing to give up the location of runaways was a close second.

        And attitudes had most certainly changed by Robinson’s time; slave owners’ opinions about uncooperative and runaways slaves in an abolitionist novel would probably be a bit different than non-slave owning whites’ opinions about a cheeky black sports star.

        1. I’m not sure that counts, since the slave characters in the story weren’t really able to fight back;

          Nat Turner? Slavers gotta sleep some time?

          running away was the greatest act of defiance they could manage, and refusing to give up the location of runaways was a close second.

          Running away from slavers is one thing, not getting caught is another. It would be awfully irresponsible to subject one of your own to torture and/or death for the sake of your own freedom.

          A conspiracy of one is harder to break than a conspiracy of two.

          slave owners’ opinions about uncooperative and runaways slaves in an abolitionist novel would probably be a bit different than non-slave owning whites’ opinions about a cheeky black sports star.

          Hatred of the “uppity negro” is a timeless position, held by the genteelest of southron gentlemen, to the blue collar union men of Boston, to the social welfare cultist who believe brown people should be kept as pets of the state because…you know…they can’t survive on their own, or something like that.

          1. You’re not really explaining how the actions in the book weren’t ones of defiance. That they didn’t physically fight back doesn’t discredit the resistance and bravery of the characters in Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Slave owners would have been adamantly against anything depicting themselves as heartless and runaways and resistors as brave and courageous.

            Second, Jackie Robsinson’s cheek in post-slavery times is nowhere near as defiant as runaway slaves in slave times. It’s not surprising at all that people in slave times would have been more indignant about the book than people in post-slavery times would be about a black sports superstar. From an “ordinary” black man most people wouldn’t have stood for it, but the very fact that he was a sports start with charm made a big difference.

            1. You’re not really explaining how the actions in the book weren’t ones of defiance.

              I didn’t write that they weren’t. I was arguing how it was strange that the ever-tolerant left lionizes Robinson for “non-violent resistance”, but slams the character Uncle Tom, who was a model of non-violent resistance, even to the point of death.

              Slave owners would have been adamantly against anything depicting themselves as heartless and runaways and resistors as brave and courageous.

              It’s not that they wouldn’t have been, they were adamantly against it, which is why they spent a few years trying to control the mail and other avenues of information to keep people from reading things that might give them the notion that maybe slavery is not a good idea.

              I wouldn’t call the desire to control one’s own labor and movement “cheek” as much as attempting to secure their natural rights in spite of the governments they lived under.

              It’s not surprising at all that people in slave times would have been more indignant about the book

              The Slave Power would not have been so indignent had the book not hit a nerve.

              From an “ordinary” black man most people wouldn’t have stood for it, but the very fact that he was a sports start with charm made a big difference.

              That says more about the cult of sports celebrity than it does how tolerant or intolerant America was at various points.

        2. If you’re an indentured servant and you run away, can you go to jail for stealing yourself?

          1. That’s kind of what they do when a US citizen moves to another country and no longer is willing to pay US income tax.

  2. Great piece, Matt.

    1. Yes, good piece, but I avoid movies in which the main character Struggles To Overcome Racism. I got that particular message long ago, and I can only take so much Hollywood self-congratulation.

      1. And heaven forfend you say you’re sick and tired of hearing such self-congratulation.

        1. Hey, it’s not that bad – if he’d said he was sick of movies about the holocaust, he’d really be in trouble!

      2. Which is terribly ironic, because few industries have a more overtly racist history than Hollywood’s TV & film industry.

      3. Comedian Bill Burr has a great bit about “white guilt” movies: http://lybio.net/tag/bill-burr-white-guilt-quotes/

  3. Black players still routinely faced “whites only” public accommodations in Florida during the 1960s, for example.

    And now Rand Paul wants to turn back the clock.

    Thanks to Clarence Thomas and the rest of the racist Supreme KKKourt we’ll be seeing the return of Jim Crow and segregation in the South.

    Get ready to pay yer poll taxes!

    The South will rise again, indeed.

    1. “And now Rand Paul wants to turn back the clock.”

      Have any actual evidence for this claim?

      1. Dude, he’s a white southern guy that talks about the “constitution”.

        Just because you can’t hear the dog whistle doesn’t mean that us in the reality-based community can’t.

        1. Sounds like your a geographical bigot.

          1. They’re being sarcastic. Sarcasm filters are mandatory here at H&R.

            1. No, he’s right.

              I’ve been harboring a secret prejudice against the South Pole, Manitoba, and north eastern Europe for some time now. It’s just how I was raised.

              *hangs head*

              1. Another victim of Irish distractionist propaganda, I see.

              2. Well, to be fair, you have a valid point about Manitoba. What have those Friendly bastards ever given us except for perverse, pants-loving SF’d links?

              3. What about the NE corner of Oslo?

                1. Yeah, fuck those guys too.

      2. The evidence would be that Rand opposes Title III of the Civil Rights Act, that’s the section that desegregated Public Accomodations.

        1. So if the state doesn’t tell you to jump your only question is “How High?”

          1. er, tells you to jump. Wow, I am drunk already.

        2. Fuck off bootlicker.

    2. What’s that bright shiny thing glittering in the sunlight.

  4. “Perhaps the most surprising part of Baseball Has Done It is Robinson’s report that during his Hall of Fame induction ceremony in 1962, “No one mentioned that I was the first Negro in the Hall of Fame, or that another bastion of prejudice had fallen. No one was thinking about such things that day.” He says this as a point of pride”

    Ohhh, how very different from Obama’s inauguration as POTUS.

  5. That reminds me – the 4th of July is coming up. Any bets whether Reason will greet it with anywhere near the ballyhoo and column space they reserve for MLK day? Not that it’s anywhere near as significant, or anything…

    1. So’s the 1st of July, the 2nd of July and the 3rd of July.

    2. I prefer calling it by its true name: Independence Day. To me, calling it “The Fourth” diminishes its real significance, as though it’s about nothing but baseball, beer, and barbecues.

      Similar to the concerned effort to falsely call George Washington’s Birthday “Presidents Day”; it’s another small way in which our history and heritage are subtly undermined by the cultural Marxists.

      1. I prefer calling it by its true name: Independence Day. To me, calling it “The Fourth” diminishes its real significance, as though it’s about nothing but baseball, beer, and barbecues.

        To me it is independence day. Most people can’t comprehend what independence actually is though, nor are they equipped to live without the State telling them when and where to shit/piss/eat/etc.

      2. I prefer calling it by its true name: Independence Day.

        I like to think of it as Calvin Coolidge’s Birthday. Celebrate Coolidge on the third Monday in February, too.

  6. This is a good piece Matt. But this LA Times Bill Plashcke piece about a Dodger Stadium usher nearly had me in tears. Just wow.

  7. Great piece Matt. Definately left me wanting more. That doesn’t happen all that often.

  8. Speaking of discrimination, I came across the following dialogue on a friend’s Facebook posting just now. I kept hearing about people’s ridiculous political rantings on FB, but I so rarely go on that I’ve never really noticed it before. But I couldn’t miss this one.

    The conversation is about the gay marriage ruling. Some guy is arguing that now all priests, ministers, rabbis, etc should be forced to preside over gay marriages or face jail.

    My friend says: But priests aren’t public servants.

    Some guy: Yes they are. They are in organisations that provide a service (many services) to the public, and are afforded tax exempt privilege as a result… If they are going to enjoy the privileges everyone in society is paying for on their behalf, then they should be required to provide service to every person who requests to be in their congregation.

    Now I know what you all mean when you say “the stupid….it burns.”

    1. Exactly. I’ve found that a number of my friends are economic illiterates, but that doesn’t stop them from expressing stupid opinions. One considers the Constitution null and void because women didn’t have the right to vote.

    2. “You didn’t preach that.”

  9. “The fighting version of number 42 was not remotely as popular as the saint. But it’s a much more accurate picture of a complicated and interesting man.”

    Perhaps, but I think the Tarantino version of 42 was a bit over the top in the other direction.

  10. OT: Fox News is attempting to convince me that Glenn Greenwald is an apologist for Barack Obama.

    They don’t really know much about his work, do they?

    1. Fox News’ business model is based on the ignorance of their staff and viewers.

      1. All cable news has that business model.

      2. The same could be said for MSNBC, but that would assume they actually have viewers.

        1. I wonder if the number of people who hate-watch MSNBC is greater than those who like the channel.

          1. Unlike the paid provocateurs and concern trolls, I don’t have the time or patience to sit around watching for MSNBC’s talking heads to say something idiotic (not that it would take much time, but still, my time is my own to waste and I have little patience as it is). But I like to keep my ear on the ground for any particularly entertaining idiocies.

            For example, it’s a little ripe, but here’s Chris Matthews comparing Ted Cruz to Father Coughnlin, a Nazi Sympathizer, calling Cruz and Bill O’Reilly Black Irish, then saying they all look alike.

            Yes, it’s about as nonsensical as it sounds.

            1. Yeah, not going to watch that.

              1. What? You don’t like how that one sounds? Okay, try this one on for size:

                Matthews: Obama has never done anything wrong in his life. He has been crystal clear transparent in everything.

                I had to listen twice because the first time, I laughed through about half of it and missed the other half.

                1. Jeebus, what a deluded tool.

                    1. That is fucking hilarious. I don’t even get upset by Matthews at this point. He’s so absurd and his ratings are so low, that I can’t imagine anyone is actually convinced by him.

                      He’s like an Obama administration court eunuch. It’s just precious.

                    2. Remember when I promised to kill you last?

                      I lied.

                      Matthews: Obama is the perfect husband, the perfect father, and the perfect American.

                    3. Jesus fucking christ, I wish Obama would let Matthews suck his cock just to get it the fuck over with.

                    4. IIRC Matthews was always pretty clearly a partisan Democrat, but I don’t think ever this extreme. How blind do you have to be to claim, in June 2013, that Obama has been “crystal clear transparent in everything”? That was never true (e.g. his college records, that speech that the L.A. Times continues to cover up), but after Benghazi, the IRS, and the NSA scandals, it’s astoundingly deluded.

                    5. Just out of curiosity, what speech are you referring to?

                    6. An undercover video of a private fundraiser in 2006 or 07 where Obama toasts to palestines eventiual victory over the oppressors or some such thing.

                      The LA Times admitted that they had the video during the 2008 presidential campaign but made an “editorial” decision to sit on it because it was too inflammatory.

                      Remember the last time a major news outlet did something like that?

                    7. It was a 2003 dinner, not 06-07, here’s the times bs.

                      http://www.latimes.com/news/po…..8849.story

                    8. Did you think I was finished? We’re finished when I say we’re finished.

                      Matthews: Obama phoning Prop. 8 plaintiffs was like Nixon phoning the astronauts

                      At least he’s finally comparing Barry to the right President.

                    9. The thing is as much as I despise Nixon I could at least converse with him. With this current fellow I would not even want to be in the same room.

                    10. Eventually, a bunch of shit about Obama will come out. I thought it would happen around now, but it looks like we’ll have to wait until he’s safely out of office, and maybe then some serious investigative reporting will be done.

  11. 42 is the answer.

    1. …to “What is the meaning of life, the universe and everything?”

      1. I thought it was ‘how many roads must a man walk down?’.

        1. ROADZ? Why do you hate freedom?

        2. That’s a rhetorical question. Don’t you even know what “rhetorical” means?

      2. No, no, no. The meaning of life is ” To crush my enemies, see them driven before me, and to hear the lamentation of their women.”

    2. No one writes jokes in base 13.

  12. Good piece Matt. But don’t you think the 1990 movie The Court Martial Of Jackie Robinson merited a mention? Or would it be a shame to spoil a perfectly good scapegoating with counter evidence?

  13. OT: The world’s most realistic gaming gun upsets the hosts of ‘The View’

    “Why would you have to make something so realistic?” asked cohost Barbara Walters. “Something so very scary?”

    1. Sand off the edges from life!

      1. I remember when Dale Earnhardt Sr. was killed at Daytona the next day this idiot lefty cunt named Shann Nix of KGO radio in San Francisco actually asked why people were allowed to race cars at all.

    2. “Why would you have to make something so realistic?” asked cohost Barbara Walters. “Something so very scary?”

      Fuck you, that’s why.

      OH HOW THE TABLES HAVE TURNED BITCH!

      1. That’s two questions:

        As to the first question, because there has been a demand for better target shooting simulation in the video game market since the days of Duck Hunt and Wolfenstein 3D. The players want it, so why shouldn’t they get it?

        As to the second, fear is a statement, and only an utter ass is afraid of something that looks like a gun but doesn’t actually chamber rounds. Such fear is an appeal to emotion, which is a rhetorical fallacy. For someone who works in a profession allegedly dedicated to disseminating facts and truth, Barbara Walters should be ashamed of herself and be considered an embarrassment to her profession for asking such a question.

        1. Pretty sure she gave up the “journalism” thing a loooooong time ago.

    3. Any bets on if H&K ends up sueing this guy for trade dress infringements? He based his rifle on the G36C, and H&K absolutely HATES people copying their guns. They sued several airsoft companies over it.

  14. http://www.slate.com/blogs/the…..siana.html

    Slate calls this an impossible test. Proving, once again, that Slate is composed of drooling retards.

    1. The problem with literacy tests was never the idea of testing for literacy but the way in which they were graded.

      Though “Draw five circles that one common inter-locking part” (#30) is pretty funny.

      1. And the “Paris in the the spring” is an example of a classic trick used to demonstrate how the brain smooths things over for you when you’re in a hurry. Almost everyone mentally edits out the extra “the” when they don’t know there’s a trick. When you have ten minutes to do thirty of these questions, what purpose does that question have other than justifying denying the franchise?

      2. And take #7. How big a cross can be considered “small?” What shapes of cross are acceptable?

        #12: It’s impossible in Euclidian geometry to draw such a line.

        #6: How should the third circle be drawn?

        #23: “Northeast corner?” Do we get a compass, or is the assumption that north is toward the top of the page?

    2. While I agree with your description of Slate this test and others of it’s sort were just pure statist dickery.

      Blacks in the South were very poorly educated and the odds that enough of them could pass the test and thus vote and thus determine the outcome of an election was very low.

      1. On the upside, at least they didn’t let morons vote back then…

    3. This test would be impossible for the average uneducated southern black, especially in that era. But that is probably the only way libertarianism could be achieved, in a state where the low-IQ people couldn’t vote.

      1. Yes, clearly the Jim Crow South was an oasis of libertarianism

        1. And we know how libertarian academia is.

    4. Well several questions are confusingly worded. I don’t quite understand #1 (circle the words “number” or “letter” I guess?)

      Not to mention several questions are worded in a way to disqualify whoever the test taker wanted to.

  15. Wow, I laughed laughed laughed at this article. Of course, if Gillepse got his way, segregation would have never ended. Does he actually believe the crap he spews?

    1. I think this is a liberal troll.

    2. F-

      Needs moar KOCH

  16. Does anyone need Cirque du Soleil?

    1. That is a real shame about that performer. 31 is too fucking young.

      “Guy Lalibert?” is a great name, though.

      1. I once asked a Cirque performer out on a date, turns out she was involved with some clown.

        1. hiyo!

    1. Dominiono’s Pizza is the King of Pizza!

    2. That was a tough one. I got 61%. Bad Canadian. 🙁

      I did like the casually protectionist sentiment in “U.S. retail interlopers.” God forbid those greedy ‘Murrikans offer people products they want!

      1. 47% with mostly guessing.

        1. Hah! Me too. Long freaking quiz though. Mostly guessed at the ones on canadian history.

          1. Canada has history? Isn’t that mostly just a list of curling champions?

            1. And sheep buggery. Curling and sheep buggery, Canada’s two greatest pasttimes.

              1. Th weird thing is that the sheep are the ones doing the buggerying.

                1. I have weak Es.

        2. A lot of it was unsurprisingly East Coast-centric. I don’t give a fuck what stupid street in stupid Toronto some shit happened on.

          1. Canadians consider Toronto the east coast?

            Holy shit. Mind=blown.

            1. Everything in that oppressive time zone can suck it.

              1. and they can suck it half an hour earlier in Newfoundland!

            2. The way I always heard it referred to, growing up in BC, was “back East.” Everything east of dastardly Friendly Manitoba is back East, and is probably busily ignoring the West (and/or stealing from them, if you’re Alberta!).

          2. Sandi took a shit in Toronto once. Hopefully not on a street.

      2. Yes, but to be fair It was from the Star.

        1. I’m still tripping over The Chesterfield Shop banner ads I was getting on that site. I thought only my grandparents said that.

          1. I saw that too, and was going to make a comment aboot it.

      3. I scored 58%. Thankfully, I’m less Canadian than Dagny. 🙂

        It’s too bad TCM isn’t showing 49th Parallel as part of tomorrow’s salute to Canada. Any film with Laurence Olivier playing a Qu?becois trapper, complete with way over-the-top accent, is worth a viewing.

        1. It is fun, though not (IMO) a top-notch Powell/Pressburger film like Stairway to Heaven, Black Narcissus, and The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp.

      4. I scored 0%, because I didn’t take the quiz. Taking the quiz is for the only thing worse than Canadians: Canadian wannabes.

        1. Get oot, eh!

    3. Also, Happy Canada Day, you pants-loving degenerate. I hope you will be celebrating the day in the way God and nature intended: getting drunk and stoned with your friends. Wait, did I get the holiday right?

      1. That sounds just about like every day.

        1. In the words of a great Canadian. (Video quality is shit, though.)

          1. Damnit, now I have to go satisfy my TPB urges.

            1. yeah but here’s a good song.

      2. I’ve shamed my mom and step mom for not realizing it was Canada Day until I was half in the bag, but well…

        Shit. As Canadian artists go… Well, I have to drop some Canadian on these fucks: Canadian. And of course, ultimate trailor park boys, dropped by the shithawk: canadian+

    4. “We would also have accepted ‘Who Cares’ as the answer to every question.”

    5. I find it hilarious that the photo they chose has a US flag in it.

  17. Nice article, Matt. I picked up the book on Amazon shortly after watching “42”. Worthy read.

  18. New Jackie Robinson Movie Probably Has Scene Where People Yell Things And He’s Upset And Wants To Fight Back But Doesn’t

    LOS ANGELES?In anticipation of the release today of 42, the new Jackie Robinson biopic, moviegoers speculated that the film about the first African-American to play major-league baseball in the modern era most likely includes a scene in which a bunch of people yell horrible racist things at him and he’s upset and wants to fight back but he doesn’t.

    1. I love it when the satire is more accurate than the news site reviews.

    2. Spoilers!

    1. Doesn’t your new name just make you Archduke Belt/Suspenders?

    2. Where’s Barfman in our moment of need??

  19. I suppose it did

  20. Another part of the standard whitewash is to leave out that Branch was a staunch Republican and a man who did it because of the profit motive.

    1. Robinson was also a lifelong Republican because of what he considered to be a bigoted Democrat party in Georgia. Someone tell that to Michael Eric Dyson and watch his head explode, a la “Scanners”.

  21. As a basketball fans, of course, want to notice the collocation of clothing.Sportswear and equipment,enter http://www.sportbuying.com

    1. “Collocation of clothing”? English as a second language is a real bitch, eh Jony?

  22. basketball (where he was MVP of the West Coast Conference and two-time scoring leader)

    You mean Pacific Coast Conference, which disbanded in 1959 (and essentially reformed into the Pac-8, PAC 10, and modern day PAC-12, though that’s a slightly complicated story.)

  23. Thank you very much
    dds

  24. explicit aim was to apply lessons learned from baseball to the raging civil rights debate of the day

  25. 42. (In the movie’s cheesiest moment, future Hall

  26. competitor, Robinson was chosen to be first through

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