Thursday, April 18, 2013

42 Not Right For 8

The new Jackie Robinson biopic opened on the big screen this past week, and it is sure to do well. It looks nicely done, considering the 65-year-old story has been told many times.  I contemplated taking my son to it but I have concluded I would like to keep his innocent view of the world going a bit longer and would rather not have him think about hatred, racism, and violence.

I certainly cannot  -- and don’t want to shelter my eight-year-old son, but at the same time, I’d love to keep him a kid as long as possible. He will have many years in his life to learn of the atrocities committed throughout history. Perhaps we have advanced as a society to a point where there is a choice here, where he doesn’t have to be confronted by people yelling ‘nigga.’

It didn’t used to be that way. Back in the 1940s, when Jackie broke baseball’s unofficial color barrier, it was the norm for blacks to be mistreated, have their freedoms jeopardized, and their rights violated. If you think about it, America, at least on the surface and in its laws, is a much better place now than ever before when it comes to race. But much work remains. There is still prejudice and bias in the back of people’s minds. Perhaps hate and mistrust have dissipated, but race is still a factor in our society.

Sometimes I wonder if Hollywood should keep making movies that remind us of wars, slavery, the Holocaust and other horrific moments in history. It seems like each generation gets reintroduced to the horrors of the past when watching these movies. Does it help to never forget – or would it help if we could ignore the past and move forward? Would it be better if new generations don’t revisit old hatreds?

My daughter is five and she learned during Passover how her Jewish ancestors were slaves to the Egyptians. I am not sure how that makes her feel. She said the Egyptians are bad people. I tried to explain they were, but not any longer.

My wife and I recently explained to our son that Hitler existed and he led a mass extermination during World War II. We didn’t go into details or show pictures, but he grasped the concept that one person wielded too much power with an evil intent. Still, I wonder what he comes away feeling about it and how does he reconcile it with the present?

I will likely see 42 because I understand that to ignore or forget history is to repeat it. Plus I love baseball and Brooklyn. But I won’t take my son this time. Maybe next time. For as long as his sense of the world doesn’t include the ugly days of racism, the longer we can both feel better about the world we live in.

“The problem is not that there are problems.  The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.”
-          Theodore Rubin, Psychiatrist and Author

“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.”
-          Abraham Lincoln

“It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place.”
-          Henry Mencken

“The right to do something does not mean that doing it is right.”
-          William Safire

“To know what is right and not to do it is the worst cowardice.”
-          Confucius

“Pick battles big enough to matter, small enough to win.”
-          Jonathan Kozol

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
-          Carl Jung

 “The problems we face today cannot be solved on the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

 “An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an invasion of ideas.” – Victor Hugo

 “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” – Leo Tolstoy

Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer, the nation’s largest book promoter. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2013

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