If the Left Desires to Curb Police Abuse, They Must Confront Their Allegiance to Unions

Controversial former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick is back in the news again. It seems that over the Labor Day weekend, Nike decided to use him for a new advertising campaign despite no longer being a professional athlete. Of course, Kaepernick’s continuing relevance is due to his previous kneeling in protest during the National Anthem while it played before a football game as well as other positions he’s taken on social issues. Many have cited this as the primary reason he is no longer employed by a professional football team.

The initial causes of Kaepernick’s protest were perceived injustices that he thought were happening at the hands of American law enforcement against racial minorities. When asked about his decision to do this, Kaepernick said:

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Regardless of what one thinks about this former athlete’s methods to convey his message, the abuse of police power is something that most people can generally condemn. So if this abuse is a problem where it exists, it is then fair to ask what is being done to improve the situation or what is preventing the situation from improving. What are the reasons for incidents like this continuing to happen even if they are rare and do not represent the vast majority of law enforcement? If there are solutions that could lessen the tendency for abuse, what barriers do those solutions face?

If one were to list the obstacles that were preventing necessary reforms to police practice and the elimination of the “bad apples” who contribute to these harmful incidents, it would be impossible to ignore the role that police unions play. Time after time these unions defend the most abusive and worst cops in their respective departments. Firing a bad cop is extremely difficult if he/she happens to be a union member. The ability to do away with the few members of law enforcement who behave in this manner would go a long way in improving the relationship with the police and their communities.

As is the case with so many unions, the ones comprised of policemen are closely in bed with politics. Elected officials frequently receive campaign contributions from police unions. Despite the protests of abuse by law enforcement generally coming from the political left, it is the Democratic Party that receives most of this funding. Thus, the reforms and firings that would need to take place in order to best prevent the situations that the left continues to protest are prevented from occurring due to the money from these unions that goes to leftist politicians.

In this regard, police unions are rarely ever different from other unions in the public sector. Just like firing bad cops is rarely ever done, firing bad teachers and other government employees is a monumental task. Of course, those unions make sure that this is the case. The result is often a system with very little accountability for the worst workers in every sector and level of government employment.

So perhaps it was rather fitting that Nike rolled out Kaepernick’s ad campaign on Labor Day weekend since the political left frequently lauds the existence of unions during this time. Those same progressives should do some soul searching in relation to how their ideology allows them to vehemently protest police abuse while championing unions who protect the abusers and the politicians who take the union’s money. In order to fix any problem, the root cause must be identified. Ignoring the role that police unions play in this matter will only keep this problem firmly in the ground.

Bill Simmons’ “Ringer” Site Goes Soft on Socialism, Goes Hard After Pro-Lifers

It should be no surprise that sports writer Bill Simmons would promote the writing of those who lean to the political left. After all, the former ESPN personality did hire liberal pundit (and writer for Esquire) Charles P. Pierce for his former website “Grantland.” But since leaving ESPN, Simmons has founded a new website called “The Ringer.” Among the topics discussed are sports (of course), television, movies, music and politics. On the site’s “politics” page, no indication is made as to what viewpoint or angle they want to represent. But a quick browsing of the article headlines should make it pretty obvious as to what agenda they are trying to push.

That agenda becomes remarkably clear in two of their recent articles. One is titled “Is the Socialism Wave for Real?” It highlights the rise of socialist New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The other is titled “‘Roe v. Wade’ and the Ugly Future of the Movies.” It discusses the upcoming movie about the landmark case. From the articles’ titles, one could conclude a bias right off the bat. Further examining the articles makes that bias become all the more obvious.

In exploring the new “fad” of socialism, author Justin Charity describes the critics of Ocasio-Cortez as being “alarmist to a fault.” Of course, there’s no mention of any kind of alarmism that might lead someone to embrace socialism. Charity then goes on to describe this brand of socialism as “a framework in which large tax revenues support robust public services, welfare resources, and labor unions.” He makes it sound so welcoming, doesn’t he? Left out of this description is the fact that tax revenues hover around 20% of GDP regardless of tax structure, the welfare state has crippled entire generations of Americans and labor unions (contrary to what is typically taught in public schools) were not responsible for raising wages, creating a 40 hour work week or ending child labor. The harsh reality is that socialism has crushed innovation and kept droves of individuals in poverty rather than providing an escape from it.

But the “socialism” write up wasn’t the only time last month that Charity had an article with a left wing bias published by the site. Eight days earlier, he had put forward a piece discussing the upcoming pro-life movie “Roe v. Wade.” The article’s subtitle poses the question “Is a polarized country ready for far-right cinema?” Implied is the accusation that someone has to be “far right” to be pro-life or favor the overturning of Roe. Charity continues to trash the film (and by extension, the anti-abortion movement) by saying:

“The film reinforces lies that have been told over and over,” one potential investor told The Hollywood Reporter in a story published last week. “All the weird fake news about abortion is in there. All stuff that is easily debunked.” The script also includes a scene in which the birth control activist Margaret Sanger, on her deathbed, vows to “exterminate the Negro population” through legalized abortion.”

What’s going on here is a rather uncreative bait and switch. Nowhere in the article is any of this “fake news” actually cited. If it’s so easily debunked, why doesn’t Charity do so in this writing? He then describes the deathbed scene, implying that this is a complete falsehood. While this claim being made from her deathbed may be a stretch, Sanger did indeed view certain races of people as inferior and saw abortion as a way to limit the number of children those races would have. Rather than being easily debunked, Sanger’s racism is actually quite easy to prove.

So these two articles, in addition to others on The Ringer site that deal with politics, have a clear agenda and ideology that they wish to promote. But they aren’t thought provoking or objective toward politics or truth. Rather, they conveniently omit details and give flowery visions of ideologies which they are sympathetic toward but don’t actually produce their alleged results. Perhaps in the future the site can provide a more accurate assessment of the things they both agree and disagree with.

Absent Fathers Play Significant Role in Fewer Black Baseball Players

Over this past weekend, Major League Baseball celebrated the 71st anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the sport’s color barrier. As one would expect, the celebration highlighted the opportunity to praise the sport for the diversity it has come to show. However, one of the issues that was discussed in an ESPN video (as well as in other places over the years) is the declining numbers of African Americans at the Major League level. Despite the fact that black players from Latin American nations are on the rise, the percentage of American blacks in the game have been on the decline since their height of 18.7% in 1981. It has now been under 10% for over a decade.

There are several theories as to why this trend has been the case. Some cite the cost of admission to little league and the price of equipment. Others talk about the rise in popularity of football and basketball coupled with the best black athletes choosing to play those sports instead. Others have cited how the lack of individualism and the fact that baseball doesn’t seem “cool” enough for black America. But a factor that often goes overlooked, and likely won’t be voiced on ESPN, is the epidemic of fatherless households in the black community and how that can impact a son’s interest in baseball.

In general, baseball is more of a game that a son learns to play and to love from his father than any other sport. Playing catch in the backyard is something fathers and sons have done for generations. Taking your child to a baseball game is a longstanding American tradition as well. According to a study done by the Austin Institute,

“While some say baseball is culturally a sport the more educated and wealthy are drawn to, this data shows it’s nowhere near the magnitude of having a father in the home. Boys and girls are 25% more likely to play baseball and softball when they live with their father. High school baseball teams are more successful in counties where, 16 years earlier, more mothers were married when they had children.”

Considering the age of baseball players during these decades of the height of blacks at the Major League level and the subsequent decline, the timeline seems to bear this out. In the previously mentioned peak year of 1981 for African Americans in MLB, the overwhelming majority of players were from the Baby Boomer generation (born between 1946 and 1964). Since President Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty in 1965, the rate of blacks raised without fathers has skyrocketed. So it makes sense that the Baby Boomers would produce the highest percentage of black professional baseball players since they were the last generation to be untouched by the government’s misguided policy that destroyed black families.

This isn’t to say that other issues aren’t factors as well. The inner-city surroundings in which many young blacks are more likely to grow up in America may lead to a greater likelihood of interests in other sports than baseball. In response, the league has created the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities initiative (RBI). Washington Nationals star Bryce Harper created the Make Baseball Fun Again movement that encourages more expression in the sport. These attempts may pay dividends down the road in trying to lure more American blacks back to the country’s pastime.

But as much as socioeconomic conditions and cultural preferences can play a factor in baseball’s popularity among specific groups, one cannot underestimate the impact that fathers have when it comes to a child’s athletic experience. The fact that the national rate for black children born to unwed parents has hovered around 70% since the 1990’s will play a huge role in what activities those individuals will be drawn to in their youth. Not having a father in the home has robbed children of all races of so much. Now it appears that a child’s experience in the world of sports is not exempt from those consequences.

Take a Page From Athletic Philosophy to Solve Black-White Academic Gap

With college football’s bowl season starting, ESPN has recently published an article titled “Bowl-bound student-athletes getting better in the classroom.” The article provides an in-depth look at the academic progress of the players from the 78 teams competing in bowl games this season. Much of this analysis consists of addressing graduation rates for the football players attending these schools. These numbers are then contrasted with the results from previous years.

As one could probably decipher from the article’s title, there have been some significant improvements when it comes to the Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of student athletes who play football. The GSR for these teams participating in bowls is 77%. This is up from 75% in 2016. All bowl teams had a GSR of at least 50%. This feat was not achieved by the bowl teams from a season ago.

But an area of concern for these athletes continues to be the gap in academic achievement between blacks and whites. Although the difference has narrowed, there is still a 16 point advantage in graduation rates of white football players over black ones. The number of these schools with GSRs displaying a 30 percentage point gap between whites and blacks who play the sport is also on the decline. However, eight of the 78 teams still have this kind of disparity.

Although we can see positive trends when it comes to the academic achievement of black athletes, we should also account for what has been the source of the continued divide between black student athletes and those of other races. What factors still persist that are causing these results? How do we identify them? What, if anything, can be done to remedy this situation?

For one possible solution, let’s look to the other institution that categorizes these young men as student athletes to begin with. That is, let’s observe the success of blacks in the realm of football. After all, there are now more blacks playing Division One Football than any other race (blacks comprise an even larger percentage of NFL players). This is despite only about 13% of the US population being black. Clearly the problem of a lack of black competitiveness in academics is non-existent on the football field. But why is this the case? Is it because there is some government funded organization that dumps extraordinary amounts of money into making black kids into great football players? No, the reason lies in the demand for excellence that blacks place upon themselves to be great at their sport. It is the responsibility that these blacks take to perfect their skills that lead to being able to compete on this kind of level. Therefore, the solution to the academic deficiencies that black students face is through a desire for personal greatness.

The articles’ author then shares a quote from a discussion he had with famous civil rights activist Jesse Jackson. As far as black student athletes were concerned, Jackson stressed that,

“The collegiate ‘student-athlete’ must continue to maximize both sides of that title by pursuing excellence both in the classroom and on the playing field. Although the academic progress that has been made is encouraging, there is still much work to be done in bridging the achievement gap, and ensuring that African American student-athletes are receiving maximum benefit from their educational experience to prepare for a successful life and career after college. Not every athlete will be a Heisman Trophy winner, a first-round draft pick or a Hall of Fame player, but every student has the opportunity through their collegiate experience to prepare, equip and empower themselves for a meaningful and impactful future.”

Certainly this is not a bad sentiment with regards to these black students. But has Jackson really put this philosophy into practice? After all, if he truly desired excellence from black students in academia and thought they were capable of it, wouldn’t he reject a mindset of victimization and policies which give any kind of preference to blacks? Creating a victim culture and applying favoritism to any race implies that excellence is beyond their grasp or at least not achievable without the assistance from those of Jackson’s ilk and the policies that they favor.

Once again, the reason for the frequent achievement of excellence by blacks on the gridiron has nothing to do with any kind of race-based favoritism or victimhood. Rather, it is the perseverance and responsibility taken by these athletes which propels them to this status. It therefore can be said that blacks have been able to accomplish these feats by applying a very anti-Jackson philosophy to their approach. A similar path put forward on academics would certainly yield better results than the one that these types of black leaders have been peddling since they rose to prominence.

ESPN’s Hill has a History of Race-Baiting

Controversial ESPN personality Jemele Hill recently got into some hot water regarding a tweet she sent out conveying her opinion of President Donald Trump. In her tweet, Hill said:

“Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.”

ESPN has responded by saying that her remarks do not represent the network. No action was taken against Hill for the statement.

Although many have felt that some sort of penalty should have been enforced against Hill, ESPN not taking action against her should not come as a surprise. Hill has had a significant recent history of making baseless and outlandish racial remarks while employed at the network. Several of her past columns reflect either an inability to look outside of race as a situational factor or just a blatant desire to race-bait. No action was taken against her for those things as well.

During the 2010 NFL season, Hill wrote an article entitled “Is race still an issue for NFL QBs?” The three black quarterbacks that Hill chose as examples of “unfair” treatment were Vince Young, Jason Campbell and Donovan McNabb. When examining these three QB’s with the timeframe in which the article is written, the baselessness of Hill’s claims becomes apparent. Young would have his final regular season start in the NFL just one season later. His career was also marked by immaturity and conflict with his head coach. Campbell was in the midst of a wildly inconsistent season for the Oakland Raiders in which the team ended up going 8-8. McNabb was almost completely washed-up by this point in his career and was attempting to lead a mediocre Redskins team while having only marginal success. Clearly none of these examples are cases of some sort of stellar QB being blatantly spurned by a racist coach.

Nearly a year after writing that article, Hill doubled down on her playing of the race card when comparing quarterbacks Michael Vick and Tim Tebow. In that article, Hill stated that:

“When Tim Tebow bowls over a couple of defensive players for a touchdown in a meaningless preseason game, it’s considered a display of his toughness and leadership. But when Vick launches himself at Troy Polamalu after throwing a costly interception, it’s considered risky and stupid.”

Looking into the professional status of the two quarterbacks at this time, it becomes apparent that this comparison is absurd. Vick was the established starting QB for the Eagles and was about to sign a huge contract. Tebow was still backing up Kyle Orton on the Broncos at the time and was playing under a rookie contract. But of course, Hill doesn’t want to see these types of differences. She only sees race as the source of differing narratives.

Perhaps the most egregious of Hill’s race-baiting articles came after O.J. Simpson was found guilty of orchestrating an armed robbery in 2008. When questioning how fair the case’s jury was, Hill writes in her article:

“There are also serious questions about whether the jury was unbiased. According to an Associated Press report, five of the 12 jurors — all of whom were white — wrote in their questionnaires they disagreed with the 1995 verdict…so much for an unbiased jury of one’s peers.”

So apparently according to Hill, in order to accurately and unbiasedly serve on the jury of a man accused of a crime, you must have thought he was not guilty of a previous crime he was tried for. Why is this some sort of standard for being fair and objective in an unrelated case? Also, why even mention the race of those on this jury who thought Simson was guilty back in 1995? Certainly there were blacks (and other non-whites) who thought the jury decided Simpson’s 1995 double murder case incorrectly. Would it be “biased” to allow them to serve on this jury as well? Or is it only whites who thought this way who weren’t able to decide a fair verdict for the 2008 trial?

Given that Hill has been able to voice all of these opinions in ESPN columns without consequence, it becomes apparent that any reprimand for her tweets about Donald Trump should not be expected. The network has no problem giving her a platform for her views no matter how baseless or race-obsessed they are. It’s best to keep this in mind with regard to any of her statements going forward. Getting upset with someone who has the track record of Jemele Hill just isn’t worth it.

ESPN’s “Robert Lee” Incident Only Latest Example of PC Absurdity

By now, many people both in and out of the sports world are familiar with the controversy surrounding broadcaster Robert Lee. In short, the recent rallies in Charlottesville, VA have caused ESPN to pull Lee from working Virginia’s game against William and Mary due to his name being the same as the most famous general of the Confederacy. As surprising as this move may be to some, it is simply another example of the rampant political correctness that accompanies both ESPN and most of the sports media. So let’s take a stroll through some (though certainly not all) recent events highlighting just how deep the plague of PC has infected the sports culture in America.

(2006) Don Haskins was not a Social Justice Warrior.

In the movie Glory Road (produced by Disney, parent company of ESPN), the day before Texas Western’s National Championship game against Kentucky, there is a scene where coach Haskins gathers his players on the bleachers for a pre-game talk. In that talk, Haskins vows to “put a stop” to the race based criticism of his team. He states that he will accomplish this by only playing the black players who were on his team in the championship game. Five would start and two would be subbed in off of the bench. The non-black players wouldn’t play in the game at all.

This speech that Haskins gave his team never actually happened in real life. Texas Western had been starting an all-black five for the entire season. So the starters for the championship game weren’t chosen on the basis of an attempt to triumph over bigotry or affect social tolerance. Haskins, like every other coach of any other team, was just trying to win games. When asked about the race of his starters, Haskins downplayed the social significance of what he had done by saying “I really didn’t think about starting five black guys. I just wanted to put my five best guys on the court.” It just so happened that all five of his best guys were black. In the true story, the players who were able to start for the 1966 championship team were able to achieve that status purely on their own merits. But in the movie, that accomplishment is tainted by the desire of a coach trying to advance a social agenda. By creating a motivation to conquer racism as the primary goal for the team’s coach, the film undercuts the talent necessary to become a starter and makes it more about factors outside the court than on it.

(2008) Does talking about Mexicans picking up dry-cleaning actually offend anyone?

On ESPN’s Monday Night Football, broadcaster Tony Kornheiser remarked after playing a touchdown call from a Spanish Affiliate station “I took high school Spanish and that either means ‘nobody is going to touch him’ or ‘could you pick up my dry cleaning in the morning.” Kornheiser wasn’t fired for saying this. But he did end up apologizing for it. But was what he said even offensive? Was he perpetuating the well-known stereotype that Mexicans like to pick up dry-cleaning? No doubt this was just damage control for a politically correct organization trying to cover all of their bases.

(2009) No, not all the world’s black people are African Americans.

During a college basketball matchup between Tennessee and Vanderbilt which was played around the time of Barrack Obama’s Presidential Inauguration, a conversation with Vanderbilt center Festus Ezeli was a topic that sideline reporter Jeannine Edwards brought up. According to Edwards, Ezeli’s thoughts on the inauguration were as follows:

“I talked to Vanderbilt center Festus Ezeli – who is from Nigeria – before the game about Obama’s inauguration. He told me that it isn’t as big of a deal to him as it is to most people, because all they have in Nigeria are African-American presidents.”

Now of course, the individuals who are elected to higher office in Nigeria are not African American (they’re African). It seems rather unlikely that Ezeli would have used the term “African American” to describe his own countrymen. He most likely used the word “black.” But that’s not quite good enough for ESPN. Even when stating someone is an African American is factually incorrect, it’s better than being politically incorrect.

(2016) The Espy Awards embrace gun control.

At the annual ESPN awards show (called the ESPY’s), the 2016 show involved a segment on an innocent teenager who had been shot and killed. The segment began with two time NBA MVP Steph Curry talking about all of the times guns take lives in America. Of course he didn’t mention the large percentage of these times which are suicides or the times where a shooting saves a life from a would-be attacker. The slain boy’s mother was even brought on stage to make the case for more gun control before the segment ended. No mention of the war on drugs or any societal problems that may have caused this teen’s death. Only guns are allowed to be blamed for violence on an ESPN award show.

Well, there it is. Just a taste of how blatantly adherent to political correctness ESPN (and likely others in the sports media) have become. It often takes an incident as absurd as banning a man from a broadcasting job due to his name to shine light on how bad things have gotten. But let’s also take notice of other examples that show the sports media for what it is. Holding them accountable for these types of incidents might cause them to take a long look at their current state.

Empowering the State is Not the Solution to Racism

A fan at Boston’s Fenway Park was recently ejected for using a racial slur directed at the Kenyan-born singer of the National Anthem before the game. This incident comes in the aftermath of Baltimore Orioles’ center fielder Adam Jones (who is black) claiming he was the recipient of racist taunts following a game in Boston. New York Yankees’ pitcher CC Sabathia (also black) seemed to empathize with Jones’ claims saying that he knows to expect racism when his team travels to play the Red Sox. Unsurprisingly, the Red Sox organization has gone into damage control in denouncing the bigoted statements and calling for change.

But what may be cause for concern is that the Boston Police Department said in a statement following the ejection of the fan that “the BPD’s Civil Rights Unit is investigating the allegations and will make a determination as to whether further action is warranted.” It’s hard to imagine what constitutional action law enforcement could take against someone who made an offensive comment (you can read the specifics of the comment here). As appalling as this was, it did not threaten anyone’s well-being or violate anyone’s civil rights. Yes, what was said was certainly hateful. But despite what Howard Dean thinks, hate speech is still protected under the First Amendment. Action taken by government in this instance would be a clear violation of the free speech that the constitution is supposed to protect.

The dangerous area that the state is venturing into with regard to racial issues is to think that furthering its own power and influence is the solution to the region’s racial strife. Bostonians don’t need to look outside of their own city’s history to see the consequences of looking to government to solve issues of race. Although the forced busing programs of the 1970’s failed all over the country, they may have failed in Boston worse than in any other major American city. The subsequent riots and violence that occurred in opposition to this kind of government-mandated integration have had scars that have lasted for decades since and have contributed to much of the city’s racial animosity since then. So what was initially supposed to improve Boston’s race relations (along with the rest of the country) actually ended up making things much worse.

The city of Boston, as well as the state of Massachusetts, is in a situation that brings two bad situations to the forefront. Here we have an area well known for having a racially charged history, but also a tendency for embracing state-centered solutions to virtually all social problems. The result has been enhanced racial turmoil despite and/or because of the government’s best efforts. There is little reason to believe that this won’t continue to be the case if more laws are written and government continues to expand in the name of alleviating the situation.

The true liberty minded solution would be to simply allow the property owners and private organizations to oversee the conduct that takes place within their own facilities. This is presently being done as Major League Baseball, as well as the Red Sox organization, is exercising the right to expel those who violate the rules of conduct that these private entities outline. But sadly, this often isn’t good enough for governments who want to prove that they are “at war” with any remnants of racism that may still exist. Taxpayer money gets wasted and the constitution gets trampled upon all to signal that the state is actively involved in combating the problem despite the wisdom, legality or results of how that state conducts itself. The perception of a proactive effort to combat racism is thought to be more important than what is actually accomplished or what rights are violated in the process.

Government Trying to Raise any Group’s Wages is Always a Bad Deal

Among the different discussions following every Super Bowl, a prominent source of debate seems to always be the game’s commercials. This year, in addition to the typical opinions about which ads were good or not, the underlying politics of the companies’ messages became a hotly held conversation. The two spots that seemed to cause the most political intrigue were Budweiser’s brief history of their German-born founder as he immigrated to America and Audi’s pledge to equal pay for women. Both of these advertisements were seen as being controversial by at least some.

It’s not hard to see why these corporations chose to convey these messages in what would assuredly be their most watched commercials. Embracing immigrants (or those different from you) and paying different people the same salary for the same work regardless of gender is usually looked at as a social good to be strived for. Thus, those companies who champion those ideals would be looked at favorably by the public. But are women really paid less for the same work and what parallels can we see by observing the misguided legislation to raise the wages of both women and immigrants in the American workforce?

The gender wage gap, as defined by the left (and almost certainly Audi), is a complete myth. When adjusted for hours worked, type of job and time spent away to have and raise children that pay gap shrinks to virtually nothing. So a woman getting paid less than a man is not about sexism and more about the choices women make during their lives. Valuing things like spending time away from work due to lifestyle differences, women will inevitably be somewhat less valuable as an employee when compared to a male counterpart who can focus more of his time on his job.

So what will happen if “equal pay” legislation is introduced to the American workforce? Well, rather than an employer simply raising the salaries of all of his female employees to the level of males, the options that women have with regard to their jobs will simply cease to exist. For example, a women with small children may choose a lower salary if it means she can work from home. The introduction of a new law forcing her employer to pay her the same as a man who shows up at the office every day (and is thus worth more to the company) will not cause the employer to cave and pay her the new, higher amount. Instead, the option of working from home will now disappear since it will now not be worth it for the company to pay an at-home worker the same salary as an office worker.

Similarly, progressive activists have the same effect on immigrants when advocating for increased wages in the form of minimum wage laws. According to Cato Institute economist Alex Nowrasteh:

“Immigrants are more likely to be lower-skilled workers, exactly the types of workers most likely to be harmed by a higher minimum wage.”

Due to less education, a lack of experience and a more limited grasp of English, the labor of immigrants is often not as valuable as that of than their native-born counterparts. This would certainly account for a lower wage being made by those immigrants who fit any of these descriptions.

Now, if there were a law which increased the amount an employer had to pay an employee, would all of those employers who had hired immigrants all of the sudden pay them as much as the more valuable and more experienced workers? Most likely they would not. Rather, the opportunities for those inexperienced and uneducated immigrants would simply disappear. Raising the minimum wage would eliminate the bottom rung of the ladder that these individuals would often use as a stepping stone to gain the experience which they currently lack.

Fortunately for many immigrants of America’s past that there was no barrier to entry like the minimum wage to keep them out of the workforce and prevent them from making better lives for themselves. Had there been laws like this, many immigrants hired at Budweiser’s St. Louis brewery (and other jobs) would have been unable to have that opportunity. Likewise, preventing women from having the flexibility to choose a lower salary has the same effect. Writing laws to force employers to pay a higher salary to a particular group, whether immigrants or women, destroys the opportunities for both groups by failing to account for the situational differences that result in the difference in pay. Getting rid of both so-called equal pay laws and minimum wage laws is what will actually help the groups that this legislation was intended to benefit.

Lebron James and the Safety Pin Opportunity

With Sports Illustrated selecting NBA superstar Lebron James as the 2016 Sportsperson of the Year, an opportunity was seized by the reigning finals MVP to make a social/political statement in the aftermath of the 2016 Presidential Election. For the picture taken for the award, James wore a safety pin on the lapel of his jacket.  Wearing a safety pin has become a symbol of solidarity for people who feel disenfranchised by the election of Donald Trump to the US Presidency. Those who wear one show that they not only oppose Trump’s entry into the White House, but also that that the wearer of the pin is a “safe” (hence the safety pin) person to be around in an America soon to be led by Trump.

To act like a president who hasn’t even taken office yet is already disenfranchising you seems like a bit of a stretch. But James isn’t the only athlete, or former athlete, who is acting like the not-yet-inaugurated Trump is already having a negative effect of American life. After racist graffiti and the word “Trump” was found at the home of New York Giant fullback Nikita Whitlock, teammate Victor Cruz was quoted as saying, “I think it’s definitely a direct reflection of how this country is being run…the things that are being said by the people at [the] helm of this country and at the helm of our day-to-day lives.” Of course, Barack Obama is still running things until January 20th. NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote an article two days after the election titled What it Means to be Black During a Trump Administration. Apparently he doesn’t want to actually experience an America under Trump before assuming what it will be like.

So one might ask that if Lebron James is a safe person to be around during the all-encompassing awfulness that a Trump Presidency will bring, what kind of actions could we expect from him in order to aid those who feel they have become so threatened by this? Would he give the person a hug? Would he give them a pep talk like the ones he gives to his team before they take the court? Would he give them some of his money (he has a lot)? Would he section off a part of one of his houses as a “safe space” since young millennials who are upset have shown a desire for those?

This phenomenon of wearing a safety pin to convey a political message presents a unique economic opportunity. Since the demand for safety pins has now increased, perhaps it would be a good time to invest in companies which produce and sell them. The Singer Sewing Company has their safety pins sold at Walmart, Target and CVS. The craft store chain Michaels has reported difficulty in keeping safety pins in stock since Trump’s victory.

Safety pin sales haven’t been the only product that has seen a jump in sales as a result of a presidential election. Often when a Democrat is elected president, there is a major uptick in the sale of firearms. But left-wingers might have some reservations about investing in an industry which manufactures something that so many of them dislike so much. In contrast, conservatives should have no problem benefiting as a result of increases in safety pin production since they are not a part of an industry opposed by right-of-center individuals.

The safety pin demonstration is most likely a fad that will dissipate over time. Perhaps it will be after Trump officially takes office and people realize that the conditions of the people he supposedly has it in for act with relative independence of who the president happens to be. But until inauguration day, the flames of fear will likely be stoked to the point that safety pin sales will continue to surge. That’s when investors may be wise to make their move.

Diversity Surging in Baseball Despite Lack of Black Americans

In response to the protests of the National Anthem by NFL players like Colin Kaepernick, Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones stated his opinion as to why there aren’t baseball players taking part in similar social activism.

Jones told USA Today, “baseball is a white man’s sport.”

He later told the Baltimore Sun, “Baseball is numbers. It’s 8 percent black. I didn’t make that up. In football, basketball, the numbers are in the 60s and 70s. These aren’t made up numbers. It just is what it is. I’m part of the 8 percent.”

Jones is correct that the number of American blacks playing Major League Baseball is at roughly 8% (but remember that these are American blacks). This percentage has also been declining for most of the past 20 years after being at over 17% in 1994. But do declining numbers of African Americans necessarily mean that the organization as a whole has gotten whiter? Let’s take a look at who the rest of the Major League Baseball players are.

 

Although the percentage of African Americans playing professional baseball has been declining, the percentage of Latino players has been holding steady at above 25% since 2001. Many times these Latin players are just as blackas their African American counterparts having been descended from African slaves brought to the west. Therefore, MLB players like Edwin Encarnacion, David Ortiz and Francisco Lindor would be categorized as Latino despite people likely identifying them as being black based on their appearance. Add these foreign born black players to the number of American born blacks in the league and their percentage would look far less depleted.

 

Asians are another minority group who has seen significant growth in the number of Major League players. As recently as 1993 there were no Asian players competing at the big league level. But their numbers grew steadily throughout the next decade and have been sitting consistently around 1%-2% throughout the 21st century. Obviously this isn’t a huge percentage, but it does show a significant increase.

 

But what about all of those white players? Surely a “white man’s game” like baseball has seen an impervious level of white participation at the highest level, right? Well, not exactly. The percentage of whites in MLB hasn’t been above 70% since 1989 and has been below 65% since 1995. The past two seasons have seen the percentage of white players at just below 60%.

 

So how do these percentages correlate to the racial composition throughout America? As it turns out, non-Hispanic whites comprise about 63% of the American population (according to 2012 numbers). This has been roughly similar to the percentage of that same race in Major League Baseball. Blacks are now underrepresented in the sport as they are about 12.5% of the population and only 8% of professional baseball players. But with the decline of American blacks in MLB, the Hispanic percentage has become overrepresented considering their US population is at around 17% and they comprise over 25% of Major League players. Asian players are underrepresented still, standing at between 1% and 2% of big league ballplayers and being about 5.5% of the American public. But again, that race was nonexistent in the game before the number of American blacks began to decline.

 

What’s interesting about the current racial makeup up Major League Baseball is that it isn’t any “whiter” than the American population in general. If one simply observes it with regard to whites and non-whites, baseball at the professional level doesn’t seem to be quite the “white man’s game” that Jones seems to be insisting that it is. Yes, baseball is certainly whiter than the NFL (about 68% black) and the NBA (about 75% black). As a result, the leagues which have more blacks are more likely to have members speak out against things which negatively affect the black community in America (like police brutality, etc.). But to jump from being considerably more white than two other professional leagues to being a “white man’s game” seems to be a bit of a stretch.

 

What’s more, the American populace in general is often celebrated and championed as a result if its diversity. If you were to ask Americans what their definition of diversity is, many would define it as “looking like America.”  So an entity reflecting the country’s diversity would have many different races and ethnic groups represented in similar fashion to their percentages in American society (even though no entity exists which looks exactly like America percentage wise). The funny thing is, baseball does reflect a white population percentage similar to that of the rest of the country. The non-white portion of the Major Leagues (also a similar percentage to the non-whites in America, naturally) is comprised of American born and foreign born blacks, a growing Hispanic population and a newly established Asian contingent. Sound a whole lot like America to me.

 

So the decline of American blacks playing Major League baseball has resulted not in those blacks being replaced by whites, but by other minorities who are talented enough to play the game. Thus, one could argue that rather than getting less diverse as a result of depleted numbers of African Americans, baseball is actually just as diverse or even more diverse than it has ever been. If people are to take pride in the diversity we have in this country, then baseball should be embraced for exhibiting the percentages which in many ways reflect the different races and ethnicities that the country has. Rather than being the exclusive game of the white man that it used to be many decades ago, baseball has become a game featuring a various array of races, ethnic groups and nationalities of those who are able to play it on its highest level.