FanPost

MLB Players Take Stand Against Arizona's Immigration Law

Yeah, I know. There's guys out there who just like baseball and want this site to be a refuge from the hamster wheel of life. It just kills them to have to think about anything else when all they really want to do is vegetate and fantasize about how great their team is. And, even myself, I love relaxing and listening to a ball game. Put on the headphones, head out to the yard... Hey, it's one of the greatest things about this country. But, and this is a significant but, we are also citizens in a democracy. That, to me, should be the greatest thing about this country. We make this country what it is. And when our basic rights, or the rights of other Americans are threatened by the government, we all have a duty to stand up and be counted.



So, recently, Arizona, a place where about half of MLB teams train every spring, passed a law that allows cops to stop people they "suspect" of not being a United States Citizen. If that person does not present full documentation of their citizenship, Birth Certificate, Passport or other legal identification, they can be detained indefinitely. Let me say that again: you or anyone like you, and especially someone like you with dark skin, can be detained indefinitely for not carrying their identification papers on their person at all times of the day. Anyway, why this "fits" with this site is that, MLB players have taken a stand against this law. Here's the money quote:
"The Major League Baseball Players Association opposes this law as written. We hope that the law is repealed or modified promptly. If the current law goes into effect, the MLBPA will consider additional steps necessary to protect the rights and interests of our members."
As you may know, Hispanics, many of them foreign nationals, make up a significant portion of MLB. Even some Twins, Francisco Liriano and Jose Mijares, to name just two, are foreign nationals and could be arrested at any time if they were to travel to Arizona and be stopped on the street. You may think that this is much to do about nothing but there is a very important reflection that came out of Nazi Germany that I am going to paraphrase and ask you to consider carefully. This is from someone who tried, after the fact, to understand what happened to Germany, how they became such a monstrous and murderous society when they had been so highly developed and well-educated:
"First the authorities came for the gypsies and no one said or did anything because they left us alone. Then they came for the Jews and no one said or did anything because they didn't bother us. Then they came for our neighbors, and we did nothing because we were still safe. Then they came for us, and we wondered why no one said anything and we realized that no one was left ..." (My apologies for the rough paraphrase, and I'm sure someone will dig it out for accuracy.)
I salute MLB players for standing up to this law. Jackie Robinson and crossing the color line, that was only 60 years ago. Think about it... I urge all baseball fans to stand with the MLB players and their families in opposing this kind of arbitrary detention. This is our chance to affirm that the United States is a place where basic freedoms and human rights are respected, no matter the color of your skin. When we give government this much power, well, its the kind of slippery slope from which Nazi Germany never came back...
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