|President Obama contemplates a Jackie Robinson|
jersey during the president's visit to the Hall of Fame.
President Obama on Thursday became the first sitting president to visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., a visit intended to provide visuals for touting the economic value of tourism.
This photo came from the substantial exhibit at the museum on the Negro Leagues and the breaking of the color barrier, and this jersey is not usually so exposed. (The president was photographed holding a Babe Ruth bat and a Joe DiMaggio glove, relics the normal visitor doesn't get to touch; the Hall obviously set things up specially for the presidential tour.)
The blackball exhibit is one of the focal points of the museum, and the symbolic connection between Robinson and Obama is pretty obvious. No. 42 is one of the many giants on whose shoulders Obama stands.
And this statement seems to me self-evident: Racism didn't disappear from American life when a black man was elected president any more than it disappeared from baseball when a black man played for a major league team.