Posts Tagged ‘Equality’

Happy 80th Birthday, Roberto Clemente!

August 18, 2014

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Happy 80th Birthday to Roberto Clemente! As a baseball and Dodgers fan, Roberto Clemente is one of my all time heroes. This is what I wrote about Clemente last year, so will include it below in addition to couple videos on the pride of Puerto Rico. Enjoy!

Roberto was born in Carolina, Puerto Rico. At an early age, Roberto started playing baseball. In 1954, the Brooklyn Dodgers offered him a contract to play for their Triple-A team, the Montreal Royals. While with the Royals, Roberto didn’t play that much. He was often bench. Some say that the Dodgers were trying to guard him from the Rookie Draft of 1954. But, Clyde Sukeforth, a baseball scout for the Pittsburgh Pirates observed that Clemente was being bench and encouraged the Pirates to draft him. On November 22, 1954, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected Roberto Clemente in the Rookie Draft.

Roberto Clemente made his major league debut on April 17, 1955 against the Brooklyn Dodgers. He didn’t do well in his rookie season due to being involved in a car accident midway thru the season. Roberto Clemente really exploded with the Pirates in the 1960s. He led the Pirates to a World Series victory over the Yankees in 1960. Clemente led the National League in Batting in 1961, 1964, 1965 and 1967. He was the Most Valuable Player in 1966. He received numerous Gold Glove awards throughout the 60s for his outstanding defense. Clemente had a canon of an arm. He could throw a guy out at third base or home plate from right field. Players knew not to run on Clemente. He was one of the most amazing players to watch. He helped the Pirates win a second World Series in 1971 when the Pirates beat the heavily favored Baltimore Orioles in seven games. He was named World Series MVP after hitting .414 and hitting a solo home run in the Pirates 2-1 victory in game 7 of the World Series.

Roberto Clemente struggled with injuries and in 1972 he only played in 102 games but ended batting .312 in the season. Roberto collected his 3,000 hit, a double of the Mets’ Jon Matlack in front of the Pittsburgh Pirates fans at Three Rivers Stadium. That would end up being his last hit in the major leagues.

Roberto Clemente was not an ordinary baseball player. He used the diamond to expressed one of his many gifts. Clemente was a great soul. He cared for the most marginalized. He demonstrated tremendous compassion to the poor. Following the 1972 season, there was a catastrophic earthquake in Managua, Nicaragua. Upon realizing that some of the aid that he had previously sent to Nicaragua was not reaching those affected by the earthquake but intercepted by the Somoza government, Roberto Clemente boarded a small airplane that was taking aid packages to the victims. The plane left from Puerto Rico on December 31, 1972 but mechanical problems forced the plane to crash into the ocean off the coast of Isla Verde, Puerto Rico. Everyone from the Pirates attended Clemente’s memorial except his close friend and teammate, catcher, Manny Sanguillen, who decided to jump into the ocean in hopes of finding Roberto’s body. Roberto Clemente’s body was never found.

Roberto Clemente was inducted into Baseball’s Hall of Fame posthumously in 1973, becoming the first Latino to be elected into the Hall of Fame. Roberto was an amazing man. It takes a special man to go out of his way and coordinate emergency relief for victims of an earthquake in another country. Not only did Clemente orgazined relief funds but he put his family aside to personally go to Nicaragua and deliver the aid to the victims.

Major League Baseball (MLB) owes a lot to Roberto Clemente. I know that they have an award name after him for players who best follow Clemente’s humanitarian work but the award is not enough. It is time that Bud Selig, the commissioner of Baseball pays tribute to Clemente just the same way he did to Jackie Robinson. It is time for Clemente’s number 21 to be retired by all major league teams. Having his number 21 retired will send a powerful message that MLB truly honors and respects Clemente’s humanitarian work.

As a Jackie Robinson and Roberto Clemente fan, I think its only fair that 21 and 42 be the only numbers to be retired by all teams. Having 21 retired paves the way for MLB to have Roberto Clemente Days’ to be celebrated on August 18th as days where MLB will partner up with local community organizations and sponsor an organization that is doing amazing work on issues impacting that baseball’s town. In Los Angeles, it could be a grassroots organization working to end homelessness. In San Francisco, it could be an organization that advocates for equality when it comes to same sex marriages. In New York, it could be an organization that advocates for equal distribution of wealth and holds Wall Street thugs accountable to pay their share of taxes. In Pittsburgh, it could be an organization that brings awareness to the health conditions of the miners in Pennsylvania. If Major League Baseball had Roberto Clemente Days’ on August 18th, we will once again be demonstrating that Sports serves as a vehicle to address social issues that are not only impacting communities but putting the spotlight on community organizations who are making a difference in the lives of many Americans.

May we continue to keep Clemente’s legacy and spirit alive by living our lives for the greater good of others. Jackie Robinson once said, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” Roberto Clemente lived by that quote. More importantly, he lived by his own quote, “If you have a chance to accomplish something that will make things better for people coming behind you, and you don’t do that, you are wasting your time on this Earth,”

Videos From The Wailers Concert

July 22, 2014

Here are the videos I took from The Wailers concert on July 17th at the Saban Theatre.

The Wailers put on a great show. I kept thinking about Bob Marley and if he was alive he would be using his shows to bring awareness to the crisis going on in Palestine. Music to him was a platform to promote peace, love, justice and equality. Let us keep Marley’s spirit alive by standing in solidarity with our Palestinian brothers and sisters.

I have pictures and short videos of songs that they performed such as; No Woman No Cry, Satisfy My Soul, and Exodus on my Instagram account. Just got my IG account couple weeks ago. It is @Doyers42

Join LA Futbolistas For A Gender Non-Conforming, Trans, Womyn Futbol Game

April 22, 2014

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For those in the Los Angeles area come and join us on May 4 as we will be playing a Gender Non-Conforming, Trans, Womyn Futbol game. If you have never played the game, Futbolistas allows  you the space to dribble the ball at your own pace and for you to pass the ball. We want people to fall in love with the sport and therefore their is no slide tackling and we emphasize more on passing the ball. The score is always 2-2 🙂

People from all ages are invited to come. We have parents that bring their children and play with us. Imagine a field where you are playing on the same team as your son or daughter or playing against them. Futbolistas allows that space to make it happen.

If you are around the area or would be interested in participating, we would love to see you present. So mark your calendars and hope to see some of you there!

Here is our mission statement:

As a lived community of diverse womyn,
transgender and gender nonconforming
activists and allies, we step alongside,
arms linked, onto the field to play.
We play for the game this day
to congregate and remember,
to witness and celebrate
those movements and voices of
strength, fury, intelligence.
This gathering brings together
old friends and young stars,
those liberated by visions 
of gender equality and social justice.
Together, let us shift.
Let us build leadership,
courage, reflexivity,
determination, capacity.
Let our feet dance together on
the field of green pastures.
Let our feet grace the land
beneath the arched sky,
playing with love the beautiful game-
futbol in the sun.

The court martial of Jackie Robinson

July 7, 2011

On July 6, 1944, Jackie Robinson refused to move to the back of an Army bus. The bus driver had the military police take Jackie into custody. During the questioning phase, Jackie felt that he was being asked racist questions and later confronted the investigating duty officer over his questioning. Jackie was court martial and charge with several charges including drinking in public, even though Jackie was not a drinker. When the court martial came around in August, 1944, Jackie was only charged with two counts of insubordination during his questioning. Jackie Robinson was acquitted by an all white panel of nine officers.

This is the Jackie Robinson that very few people know. The Jackie who always had the passion for justice and equality. Jackie Robinson had the courage to refuse to move to the back of the bus way before Rosa Parks did. I like to say that Jackie played an instrumental role in the civil rights movement. Although, he is best known for carrying his struggle in the baseball diamond, Jackie was a political activist by heart.

I admire Jackie Robinson for the amazing human being that he was. What Jackie’s court martial tells us today is that our “justice” system has not change at all. It continues to be a racist fucked up system.

Here is what I wrote about Jackie Robinson back in April. Check it out.
https://victorjara42.wordpress.com/2011/04/16/remembering-jackie-robinson/

Here is the movie trailer of the court martial of Jackie Robinson. Enjoy it.

http://www.videodetective.com/movies/trailers/the-court-martial-of-jackie-robinson-trailer/3294

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Remembering Jackie Robinson

April 16, 2011
Today is Jackie Robinson Day in Major League Baseball. Today we remember Jackie breaking baseball’s color barrier line in 1947. All managers, coaches and players will be wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson. As a Jackie Robinson fan, I am very happy that Major League Baseball retired his number in 1997 and for the past several years have honored Jackie Robinson on April 15th. I have always felt that Jackie Robinson is not only an iconic figure in the baseball world but should be remembered by all Americans. I think America needs to have a national holiday to remember the life of Jackie Robinson. A national holiday that will include a day of community service. Jackie Robinson would not have it any other way. Jackie was so humble that if he was alive today and seeing Major League Baseball using April 15th to honor him, Jackie would be the first one to say that he rather have Major League Baseball be dedicated to the needs of the community where there is a baseball team. He would still be addressing the issues of justice and equality in our society.

Number 42 to me is not only my favorite number but according to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, number 42 is the “Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything.” If that is the case, I would go as far as to say that Jackie’s number 42 was a code for America to change its evil ways. No longer must White baseball players play the game of baseball by discriminating players for the color of their skin. No longer must people of color be forced to go to separate bathrooms, stay in different hotels, eat isolated from White people, and be forced to live under an American Apartheid.

Jackie not only demonstrated America’s need to change its inhumane rules by the way he played the game but more importantly, how he carried himself in the baseball diamond. In order for the “noble experiment” to work, Jackie was forced to take all the abuse from white racist fans and opposing players. Even his own teammates didn’t want to play next to him or even share the same clubhouse. But, Jackie knew that many of his teammates didn’t care about the color Black but about the color Green. Robinson knew that as long as the Dodgers won a pennant or the World Series, he was helping his teammates get a good paycheck. Jackie once said, “Money is America’s God.” And to this day, this quote echoes throughout the whole world.

What people don’t know about Jackie is that even before he broke baseball’s color barrier line in 1947, he was always dedicated to the values of justice and equality. Once when he was in the military, he refused to get up from his seat and sit in the back of the bus. Jackie Robinson was court martial for standing up for his rights. In the military he and Heavyweight Boxing Champion, Joe Louis, advocated for the equal rights of African-American Soldiers. While Rosa Parks played an instrumental role in the Civil Rights Movement, I like to say that it was Jackie Robinson on July 6, 1944 who was probably the first African American to refuse his seat while riding a bus.

After retiring from baseball, Jackie played a tremendous role in American politics. He continued to fight for the rights of African-Americans in all sectors. He criticized the New York Yankees for being a team that only hired white people. He protested companies who didn’t hired African-Americans. On August 2, 1963, he joined workers who were picketing the construction site of Downstate Medical Center for allegations that Blacks were being discriminated from the hiring process. Jackie Robinson became great friends with Martin Luther King, Jr. MLK once said, “Jackie Robinson was a legend and a symbol in his own time.”  In 1964, he co founded the Freedom National Bank, a commercial bank owned by African Americans and operated in Harlem, New York. Jackie was not only a co founder but he served as the bank’s first Chairman of the Board. Jackie also championed for the equal rights in the housing sector. His concern for the racial segregation in the housing sector and the conditions that African American families were living in, inspired Jackie Robinson to start The Jackie Robinson Construction Company in 1970 to construct housing for low income families. Jackie Robinson was one of America’s true pioneers during the Civil Rights Movement and people should not forget about that.

It is my tradition to go to Dodger Stadium on Jackie Robinson Day. Tonight I will proudly wear my Jackie Robinson jersey. I wear number 42 understanding that I continue Jackie’s legacy of fighting for justice and equality. I owe a tremendous gratitude to Jackie Robinson for the amazing human being that he was.

Jackie Robinson is not only my hero but a source of my inspiration. No human being should go through what Jackie Robinson went through. His courage and unbending spirit are like no other. Jackie Robinson lived his life with a purpose. He understood that our lives are to be used to make our world a better place. Jackie is quoted as saying, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”

Enjoy this great video on Jackie Robinson

Here are various pics of me wearing #42 to pay tribute to Jackie,
whether I’m throwing out the first pitch at Dodger Stadium,
riding a camel in the Jasailmer desert in India, playing softball
or just watching a Dodger game on Jackie Robinson Day.
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