Whose past is more racist: Kate Smith's or the New York Yankees'?
The New York Yankees Major League Baseball franchise took Kate Smith's rendition of "God Bless America" off its seventh-inning stretch playlist when its managers learned of the singer's "history" of racism. Evidently, as reported in the New York Daily News, Kate Smith recorded a song and video in 1939 with blatant racist content.
In today's political climate in America, just as happened with Kate Smith and the N.Y. Yankees organization, if anyone or anything's past can be presumed in any way as racist, there is usually immediate condemnation and some sort of action taken to make things right for the offended masses.
Let's be very clear about what happened: this action was taken for the express purpose of indemnifying the N.Y. Yankees organization from any guilt for its 18-year association with playing Kate Smith's "God Bless America" recording. After all, dumping Kate Smith for what she did shows just how sensitive the N.Y. Yankees organization truly is when it comes to racism.
However, if you dig a little deeper, the racist actions of Kate Smith can't hold a candle to the racist past of Major League Baseball — including the N.Y. Yankees. In fact, MLB teams refused to hire qualified black players for decades, and well into the 20th century. If your past actions affect how you're viewed by today's standards, as the N.Y. Yankees deem the case to be with Kate Smith, this makes MLB one of the most racist organizations still active in America today.
So why, if there is supposed to be equal and consistent action taken against everyone and everything "presumed" to be racist, is MLB and all its teams still in business? Why hasn't Yankee Stadium, and every other MLB stadium that was around during the racist baseball past, been torn down as a symbol of racism? In light of the racism they were built upon, how is it that these colossal arenas of hate stand today?
MLB and its stadiums stand today because banning Kate Smith doesn't cost the N.Y. Yankees or MLB one red cent — whereas applying equal and consistent action when it comes to racism would cost the N.Y. Yankees and MLB everything.