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Ask a Negro Leaguer Column

Week of October 12, 2005


Hey Joe: What about the statement of Bill Bennett in regard to aborting black children as a means to reducing the crime rate?

Rev. James A. Buckels Sr., Madison, Illinois

Had Minister Louis Farrakhan indicated -- even remotely -- that the best way to eradicate racism in America was to murder all white babies, white preachers and the white community -- along with most black preachers and most residents of the black community -- would have been ready to castrate him both verbally and physically. Bennett, in all probability, takes a front seat in a church pew every Sunday of the Evangelical faith, or that of Pat Robertson. Both of their attitudes coincide with bondage.

Bondage put the "C" in crime. Young black men and women were brought to America for the purpose of -- in addition to millions of other things -- reproducing children. If not, then why weren't women left alone? Without reproduction, bondage would've died out. Up until now it has been America's worst crime. Every criminal offense listed in America's law books has been committed during bondage, including laws listed in the Ten Commandments. Had the Bible been followed from the beginning, all crimes committed against it (and blacks) would never have occurred. Pastors of the white church, during 300 years of black enslavement, taught their parishioners to seek salvation through God but hate blacks because they were children of Ham -- a pattern followed for generations. But over the same period of time, millions of godly white members refused to buy that jazz.

In both cases, educationally and Christianity-wise, blacks have been mentally devastated. Educationally, they have been denied access to their greatness. In Christianity, they have been misguided. The beginning of both commenced during bondage, where their case was similar to Israel in Egypt regarding serving God, and continuing through the death of President Abraham Lincoln. By the time the Bible reached the hands of black preachers, they were referred to as "jack legs" -- in other words, "ignorant."

Had there been no bondage, America would be without a history (i.e., the Civil War, civil rights, Dred Scott, Abraham Lincoln, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., etc.). Then America would have been an Aryan nation. Then, in addition to blacks' countless contributions to America, there wouldn't have been any black babies to grow up into men like the Tuskegee Airmen, Jesse Owens and Joe Louis, who teamed together to save America's name and destroy Hitler's ambition.

Wake up, Bill Bennett, and smell the roses -- you and Pat Robertson.

Prince Joe Henry, one of professional baseball's original "clowns," was an all-star infielder for Negro League baseball teams in Memphis, Indianapolis and Detroit throughout the 1950s. But up until the late 1940s, Prince Joe didn?t know anything about the Negro Leagues. His knowledge of organized baseball was limited to the Cardinals and Browns games he attended during his preteen years at Sportsman?s Park, accompanied by lifelong buddy Eugene "Gene" Crittendon, who could pass for white.

Perhaps Henry?s most vivid memory of those games: Upon entry, white ushers would politely escort the boys to a small section of the left-field stands reserved for "Colored." After climbing past several tiers of bleachers, they?d arrive at their stop, rows and rows behind their white counterparts.

Even at a young age, the boys were conscious of the double standard -- and determined to vent their disdain. The opportunity would arise with the urge to urinate. Rather than head for the latrine, the boys would edge their way to the front of the section and let fly. As the liquid foamed its way down the concrete steps toward the white kids, Henry and his pal would ease back and relax, politely rooting for the visiting team to beat the hell out of the Browns or the Cards.

After all, Henry and Crittendon hailed from Brooklyn, Illinois, a small, predominantly black township just east of the Mississippi River. So hospitable were the residents of Brooklyn that they were known to take in a rank stranger, treat him to breakfast, lunch, supper and a night out on the town -- and afterward, if he messed up, treat him to a good ass-whippin'.

Direct questions on any and all topics to If we don't like yours, we'll hit Joe with our own.

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