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Category:  Inspirational

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 No Room For Fences

by Steve Goodier


You may know that Jackie Robinson was one of the first African Americans to play major league baseball. In his first season with the Brooklyn Dodgers, Robinson faced hostility nearly everywhere he traveled because of his race. Pitchers threw fastballs at his head. Runners spiked him on the bases. Brutal epithets were written on cards and shouted by players in the opposing dugouts. Even the home crowds in Brooklyn saw him as an object of reproach.

During one game in Boston, the taunts and racial slurs seemed to reach a peak. To make matters worse, Robinson committed an error and stood at second base humiliated while fans hurled insults at him. Another Dodger, a Southern white man by the name of "Pee Wee" Reese, called timeout. He walked over to Robinson and, with the crowds looking on, put his arm around his friend's shoulder. The fans grew quiet. Robinson later said that arm around his shoulder saved his career. Jackie Robinson eventually went on to become one of baseball's all-time greats.

An arm around his shoulder made the difference. It said to the crowd and anyone who cared to notice, "We are one."

Though we have made headway, race still divides us. As does religion and politics and ideologies. And, though we are learning better how to "put our arms" around people who are different, our global community is not yet unified.

It's been said, "There is just enough room in the world for all the people in it, but there is no room for the fences which separate them."

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