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December 11, 1992 - Image 62

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-12-11

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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Jews Join Rally
To Protest Remarks

Louisville (JTA) — The Jew-
ish community joined the
Rev. Jesse Jackson in a rally
near the site of the baseball
owners' winter meeting to
protest racist and anti-
Semitic remarks made by
Cincinnati Reds owner
Marge Schott.
The rally, held at a black
church and attended by
about 1,000 people, was held
to send a message to profes-
sional baseball owners and
managers, meeting here this
week, that derogatory and
prejudicial language like
that attributed to Schott has
no place in professional
sports.
Protesters emphasized
that they did not only want
to single out Mrs. Schott.
They also sought to
highlight discriminatory
hiring practices throughout
the managerial ranks of pro-
fessional sports.
The outcry over Mrs.
Schott began several weeks
ago, when a deposition in a
suit filed against her by a
former employee revealed
that she made racially and
ethnically demeaning com-
ments, including the use of
the word "nigger" and the
term "money-grubbing
Jews."
She has also acknowledged
in subsequent interviews
that she kept a Nazi
swastika armband in her
home, but said she "never
thought of it as anything
offensive."
National Jewish Commun-
ity Relations Advisory
Council vice chair Marie
Abrams represented the
Jewish community at the
rally.
She expressed disappoint-
ment that after so many
years, there was still reason
to come together for this
kind of rally. "I simply want
to express how terribly
distressed we are at the un-
conscionable words from
Mrs. Schott," she said.
Ms. Abrams looked at the
incident as "an opportunity
to sensitize Americans to the
wrongs and dangers of eth-
nic stereotyping" and she
called for "a commitment on
the part of baseball, and all
American businesses, to en-
sure the full integration of
the marketplace."
The Rev. Jackson
delivered his message
forcefully. The comments by
the Reds' owner are just a
catalyst for an issue much

bigger than Mrs. Schott, he
said.
He drew a parallel bet-
ween the issue today and the
incident involving Rosa
Parks' refusal to give up her
seat on the bus in the 1950s.
If Martin Luther King had
focused on simply getting an
apology for Ms. Parks, the
broader issue of denial of
access to public accommoda-
tions would never have been
addresed, the Rev. Jackson
said.
"Marge Schott is to
baseball what Rosa Parks
was to accommodations,"
the Rev. Jackson said.
The Rev. Jackson also
talked about bringing all
minorities together to work
against discrimination. He
pointed out that when
Mississippi Gov. Kirk For-
dice called the United States
a Christian nation, he "rul-
ed out Jews, Moslems and

Derogatory and
prejudicial
language like that
attributed to
Schott has no
place in
professional
sports.

Hindus." We must "erase
anti-Semitism," the Rev.
Jackson said.
He said that the African
American military units in
World War II were assigned
the most hazardous front
line duty, so they were the
first liberators of the concen-
tration camps in Europe and
thus "formed bonds of blood"
with the Jewish people.
"Blacks and the Jewish
people must affirm their co-
alition to make this world
better."
During the rest of his
speech, the Rev. Jackson ad-
dressed continued employ-
ment discrimination in
baseball 45 years after
Jackie Robinson broke the
color barrier.
"We must not be allowed
to see Marge Schott as a
scapegoat" for the rest of
baseball. He pointed out that
among the 28 clubs, there
are no black presidents, gen-
eral managers, directors of
player personnel, chief

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