Regardless of what happens in France today (and the numbers appear to show a victory for Liberal-Centrist En Marche’s Macron), tomorrow is the dawn of a new reality in France. That awakening isn’t that there is an Extreme Nationalist party in France with significant followers, it’s that people are going to acknowledge it. Regardless of what the final numbers show, the Front National is a very real part of France today and tomorrow.
The fact that 26% of French voters, the lowest since 1969, have abstained from voting and that the second place party in the country, even if it’s by a large margin, is an Extreme Conservative Nationalist party speaks volumes about what France is today. If the exit polls are correct and Macron is to win 65%-35%, then that means Le Pen got 17 million people in France to vote for her. That’s 35% of the people who voted, but still an impressive 25%, a quarter of the country that voted for her. Le Pen doesn’t need to win, she just needs to exist. For all the joking and mockery of the Tea Party movement in the US of the last ten years, it undeniably shifted the political thermometer of the United States. It created a world where the traditional left and right parties faded in relevance to the majority of voters and where someone like Trump could win if they just produced their show properly.
Second place for Le Pen and the Front National is actually a victory because it means the political landscape of France is different than what people were willing to accept or believe. Beginning tomorrow, with the massive support they gained, things will happen in France with input from the Front National whether people like it or not.
Major League Baseball outfielder Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles received an apology from the Boston Red Sox today after he was subjected to racist abuse and had objects thrown at him from the crowd at Fenway Park in Boston on Monday night.
This can not be permitted to happen in Baseball, where Jackie Robinson Day is celebrated every year. The Red Sox and Major League Baseball must find these racist stadium attendees (I won’t call them fans) and make examples of them. Why?…
In 1959, the Red Sox were the last team to integrate and permit black players. In 1945, they actually passed on signing Jackie Robinson after giving him a tryout. Even during this tryout, with only management present, Robinson still endure racist comments on the field. It took the NAACP getting involved and charges being pressed for the Red Sox to eventually call up infielder Pumpsie Green from their farm club. But, what matters is that they did and helped change the face of baseball. Literally.
As is so often the case in so many instances, history is why we need to act today. A step forward that never moves again, is just a change of position and not something that leads to progress. Progress is understanding that the first strained and efforted step forward only counts if it is followed by continued and effortless steps in the same direction. Intolerance, if ignored and disregarded as an isolated incident, runs the very real and dangerous risk of multiplying silently in dark corners of society thriving among the daily goings-on of life and becoming acceptable by disguising itself as innocent ignorance and the protection of traditional values.
Zero tolerance means zero tolerance. So when the Boston Red Sox find these racists, they must ban them from Fenway for life. THAT is how you deal with this. Anything less is complacency.
The story on the incident…
Follow-up: Bizarrely, the original link I had to the New York Times story on the incident was changed to redirect to a story about how the Red Sox fans gave Jones a standing ovation. The New York Times has wiped any reference to the original story and what Jones experienced on Monday. I had to put in the BleacherReport story instead to have the original facts be readable, something the NY Times edit now impedes.