To its credit, when the network did so, it presented multiple sides of the issue. Apparently, hemorrhaging viewers can be an impetus for fairness.
Will Cain, host of an eponymous radio show on ESPN, appeared on “First Take” Monday to argue against moves by the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Flyers to scrub Kate Smith from the history books.
ESPN pundit Stephen A. Smith, who has lashed out at white people in the past, was none too pleased with what Cain had to say.
— First Take (@FirstTake) April 22, 2019
Cain made the point that it is a “fool’s errand” to apply modern standards to the events of the past. He’s 100 percent right in that assessment.
If society decided to apply that to everything, wouldn’t Major League Baseball have to fold? After all, “America’s Pastime” has a history rife with racism and segregation.
“It’s an absolute and utter fool’s errand to go back through history, decades, someone who’s been passed away for 30 years, incidents that occurred eight decades ago, and apply modern historical standards to something you can almost reach (back to) a century,” Cain argued.
He invoked the name of former President Barack Obama to make his point. Obama opposed same-sex marriage as a candidate before he “evolved” on the issue.
“I’m suggesting that your standard, yours, only requires a handful of people to be a little outraged to go back and tear statues down,” Cain said. “And I’m telling you that by your standard, President Obama’s statues would not stand to today’s standards when it comes to gay rights. And that, to me, is asinine.”
Smith’s best retort to Cain was to simply point out that he isn’t black.
“That’s pretty damn easy for you to say, because you’re not the offended party,” Smith said. “It’s real easy for the person, or the group, that’s not the offended party to take that position. It’s real easy.”
“There will always be an offended party though, Stephen A., and they’ll make that argument to you one day, as well,” Cain responded.
“It doesn’t appear to be with people that look like you, Will,” Smith said.
It’s not abundantly clear what point Smith was trying to make, aside from, again, noting that Cain is white.
Kate Smith, who died in 1986 and thus has no chance to even defend herself, has come under scrutiny in recent days after a New York Daily News report that accused her of “potential” racism based on several of her songs from the 1930s.
One recording, “That’s Why Darkies Were Born,” has come under particular fire despite being part of a satirical Broadway revue and also being sung by groundbreaking black performer Paul Robeson.
It’s not crystal clear where Cain’s political and philosophical ideologies reside, but he’s dead right on this one. While those on the far left have bullied sports teams into scrubbing Kate Smith from existence, they are taking society toward a dangerous slippery slope.
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