A tale for our times

I’d like to think the following events could only have occurred in a handful of American metropolitan areas. However, I suspect they could have happened anywhere left-liberals are found in more than minimal numbers.

Yorktown High School in Arlington, Virginia wanted to honor its class of 2021 graduates with a big party on school grounds. If any class deserves a big party to celebrate graduation, it’s the class of 2021. The Yorktown class of 2021 suffered through more than a year of severely limited in-person school activities due to the pandemic and the highly questionable policies imposed in response.

To raise money for the party, parents reached out to local businesses for donations. The Washington Nationals generously responded with a baseball signed by pitcher Patrick Corbin, one the heroes of the Nats’ triumphant post-season in 2019, to be raffled off. One of the parent-organizers posted a picture of the ball on the 2021 Yorktown Senior Class Parents public Facebook page and thanked the Nationals for their generosity.

To any normal person this is a feel-good story. But two parents didn’t see it this way. They objected to accepting the baseball because, they claimed, Corbin is a racist.

What evidence was presented to support this accusation against the pitcher? The fact that he, along with four teammates, once played golf with then-president Donald Trump and posted a picture from the outing on Instagram.

When one parent pushed back against this absurd stance, the two objectors doubled down.

The first one, whose social media identifies her as a “cultural administrator,” said she wasn’t going to back down from an uncomfortable conversation about racism. In her view, accepting a donated baseball signed by a player “who has been supportive of a racist president” is a “deal breaker” because accepting “a ball signed by a player not sensitive to these issues” would amount to “looking the other way” on racist conduct.

She added that anyone who disagreed with her stance has “an issue.” By that, presumably, she meant their own “racism.”

The secondary objector, a lawyer, said she’s the cousin of the wife of long-time Nationals star Ryan Zimmerman. She acknowledged that Zimmerman, too, played golf with Corbin and Trump, but noted that, unlike Corbin, he did not tweet support of Trump.

It would be interesting to know what Ryan Zimmerman and his wife think about objecting to the gift of a baseball because Patrick Corbin signed it. Or what they think about accusing Corbin of racism.

Neither woman presented evidence that Trump is a racist, much less that Corbin is. In fact, the primary objector seemed to back down from her original charge of racism by Corbin. In her rebuttal, the pitcher stood accused only of supporting a racist and not being sensitive to racism.

What are the implications of not accepting a charitable contribution from a Trump supporter? More than 74 million people voted for Donald Trump in 2020. Is it wrong to accept donations from all of them? From all who publicly announced support for Trump? From all who socialized with him (unless you’re the cousin of the socializer’s wife)?

Increasingly, Red America and Blue America watch different films, prefer different sports, and listen to different music. That’s natural. But it would be a pity if, when it comes to charitable giving, America divides along Red and Blue lines.

Fortunately, I’m told that the Yorktown High School community sees the absurdity of objecting to accepting the Corbin-signed baseball. Even some liberals say they are appalled, and donations have received a boost as word of the idiotic objection spreads.

Some libs are saying things like “this is what gives Democrats a bad name.” Yes, it is — at least in part.

So maybe, in the context of today’s America, this affair can pass as a feel-good story after all.

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