Shawn Mitchell

The movie 42, about Jackie Robinson, the first black man to play Major League Baseball is an inspiring triumph that strangely made me want to go punch a liberal…or to be more precise, to punch liberal moral bullies.

The aggressive impulse stems from my own political drama, which, though I’d guess isn’t rare, has nothing to do with the film or the maker’s intended message. So before I explain, let me indulge in some amateur movie criticism.

It was great!  The tale of Jackie Robinson strikes several profound themes. Robinson was exceptionally gifted, not just with athleticism, but with courage and fortitude. The story is bigger though, and the movie encompasses much: Harrison Ford plays Branch Rickey (who looks more like a bespectacled Johan Goodman) a team owner with the moral compass and confidence to do a revolutionarily right thing, the sense to know it would be good business, and the shrewdness to play the right cards to make it happen.  

Robinson’s devotion to his wife Rachel, her support of him, and the couple’s courage in the face of challenge and hateful opposition should inspire any couple about the sources of peace in life’s storms. The film’s depiction of American society, including even Robinson’s teammates, feeling the way toward doing the right thing, while one man bore the weight of it on his excruciatingly visible shoulders, evoke admiration, anger, and a few tears.

At one of those moist eyed moments I had a bracing thought: “I love this guy I don’t even know. I honor the path he pioneered. I want the best life offers for everyone. For everyone. But today, a lot of liberals might call me racist because of my positions on current political issues.”

That’s when I got mad. Racism. What an ugly word and an ugly concept. And what an ugly weapon that supporters of big government brandish against supporters of freedom and limited government.

Wait…before the politics, let me dwell a minute on humanity. Most of us love our neighbor. Well, some of us are too busy or disorganized to think all that much one way or the other about our neighbor, but we respond to the chords of humanity. Suffering makes us sorry. Hardship makes us sad. Success makes us cheer. Courage makes us admire, and profound sacrifice or triumph can make us tear up a little. In short, we are human beings and we wish well to other human beings, whatever their race, creed, religion, national origin, or choices in the pursuit of happiness.

Shawn Mitchell

Shawn Mitchell was elected to Senate District 23 in the Colorado General Assembly in November of 2004. Shawn is an attorney at private practice in Denver and Adams County.