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Wednesday, April 4 

This Is Why America Is Great

Former Grambling Coach Eddie Robinson died today.

He was a black coach at a black school in the south when that was not a fun thing to be. He sent the first black player to the NFL, and 199 more followed. When the team was on the road, he packed sandwiches for the team, because they couldn't eat in the white's only diners in the south. What did he have to say about it?
"The best way to enjoy life in America is to first be an American, and I don't think you have to be white to do so," Robinson said. "Blacks have had a hard time, but not many Americans haven't."

Robinson said he tried to teach his players about opportunity.

"The framers of this Constitution, now they did some things," Robinson would say. "If you aren't lazy, they fixed it for you. You've got to understand the system. It's just like in football, if you don't understand the system, you haven't got a chance."
That is why this is a great country. Opportunity for those who want it.

Look, I know that racism is still alive and well in America. Hell, I live in the south and see it on a daily basis. The difference between America and other countries is that while there are those who will try to keep others down, they don't have to win. Anyone, regardless of race, color, sex, whatever, has the opportunity to succeed in this country.

The difference between someone like Eddie Robinson or Chris Gardner and someone who lives their entire live with nothing is the will to go after their dream.

Personally, I blame more than 40 years of the great society, as well as the current "civil rights" leadership. They tell minorities that they will never be able to succeed in this country unless they receive some sort of handout to help them out. Without race based admissions, they will never get into college. Without affirmative action, they will never be able to get a good job. Without the likes of Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton, there would be lynchings and churches burning every day.

Only that's not true. The people who do the best in this country did not get there by holding out their hand to the government, begging for help. They saw where they wanted to go, and then they did whatever it took to get there. This is the same whether you're a first generation immigrant from Pakistan, or your family came over 200 years ago. America is the land of freedom. The freedom to be as successful as you desire to be.

I admire Eddie Robinson. Not because he was a black coach, but because he was a good coach. He came from humble beginnings, did anything he had to do to be successful, and became one of the winningest coaches in history.

My favorite quote from him is this.
"The real record I have set for over 50 years is the fact that I have had one job and one wife," Robinson said.
Not a bad goal for any of us.


Copyright (c) 2007, Frankly Speaking.