Bad Timing (an awkward day of remembrance)

Today, I celebrate.  Why?  For many reasons.  I am alive. I have a terrific family, wonderful friends and I am happily married.  I can celebrate the 50th anniversary of MLK’s “I have a dream” speech meaning so much to so many, and, I have the opportunity to enjoy the sunshine following the deluge in Seattle last night.  Listening to baseball play by play on the radio, the Seattle Mariners are hosting the Texas Rangers.  Seattle’s pitching ace, or “King” is on the mound, so why wouldn’t I celebrate?  Yet, for a recognition of hatred still existing to this day, if I may, it seems a little awkward, and sadly ironic hearing the Mariner fans chanting “KKKKKKK” while King Felix Hernandez pitches on this day of fond remembrance.  Of course, there is no racial intention, the fans are only using the chant as a reference to a strike out.  I can also be positive and celebrate a teaching moment.  Most would ask why a strike out is called a “K”.  Don’t ask me, ask Google. I did.  The letter “K” was used in the baseball scorecard representing the last letter of the the word “struck” out. The man developing the scorecard, Henry Chadwick, couldn’t use the letter “S” because Stolen Base was already taken.  Therefore, he used the letter “K” for the last man to record an out in that inning, often times resulting in a strike out.  You could argue that it could have been a “U” or a “C”, but does it really matter?  I believe those letters could be used to describe fan emotions.  Upset and Crying would describe how I feel after a team I’m rooting for pitifully loses. People could also use those letters to form scrabble words such as “Uncle” or “Cracker”.   As a pearly white caucasian growing up in the seventies with modest suburban roots, it was sad that all those letters made me think how despicable parts of this country were before I was born, and sadly, how ignorance still exists.  Irony was working at its best or worst on this day.

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