Prior to game 3 of the World Series, I was rooting for an Astros victory. Their city had just suffered a terrible hurricane, and they, unlike the Dodgers, hadn’t ever won this major title. And then Yuli Gurriel made a gesture in the dug-out, pulling his eyes down at the corners. This slant-eyed gesture was made toward Yu Darvish, the Dodger pitcher who is Japanese-Iranian, and Yuli had just hit a homerun ball that Yu had pitched. After Yuli’s reaction, I became a Dodger fan.
To be sure, Yuli will be suspended for 5 games next year. And I understand that the decision-makers didn’t want to punish the whole team. But I wish he’d lost a game during the Series. It would have made a bigger statement about behavior and affirmation of high values.
I am overly-sensitive to the singling out of a person because of one attribute, even if it’s as major as one’s ethnicity, race, or ability. Our son is married to an Asian-American, delightful woman, who, to be honest, hasn’t experienced much, if any, discrimination like this. But my reaction springs mostly from spending nearly 2/3 of my life disabled. I still haven’t forgiven Donald Trump’s ridicule of the disabled journalist two years ago.
Frankly, I’ve faced very little mockery or teasing re: my disabilities. But I’ve heard stories of the bullying of many of my peers, and I’ve also withered in those few experiences where I’ve felt humiliated.
For instance, I walked along our neighborhood business district and felt something in front of my face along with a gust of air. A man coming behind me yelled, “Stop being an ass.”
Fortunately, he wasn’t speaking to me, but to the teenage boy, waving his hand in front of my face to double-check that I was blind (I suppose). The man spoke to me then and fumed about the “poorly-raised kid and the rotten parenting.”
“No harm done,” I said and continued down the sidewalk. But I wouldn’t have minded, then, if my guide dog at least had bitten the boy’s finger to defend my dignity.
My worst humiliation actually came from a married couple, then in their late 30s. The wife had come for a visit, and the husband stopped by to pick her up.
“Can I get you a beer?” I asked the husband.
I talked for a few more minutes, while I retrieved the beer. All the while the husband was making out madly with the wife. I learned this, not by my own senses, but because the wife, in deference to full disclosure, told me. This couple had a very acrimonious relationship which was always the reason the woman stopped by. They divorced soon after.
Possibly the man felt overcome with lustful feelings at the moment. But I think his passion had something to do with “getting away with it” directly in front of me.
So Yuli, and yes, President Trump, grow up!