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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

"Americans of Japanese Ancestry Baseball League should be open to all Ethnicities..." 'Glenn Mickens' (Special to dakinetalk blog)

Glenn Mickens has lived on Kauai  with his wife Ruth for the last 26 years. Born July 26, 1930 in Wilmar, California, USA) was a pitcher in Major League Baseball. He pitched in four games (two of which were starts) for the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers. He also played for five years in Japan, from 1959 until 1963 for the Kintetsu Buffaloes. There, he compiled a record of 45–53 with a 2.54 ERA.  Glenn also  served in the Army for 2 years and coached baseball at UCLA for 25 years. 
Last but not least Glenn would really like to see Kauai give the county manager style of Government a chance.

A short prelude to the blog

Mr. Mickens is locally known
as one of Kauai county's
political watchdogs.
Mahalos Glenn!
Aloha dakinetalk blog readers,

I am not sure if you have been following my crusade to get AJA baseball to stop their discriminatory practice of not allowing anyone who has the athletic ability to play in their league if they do not have Japanese blood in them. I have been at this for 20 years with no success.

Lately I was critical of the Mayor for endorsing this practice as being "traditional" (for me just another word for discrimination) and wrote the following letter to the paper. The Garden Island News may or may not print it.

 Can you imagine two of the greatest Jewish players in the history of baseball being prohibited from playing because they were Jewish---Hank Greenberg and Sandy Koufax? 


Americans of Japanese Ancestry Baseball League should be open to all Ethnicities...

Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. was a jock just as I have been a jock most of my life. If Bernard had a son who had some skills in football and just needed added experience at the high school level by playing in an off season league to possibly get a scholarship to U of H but could not participate in that league due to a racial problem, wouldn't he be outraged?

His analogy that " some leagues require that members be part of a specific labor union, work in a particular geographic location or have attained a certain age" is comparing apples to oranges. 

Being in a labor union or living in a certain geographic location or age restriction has absolutely nothing to do with their race or ethnic background as AJA baseball does. If there are such leagues then their members are not restricted to play because they are black, yellow or brown only that they have the skill to participate. 

I said it before and I will say it again that I applaud the organizers of AJA baseball for keeping it going in the Hawaiian Islands for 86 years. But no matter what term you want to use for prohibiting any person from playing baseball because of their race, ethnic background, sexual orientation, or color IT IS DISCRIMINATORY!

The Mayor says, "I don't view the AJA as being racially discriminatory but rather one that pays tribute to a long standing tradition set by their fathers, grandfathers and great grandfathers."

Once because of "tradition" women could not vote, African Americans were slaves and until Jackie Robinson came along "tradition" or "culture" kept this fine race of people out of organized baseball. See the movie "42" about the hardships that Jackie had to go through to crack the color barrier in pro baseball--truly amazing. Or that mixed marriages were looked down upon or prohibited; that homosexuals were barred from military duty or kicked out if discovered---at a time when some were our best combat pilots and interpreters we badly needed; or same sex marriage that gives equal rights to everyone. 

In one of its saddest hours our country "discriminated " against  the total Japanese race by putting these American citizens into camps (a recent fine story in TGI) after Pearl Harbor was bombed. 

The Mayor goes on to say what a fine outstanding citizen Tom Shigemoto is and I certainly take no exception with that. He had some fine sons that excelled in baseball at Kauai High School and as the official arbitrator and scorer for the KIF I told him so. 

My only question to Tom, our Mayor or anyone else who wants to keep AJA baseball segregated is WHY NOT open this league to anyone who can compete?
Professional baseball and particularly the major leagues are better, stronger and more competitive (attendance and salaries are off the map!) due to the influx of worldly players being signed.

Even if AJA baseball is legally correct in their operations, they certainly have a moral and ethical right to operate their league so that no male or female is ever left out. 

Additional reading on this subject of discrimination within the
 AJA from a 1996 story in the Honolulu Starbulletin;

Editor's note, Dakinetalk guest bloggers do not necessarily represent the opinions of dakinetalk. Guest bloggers are given space to express their beliefs and or opinions. We feel there are many roads and like to give people space to express their thoughts,after-all that's what dakine is...
Aloha, James "Kimo" Rosen---Blogger-n-chief, dakinetalk blog---

Check out Glenn's Wikipedia page;

With all the stress of the world, don't forget to
watch the sunrise or sunset, it's free! 

Hana Hou, (Encore) Shared From Facebook...


KimoRosen said...

Imagine an all white baseball league not allowing other ethnicities? The media would go to town and have a real hay day....

KimoRosen said...

Until this changes I will still not attend or follow the AJA league. And yes just how much money is allocated to AJA field prep. Or how much is given from AJA to local integrated functions. Integrate or Disintegrate....

Yvonne Kealoha said...

I still say..make your own team and challenge them ..If milkens did that when he first came here...he being a pitcher...we probably would still have the team going also....Like I said before...we had teams made up of different nationalities at one time and we all challenged each other...was a fun time at the park..

Rick Comstock said...

At one time yes.....it all started to change when Rosa Parks refused to sit at the back of the bus. Drink at a blacks only fountains. Eat lunch at white only counter only. And more recently when a young lady pitched in the little league world series. Everything said was "at one time"..... Glenn didn't do it then because it was discriminatory at the time and it still is. But I guess having the Black actors boycott the Academy Awards holds any value to you either. Sorry Glenn Right!

Yvonne Kealoha said...

Actually you are reading me wrong....

Jose Bulatao Jr said...

Good/bad....right/wrong....inclusive/exclusive.....the matter of ethnic athletic groups are simply a "fact of life" in the tapestry of diverse ethnic groups becoming a part of Hawaii's history. For some, shared language....a sense of personal and ethnic pride...establishing camaraderie....being able to develop one's interests and skills....are reasons why many ethnic groups did things together. In some cases, there may have been some blending due to extenuating circumstances, and in others, the activity remained basically what it started out to be. Like it or not, there are "social circumstances"......"social preferences"....."comfort zones"....."shared interests"......"similar backgrounds"......and things of that sort that help to determine which way a group will evolve. For those of us who have been and are a part of the scenario, "it is what it is." For others who see it from another perspective, "it is what it is" to them, too! So, let's just accept things for what they are as long as we're not committing any crime.....getting bent out of shape......or losing sleep over it! "Different strokes for different folks!" That's all it is! No matter which way "it" may be, let's just love and respect each other for who we are individually. We don't have to agree 100% on everything! Some like it hot, and some don't! (I'm talking about food!) We can still get along in spite of that difference in preference, can't we?

Anonymous said...

Mr. B. for Mayor!

Rick Comstock said...

Please except the fact you have a opinion which violates rule of law. Being stubborn is good but you now live under civil rights laws. Picking a choosing (standing) for ones own opinion paints true character not tolerance. When Glenn moved here Civil Rights already was address by the supreme courts. Along with voting rights for women. If Glenn had started a league it would have be required to meet All civil rights laws at the time and been required to maintain any change in said rights. More than I could say about the AJA and the State of Hawaii turning there head. But please keep excepting federal funds even when you don't value the laws that must have been only for the 48.

Jose Bulatao Jr said...

Kimo, you flatter me! But, truth be told, others have broached me with that possibility and my response has been consistent: "I'm really honored that people think I may have the qualifications to serve in that capacity, but it will never happen because I may be too bizarre! For instance, I would suggest that EVERYONE should "volunteer" time to be a part of the beautification maintenance of the community he/she is at as part of the ahupua'a system requirement to contribute and participate to do something for the welfare and benefit of that community. And that includes visitors! Kind of drastic, huh? Otherwise, they going get dirty scoldings from da Mayor.....and then some! So, people can breathe easier now!!!! But, thanks for the thought! Sincerely, MrB

Glenn Mickens said...

I have always respected Jose but he is wrong, dead wrong on this issue. Call it anything he wants to--custom, tradition, or whatever but if a person is prohibited from participating in a sport because of his or her race, color or ethnic background that is DISCRIMINATION ---there is no other way to put it. He says "facts of life" but only prejudice and partiality made these facts of life and they should have no place in our society. All his other reasons for justifying this discriminatory practice is like a screen trying to hold water--it just will not happen.
Glad there are people like you and Comstock, Kimo and other people who have pushed for openness for everyone to make this a better world for everyone. There will always be people like David Duke and race hatters but as long as the majority prevail we have hopes.