Went to see 42 the other day. Great movie. Go see it if you haven't already done so. But afterwards, I was talking to the Soon-to-be-husbeast, and the following interchange occurred:
STBH: Did you enjoy 42?
Me: Yes. I know it's not exactly your cup of tea though.
STBH: No....how about Superman? I really want to see that. How about we go see that together?
Me: Ummm...how about you ask A to go with you instead?
STBH: You don't want to see Superman? But it's about a real American hero!
Me: 42 is about an American hero.
STBH: Well...I suppose...but Superman is a real SUPERHERO!
Now, I realize that part of this is because the STBH has a very narrow definition of the word "superhero" (i.e. one needs to have special powers that normal ordinary mortals do not have, such as flying, turning invisible, etc). But it got me thinking, especially since when I tried to explain how Jackie Robinson was indeed a superhero, even if he couldn't actually levitate himself off the ground and fly, and the STBH simply said, "So?"
(Please be aware that the irony that the STBH is black is not lost on me here.)
Have we come so far in the past 60 years that people simply don't realize anymore how much we've changed in terms of discrimination and civil rights? Is the idea that you could be looked at weirdly just because you look different from everyone else around you truly a foreign concept to some people?
Well, we have come far. The world is a totally different place now than it was in 1947, which is a REALLY GOOD THING. But I don't think we've come so far that we should be forgetting from whence we came. Or how life was like before all the pioneers and trendsetters came around.
George Santayana once said, "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it." He's usually quoted in reference to the Holocaust, but it's equally applicable here. If we choose to forget, if we choose not to remember how far we've come, if we choose to ignore what life was like back in 1947, then someday we will probably end up reverting right back to it. To a world where people are second-class citizens just because of the color of their skin, or what lies between their legs, or how they decide to worship a higher power.
Jackie Robinson. I don't care if he couldn't actually fly. He's a real American superhero in my book. And we should never forget it.