Years Ago, Trayvon's City Forced Out Jackie Robinson

Sanford, Florida, has an unfortunate history of racism
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2012 3:50 PM CDT
Years Ago, Trayvon's City Forced Out Jackie Robinson
This 1946 file photo shows Jackie Robinson, then with the Montreal Royals. He would break baseball's color barrier the following year.   (AP Photo/John J. Lent)

(Newser) – The Trayvon Martin shooting has put a negative spotlight on Sanford, Florida, and Dave Zirin at the Nation points out that it's not the first time for the city. The quick version: In 1946, the mayor and outraged citizens wouldn't let the minor league Montreal Royals take the field because it had a black player by the name of Jackie Robinson. The Dodgers parent club then moved the team's training camp from Sanford to Daytona Beach.

"What does this tell us? Maybe nothing, maybe everything," writes Zirin. "If nothing else, the line between Jackie Robinson and Trayvon Martin points to how institutional and systemic racism actually is. We might have short memories, but institutions change only when they are confronted and challenged. In Sanford, racist institutions took root. Now we bear the horrifying fruit." Read the full piece here. Read about President Obama's personal take on Trayvon's slaying here. (Read more Trayvon Martin stories.)

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