The history of Delray little league is so perfectly disingenuous it'd be funny if it wasn't so sad. You've likely heard of district "gerrymandering." Theoretically, gerrymandering can be used to increase the representation of minority groups. In practice, however, it is typically used to ensure power remains in the hands of the majority, whether that majority be white or, say, Republican (and usually both). Tom Delay (R-Texas) earned his pitchfork in part by his elaborate and corrupt efforts to redistrict the state of Texas and create a permanent Republican majority with an added bonus of nearly comprehensive black disenfranchisement. *
As grim as this is on the national stage, it's just sad and small when it plays out over something like Little League. Little League International will not grant charters to organizations that discriminate. So the Delray (rhymes with "DeLay") Little League established in 1953 was gerrymandered to exclude those neighborhoods that were primarily black. Perfect.
Fifty-five years later, they're finally doing something about it.
"I was very skeptical at first," said Shelly Ann Brewster, whose son, Lamar, plays for the Sand Gnats. "I didn't know where my kid was going to have to go and who he was going to have to play with."Well, gosh, Shelley Ann. That would be little black kids Lamar will have to play with. He might even have to go to their neighborhoods to do it, from time to time.
Tim Stebbins, a director of Delray National, described it this way: "One builds up all these fears, and then you get to the thing and say, 'Why didn't we do this two centuries ago?'"What can I say? Res Ipsa Loquitor.
* This bit of political theater actually has some fascinating footnotes (hence this footnote). On the eve of the vote, 52 Democratic members of the Texas House secretly boarded buses for Ardmore, Oklahoma. Powerless to stop Delay's plan and fighting for time, the Dems knew that their only recourse was to deny the Republicans a "quorum" for the vote. They also knew they'd be compelled to attend if they were in town. So, as a group, the "Killer-Ds," as the media dubbed them, lit out for the territory in the middle of the night. Undeterred, Delay used your federal tax dollars to track them down and attempt to force them back to Austin. Pulling the strings from D.C., Delay was hell-bent on building an impervious Texas fortress GOP. The corruption and misappropriations of government funds ultimately found him out. Today is the last day Tom Delay will go to work in the United States Congress. For more information, especially regarding the misuse of the State power to police, see here. Typical of GOP Hubris and stupidity, Delay and his cronies were so confident of success that they never imagined what might happen if Democrats ever regained control: the same desert island to which he tried to banish them would be reserved for him.