Where is the real racism in thoroughbred racing?

first_imgRe Jan. 25 article, “Confederate flags spur talk of racism”: I appreciate National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame’s President John Hendrickson’s state of high dudgeon over recent events at the racing museum. I feel similarly vexed when the powerful privileged unleash wrath and invective on the poor or disenfranchised for doing something that tarnishes the luster of the racing elite. Who is racist here? Is it Saratoga’s elite at the racing museum or the people who draped Confederate flags over the all-white lawn jockeys?  Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Historically, lawn jockeys were painted black. In a nod to political correctness, the museum painted them white — a move they no doubt found highly offensive yet necessary in today’s climate. Doing so again diminished the contributions of minorities to racing.Horse racing has been the sport of the rich and white. The John Hendricksons may be found at the backstretch, but they aren’t humping the hay bales, shoveling manure, grooming horses, or doing any of the physical labor. That’s left to an unseen underclass. Horse racing at Saratoga, as with all tracks, benefits from cheap labor and poor conditions doled out to the poor, mostly people of color. Draping Confederate flags over white lawn jockeys is a welcome nod to racing’s racist past and opens conversation to current treatment of backstretch employees.If John Hendrickson wants to pretend this is an act of vandalism, the district attorney will probably oblige him in his charade. That’s a perk of the powerful. Convincing a jury that an act that damaged nothing and cost nothing is vandalism may be harder.James vanDijkSaratoga Springs More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Schenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img read more

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