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Page 2: Youth baseball celebrates new season in style

Opening day of Homewood and Flossmoor youth baseball leagues is one of my favorite events to cover. There’s so much uncontained enthusiasm pouring down the streets and onto the field that it’s possible, for a few hours, to forget that the world continues to relentlessly fall apart.

The kids and coaches of youth baseball are too busy showing spirit and tossing candy to acknowledge despair.

As is traditional, Flossmoor’s parade specializes in spirit. The kids this year made good use of the viaduct’s acoustics as they marched through.

A block later, they cheered and jumped and pumped their fists as they passed the judges table, where three judges had to determine which team had the most spirit.

Also in line with tradition, Homewood’s teams paved Ridge Road with candy, flinging it faster than the parade crowd could gather it.

There was some cross-over this year.

Flossmoor’s Home Run Hank character was passing out candy along the parade route. And at the Izaak Walton ball fields, announcer Nick Quirke presided over a screaming contest: parents vs. kids, girls vs. boys, Cubs fans vs. White Sox and Cardinals fans.

Quirke proclaimed the kids, the boys and the Cubs fans as winners.

Monica Gordon gets clerk nod

The Chicago Tribune reported on Friday, April 26, that the Cook County Democratic Party has named Cook County Commissioner Monica Gordon to be on the ballot for county clerk.

If elected, she would replace Karen Yarbrough, who died on Sunday, April 7.

Gordon represents the county’s fifth district, which includes Flossmoor.

Antiracism library

In 2020, when it was first released, I think I listened to the five-episode New York Times podcast, “Nice White Parents,” through four or five times in succession. It was an eye-opener for me.

Reporter Chana Joffe-Walt explores the history of one Brooklyn school and the impact white parents had on it from its construction in 1963 to the present.

It’s a cautionary tale about trusting the good intentions of white people who profess to love diversity and inclusion but do not follow through on their commitments.

As a white person who has long talked the talk, the series reminded me how meaningless and self-serving it can be to say one thing and do … nothing. Or worse, do harm in the name of doing good.

Joffe-Walt tells the story of how the location for the school was chosen to be near a Black and Puerto Rican community. But a few dozen white parents lobbied to have it located nearer their neighborhood.

They said they wanted their children to attend an integrated school.

The Black and brown parents wanted the school in the original location so their children wouldn’t have to cross as many streets to get to school. The white parents prevailed. The school was built closer to their neighborhood.

Spoiler alert: When it came time to enroll children in the new school, not a single white child was registered. The white parents apparently liked the idea of integration much better in the abstract than in practice.

That’s not the end of the story, though. Jofee-Walt goes back a few years to the post-Brown v. Board efforts to desegregate New York public schools, and she looks at the recent struggles with the same problem. After 60 years, the same problem.

“Nice White Parents” is a fascinating story. Black parents probably won’t need to listen. They live it. For us nice white parents, it’s definitely worth a listen. Or five.

Correction

A story on page 9 of the April 1 edition, “New Flossmoor history book will benefit veterans’ memorial” included a sentence stating that students from Flossmoor District 161 and Infant Jesus of Prague School helped with research for the book. However, students did not help with research on the book. Author Kris Condon said the Flossmoor Veterans Memorial organization is working with schools to develop a local history unit for the 2024-2025 school year. The Chronicle apologizes for the error.

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