Bust out your copy of the 3DO-developed Playstation
classic, Sammy Sosa's High Heat Baseball, because it's time
for some #SammySosasHighHeatHotTakes!
much disagreement about how to define race. I mean, what the
hell even is race? Is it a measurement of the amount of
melanin in one's skin, or is it akin to their ethnicity? Is
one black because they have a high amount of ethnicity of
melanin or are they black because they are of African
origin? Who's more black, Yasiel Puig or Freddie Mercury.
Freddie Mercury clearly had white skin, but he was from
Africa; Yasiel Puig clearly has black skin, but he is from
Cuba. Are either of them black? Is anyone black.
the fuck is Sammy Sosa? He's a black guy who bleached his
skin white, right? Clearly, you would define Sammy as
ethnically black but physically white in terms of melanin
count. But wait! He's not ethnically African, he's
When Ernie Banks died in January of 2015,
Sammy posted on Facebook and Twitter "I wanted to express my
sincere condolences to the family and fans of #mrcub, the
legendary, #ErnieBanks. He was the first African-American to
play for the Chicago Cubs paving the way for many future
baseball players like myself." During this time, Sammy had
that brown-ish skin color he usually has during periods in
which randos on Twitter aren't being outraged at him for
existing, but there Sammy is right there, identifying as a
Sammy Sosa is the single most important
figure for sociologists, biologists, and psychologists to
overcome their disagreements on what race is. Oh yeah, we're
fucking going there.
Race doesn't exist beyond
societal symbolism. It wasn't a real thing until society
actively decided it was, which is to say it's still fucking
made up. Yet still, race IS real because society sorta can't
be ignored unless you reside in an isolated playhouse filled
to the brim with corked bats and boomboxes out of
half-ironic appreciation of an irrelevant baseball player
from twenty years ago. Most of us have to live in society,
so even if society makes shit up, we still have to deal with
that manmade make-belief. So race IS real in that we all
have to deal with the consequences of such social
Sammy Sosa was never inherently black
because nobody is. But still, he had (and still sometimes
has) black skin. And when he first turned white (and nine
years after he first turned white when a bunch of Twitter
Twats were reminded Creme de Sosa is a thing that exists),
everyone looked at Sammy and collectively said, "woah, that
nigga looks white now. Weird." Sammy Sosa's white skin is a
painful reminder to society that their labels of black and
white are manmade labels which don't affect anything on
their own until society decides they do after the fact.
Society already saw Sammy's dark skin and decided that he
fit the standard of what has been deemed a person of color.
Then he lost the one feature which was used as criteria for
that label, and that fucks shit up, but society cannot give
up the fact they already labeled Sammy black, so he is not
seen as a white man, but rather an ethnically black man who
has white skin.
WAIT JUST A MINUTE, SOCIETY. You
thought you could get away from me, but we're not Red Sox
fans, so get that John Kerry windsurfing out of here. You
decided that what made a man black or white was the color of
a skin. Then when you were confronted with a man you decided
was black, but then turned white, you refused to back down
on the black label by changing the criteria of blackness to
mean ethnicity instead of skin color. Society, you fell into
my trap, because you just showed your bullshit.
can't say that what makes a man black is his African
ethnicity, while still saying that Sammy is a man of black
ethnicity, because Sammy is not African. He is Dominican. Is
it skin color or ethnicity? Make up your damn mind. You
can't, because it's bullshit. Race isn't real.
only does society still consider Sammy to be a black man,
Sammy himself considered himself a black man during a period
of time in which his skin was not black (it wasn't exactly
white either, but it was a far cry from his MLB-era
complexion). But that doesn't mean race is actually real. It
just means that the conditions created by society's decision
to make note of something it determines race have
consequences on real things, like how people treat other
people. Race isn't real, but racism is. Racism is a real
consequence of how certain people react to the made-up
notion of race, and it causes people to do real things, like
hating another man.
Sammy could have green skin at
some point for all we know — and let's be real, he probably
will eventually — but that would never take away the real
experiences that he experienced in his life due to his
original skin color. He had skin which was deemed indicative
of a black man, and as a result, racists hated him. For
years, the home run hop, the peace sign, the chest bumping,
the 30-30 chain, the boombox, all of that shit was used as
fuel for racist things media would say about Sammy Sosa.
That Sammy kid is cocky, he only cares about himself, he's
not a team player, he just wants to be famous, all that shit
was said about Sammy. It was said because he was black. And
those were real words that were used, real fans who booed
him, real op-eds that were written about him. It doesn't
matter what Sammy's skin color is, those were real things
that happened to him and will always be with him. So he will
always be black for those real reasons.
see, he's also not black. But he is. Nobody is. Except for
those who are.
Some maintain that the measure of what
makes a man a member of the black race is his black skin.
Others maintain the measure of the black race is his African
ethnicity. Sammy's ethnicity is not African, and his skin is
no longer black, yet he is a black man. He is a black man
because neither of those arbitrary qualifiers of race are
actually real, concrete, natural things, so race itself is
not real. What is real, is things which manifest from the
notion that race is real, such as acts of racism.
The only true method to define race is through Sammy Sosa.