Wednesday, February 11, 2009


i feel i must post to don key's points, made in the comment section at welcome friends. the same point was raised by mjzmusic in a different post comment:

let me be frank... since he's not here to be (or defend) himself...
the notion of sinatra's racism is, in my opinion, not properly considered.

it's easy for us to believe now that the things sinatra said were racist or politically incorrect, but i believe his love for jr. was real and deep, and there was not a bit of frank that appreciated sam any less for his race. check back in for sinatra quote on the subject once i've researched it. remember, sammy was just as much a participant in the rat pack act as anyone else, and likely had as much fun with it (though further research into sammy's bio is due this point).

the key to being able to joke about race is having a pure heart with regard to it, and recognizing it as simple comedy, not agenda-pushing--this is the reason we can joke about our own race today without offending others of the same race. they know we aren't really degrading ourselves and others like us, but rather bringing comic relief to otherwise ugly disparities. while it is true that i haven't experienced all the pack's bits, from what i've heard, it was never truly meanspirited or deliberately insulting to brownness.

it was commonplace at that time to make comments that today are considered crass or inappropriate. consider jokes about women--girlfriends vs wives--or even the jokes made about being an alcoholic, and how inappropriate that might come off as now. conceptions of race and stereotyping, were not considered the icky subject that they are today. That's not to say that a man is justified in racist notions simply because it is the majority perspective. simply, that an evaluation of the man's heart cannot be made based on the way he behaved 50 years ago measured by notions of a today's taboos.

thanks for raising the subject, don and mjz


  1. I really don't know much about Sinatra's race and women views. It's difficult to evaluate terms and such from today's perspective. Politically Correct terms seem to change every 15 years or so. So I think a person's actions speak louder than words, on that topic.

  2. an upcoming post for you then, jamie, will be on sinatra's actions...

  3. I completely agree with you- we cannot judge a man who lived fifty years ago with present norms and standards- it is simply unfair.

    I really like this post- clearly you are relating to your followers and giving them your "frank" opinions. It's extremely important to not only read comments but take them into account in your posts- answer question, address biases and so on...

    Good work!!!


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