Monday, March 25, 2013
the last book I ever read (The Big O by Oscar Robertson, excerpt fifteen)
from The Big O: My Life, My Times, My Game by Oscar Robertson:
It was rumored that either my wife or me would be asked to be on the University of Cincinnati board of trustees. When my name came up, I’ve been told, the idea was dismissed, with the excuse, “Oh, he’ll want to hire black professors.” Never mind that it’s a public university now, so by law it should be diverse. Never mind that the issue has nothing to do with me; if there aren’t enough black professors, then some should be hired. It’s just a matter of right and wrong. Never mind that seeing how many Jewish people have helped me in my life, I might want to hire Jewish professors, I might want to hire Martians, but neither Yvonne nor I are going to be given the chance to so much as express our respective views in preliminary interviews. Never mind that if I hadn’t integrated the basketball team, it might be getting around to admitting its first black student right about now.
So long as I am a statue or a symbol, everything is fine. It’s when I express views and ideas that doors close. Is this what it means to be an immortal?