Marge Schott and Adolf Hitler, Etc

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), May 11, 1996 | Go to article overview

Marge Schott and Adolf Hitler, Etc


IT'S THE BIG MOUTH: Marge Schott finds herself in the news again. The lady, owner of the Cincinnati Reds, has a fairly high opinion of Adolf Hitler. She opined recently in an interview that the Nazi leader started out on the right foot - he merely "went too far."

Now, this is not exactly a new insight of Mrs. Schott's. She said virtually the same thing four years ago - and subsequently went on to talk about "million-dollar niggers" and "money-grubbing Jews." For this, she was fined $25,000 and banned from baseball for eight months. This time, an apology issued before anyone could say, oh, "Jackie Robinson" or "Sandy Koufax" saved her from sanctions.

It seems that racial bigotry is not the Reds owner's only less-than-admirable trait. When the opening game of the season had to be canceled because an umpire collapsed and died on the field, Mrs. Schott opined, "I feel cheated. This isn't supposed to happen to us, not in Cincinnati. This is our history, our tradition, our team. Nobody feels worse than me."

There's simply no denying that Marge Schott is a crude and odious woman who holds odious opinions. But that won't stand in the way of owning a baseball team - nor should it. Other owners, players, fans, even sports reporters may wish to shun her, to chastise her, to avoid playing for her or buying tickets from her. But fortunately for all of us, we live in a place where people are free to think hateful thoughts and even to make hateful statements.

PINT-SIZED CRIME WAVE: Is it possible to imagine a 6-year-old who is a one-boy crime wave? Officials in Martinez, Calif., are planning to charge such a child with attempted murder - pending thorough psychiatric evaluation.

The boy, notoriously unsupervised and known in his neighborhood as a thief and troublemaker, sneaked into a neighbor's home last month with two 8-year-old accomplices. The older children stole a bicycle from the house; the 6-year-old proceeded to beat the family's 5-week-old infant nearly to death. The reason? The boy reportedly didn't like the way the baby's parents looked at him on a previous occasion.

This is obviously not a normal child. But sick - and perhaps even evil - as he is, it takes a large leap to accept the notion that a child that young ought to face a charge of attempted murder. Clearly, something needs to be done about him; society needs to be protected against his baser impulses.

But isn't it a bit much to expect a 6-year-old child to control such impulses - when the people responsible for teaching him such control have failed him so abysmally? His father is nowhere to be seen. And his mother is also well-known in the neighborhood - for turning up in the evenings on her neighbors' doorsteps asking if they know where her child is. It seems that prosecutors (understandably) eager to charge someone with a crime here might want to cast their eyes in the mother's direction

Shocking as the whole story is, it is just as shocking that the boy's lawyer actually petitioned the court to return the child to the cold, unloving, neglectful arms of his mother -rather than finding some other alternative to the juvenile hall he's been in since his arrest. …

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