One of the most asked questions we here at Deadspin get is "If Jackie Robinson were alive today, how would he vote?" Well, someone's offered an answer.
You might have seen this on our sister site, but it'll be new to those of you who don't care about the media or the gays. The Republican National Committee's new website went live today, and one section features GOP "heroes." Among them, one Jack Roosevelt Robinson.
While it's true that Robinson campaigned for Nixon in 1960 (hence that mindblowing picture up there), claiming him for the party is as specious as claiming Abe Lincoln. To wit: Robinson was a registered independent, and appears to have changed his mind about the party just four years later.
From his autobiography, on the 1964 Republican Convention:
That convention was one of the most unforgettable and frightening experiences of my life. The hatred I saw was unique to me because it was hatred directed against a white man. It embodied a revulsion for all he stood for, including his enlightened attitude towards black people.
A new breed of Republicans had taken over the GOP. As I watched this steamroller operation in San Francisco, I had a better understanding of how it must have felt to be a Jew in Hitler's Germany.
It takes a lot of balls to be the first black man in pro baseball, but it takes a hell of a lot more to claim that man would be supporting today's GOP.
Patriots: American Heroes & Famous Republicans [GOP.com]
GOP Tries to Claim the Ghost of Jackie Robinson [Gawker]
New RNC Website Claims Jackie Robinson As "GOP Hero" - But He Was Indy Who Condemned GOP's Racial Tactics [The Plum Line]