Andrew Breitbart was inspired by Jackie Robinson, was proud to cheer for a Dodgers franchise that broke baseball’s color barrier, and despised what the Democrat-Media Complex did to Clarence Thomas.
When he was in college in the 1980s, he saw how those who championed and marched for equality of opportunity and assimilation during the civil rights era were quickly demanding equality of results and the right to self-segregate. While he was attending Tulane, his best friend Larry Solov, who was attending Stanford at the time, told him about ethnic dorms on the Stanford campus where half of the dorm’s residents had to be racial minorities. Like most people, Andrew could not believe what he was hearing.
During the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings in 1991, Andrew saw how the left–and the Democrat-Media Complex that enables and protects them–would brutalize a conservative minority. Those hearings turned him into a conservative, and he would often say that if the mainstream media were truly fair or objective, conservative media figures like Rush Limbaugh would not have been so indispensable.
He was there when David slung his first stone at the Goliath that is the mainstream media, when the Drudge Report broke the news about President Bill Clinton’s affair with an intern, a story that the sitting president’s allies in the media tried desperately to quash.
More than 20 years after the Thomas hearings that forever changed Breitbart, new conservative media are thriving in part because those in the mainstream media are as biased as ever, and liberals are more audacious in using the race card as a weapon to intimidate or stifle debate. But Andrew also helped tear down barriers to allow more people to expose such things as how the mainstream media tries to pin an attempted murder of a congresswoman on Tea Party icon Sarah Palin or how black congressmen tried to malign the Tea Party by falsely claiming attendees at an Obamacare protest in 2010 hurled the N-word at them.
For me, the biggest battle going forward will be to ensure America remains a melting pot and not a salad bowl, that America’s culture is preserved, especially as the country becomes more diverse.
Jackie Robinson, who was also one of my heroes, along with other civil rights icons, valiantly fought for the melting pot ideal.
But behind Robinson were people like teammate Pee Wee Reese.
When Robinson first came up to the Major Leagues in 1947, fans in Cincinnati’s Crosley Field taunted and hurled racial epithets at him during one of his first road games. And then, Reese, a son of the South, came over and just put his arm around Robinson, “shaming the racists into silence.”
“After Pee Wee came over like that, I never felt alone on a baseball field again,” Robinson told legendary baseball writer Roger Kahn.
Andrew Breitbart was a visionary in his own right, but he was also often to conservative pioneers, particularly those who were minorities who so often felt alone, what Pee Wee Reese was to Jackie Robinson at Crosley Field in 1947.
When liberals, leaders of ethnic organizations, and the mainstream media bullied, demeaned, intimidated, and taunted conservative minorities like Herman Cain and Allen West because they feared them, Andrew always stood up for them–because he hated bullies and it was the right thing to do–and they never felt alone. They felt they forever had an ally in Andrew.
Though Andrew is no longer with us, one of his lasting legacies will be that a generation of conservatives, particularly minorities, will never again feel helpless and alone in what often feels like a sea of mainstream media and liberal mockery, intimidation and hostility.