Hitting a baseball is said to be one of the most difficult acts in sports.
But if we examine the philosophy behind hitting a pitch, we see similarities with how one should approach life.
Hitters like Jr. are able to hit balls that are thrown at various speeds, at difficult angles and over different parts of the plate.
Being able to adapt to the pitch enables such hitters to take control of any situation.
If we use the baseball metaphor as it relates to race, gender, sexual orientation or whatever - we can formulate a process on the best way to deal with each group's problems.
Many bloggers and social commentators have dismissed Obama's recent speeches at the NAACP and in Africa as empty rhetoric, pandering to his audience or as just trying to maintain his white base.
But Obama was (is) right.
Many people wait for that perfect pitch at a perfect speed at their perfect place over the plate at the perfect time of day before making any effort.
Many become angry when a pitch is thrown too low, too fast or is anywhere beyond their strike (comfort) zone.
But one could swing at such a pitch or one could wait for a better pitch.
The results from each decision will be determined by one's acquired abilities and knowledge of their opponents tendencies.
This is just part of the game.
Often, when I hear cries of racism, the people complaining should have never been up to bat in the Bigs in the first place.
For many, their game is still single or double "A".
The Majors require more talent and skill.
These complaints diminish the credibility of complaints of real discrimination and oppression.
The most common complaint among the educated is that they are cheated out of their desired position in life because they are (fill in the "oppressed" blank).
While their assumptions may be true - it may also be true that they lacked the game required to fully take advantage of their opportunities.
It may also be true that they are trying to play a position for which they did not prepare.
(As when an outfielder is trying to be a pitcher.)
It may also be true that each team already has enough skilled players to fill their slots within their lineup.
(Kind of like a company, city or state having enough communications majors but lacking enough engineers.)
So, if one lacks the skill to be the best (adding an incentive to displace those already in the current lineup), and the backup slots are already full - you're not being discriminated against, the team just doesn't need you at this time.
Some people complain that they are overwhelmed by the conditions of the game.
This is what happened with the NBA players trying to compete in International tournaments.
The more talented and skilled NBA ballers failed to understand the nuances of the similar, but slightly different, International game.
While the NBA ballers were use to playing a more one-on-one street style - their International counterparts were playing team ball (and winning).
This is what happens when someone is trained to only hit fastballs.
A curve ball or slider will limit their ability to perform at the Major League level.
This is also what happens when someone is trained only in the ways of the streets.
While they may be use to doing well when things are flying hard and fast - a more controlled pitch becomes harder to hit.
This is not racism.
This is one failing to fully develop their abilities to be able to possess a complete set of game skills.
But what of those who aren't playing in the Majors?
What of those who are still growing or who've reached their peak at less than Big League levels?
That's just life.
Does an uneducated janitor working for an hourly wage deserve to be compensated as much as the highly educated Dean of Students?
Does the guy stuck in the minors expect the Nike endorsement deal?
No. He understands that he lacks the skills to generate the salary and perks of the Big League players.
But somehow, when it comes to race, gender and other issues, this understanding gets lost.
When Obama said "No excuses" - what he really meant for us was not to "strike out looking".
He doesn't want us to settle for a walk.
He is saying for us to have our games at such a complete and dominant level as to diminishes the effectiveness of a low pitch or a slider or a curve ball.
What he was saying was for us to do the work (get our 10,000 hours of practice) to be able to compete at the Major league level (and to receive to salary and perks that go along with that).
He wasn't saying that all the pitches were going to be high and over the center of the plate - but that we should be prepared to hit them anyway.