>Over at the New Yorker blog Close Read, a commenter has provided the link to a slide show he made and posted on YouTube, using images from the “street view” feature of Google Maps to show the layout of the area between Ground Zero and the site of the proposed Islamic Cultural Center. From the images it’s more than clear just how much noisy city life is happening down there, how tall the existing buildings are, how obscure this Cultural Center is going to be. As the author writes, “Yes, it’s downtown, and yes, it’s ‘near’ the Ground Zero site in terms of geographical proximity on a map. But in the context of the dense urban landscape that is lower Manhattan, two blocks might as well be twenty.”
The article to which the comment is attached also makes for good reading — “[I]n 1955, sixty-two local Little Leagues in the state of South Carolina entered the tournament that leads to the Little League World Series. For the first time, one of them consisted of black players—the Cannon Street YMCA All Stars. None of the sixty-one other teams had a single black player, and every one of them refused to play Cannon Street. They wanted them out of the tournament. Instead, the Little League head office disqualified the sixty-one white teams.
“One can imagine the pressures on the Cannon Street team and their coaches. Why were they spoiling it for all the other kids? Why were they making everyone uncomfortable? If they really cared about racial harmony and people getting along, why were they being so provocative? If they hadn’t meant to be, couldn’t they tell from the reaction that it was a mistake? Were there outside agitators involved? This wasn’t the time, or the place—couldn’t they just play somewhere else?”
Indeed. The Cannon Street team went to the Series, but only as non-playing “guests”, as they hadn’t officially beaten any other team.(The teams surviving members were invited back and declared Little League World Series Champions in 2002 — a mere 47 years later.) A nice gesture, but incredibly late.
The article here