The sad fact is that the “race problem” can’t be fixed. Race is just one small part of what may be called the negative tribal offset.

First lets look at the positive reason for the tribal impulse. Since life’s problems are often too big for one person to handle alone, nature made it so that like people would want to work together for the common good. This of course means that people of a common ethnicity, race, language, religion, family or community have a common affinity to want to work together.

Because, however, of the law of probability balance that says that creation is always at some point in time offset by destruction and good is offset by evil, the negative value of the tribal impulse works out to be fear and hatred of those unlike one’s self — the dreaded “other” factor.

One of the huge attractions of sports is that it allows sports fans to exercise both the positive and negative aspects of the tribal impulse— love our team and fans, hate the other team and its fans in a usually bloodless way, a kind emotional practice ground for the real thing.

Jim Ridgway, Jr. military writer — author of the American Civil War classic, “Apprentice Killers: The War of Lincoln and Davis.” Christmas gift, yes!

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