A Virginia Reader On The Salvadoran State Senator Who Wanted To Put Up A Statue Of Len Bias

From: Vincent Chiarello (e-mail him)

More so than in any other time in our history, sports, aided by an the power of television, have come to influence dramatically the mind set of many young Americans. Paul Kersey has called football "the new  religion in America" but statements attesting to the great value of other sports can be easily found in every nook and cranny of quotidian life. But for those of a certain age—mine—I've concluded that far too many sports personalities are really anything but sportsmen.

The Salvadoran State Senator

Sen. Victor Ramirez [pictured left] is a Maryland State Senator in the heavily black and Latino area of Prince George's County outside of Washington, D.C. Born in El Salvador, Ramirez, who was instrumental in getting legislation passed that now allows illegal aliens a driver’s license in the state, wanted to change the procedure by which a monument can be placed on the grounds of the 55 schools in the county. What Sen. Ramirez specifically sought was to obtain state funds to place a statue of Len Bias, a University of Maryland basketball player at the high school that Bias attended in that county.

This is the same Len Bias [below, left]who, two days after being drafted into the ranks of professional basketball in 1986, died suddenly of "cocaine intoxication." Some role model.

 Sen. Ramirez then added, "We can learn something from everything. The nation learned a lot from this unfortunate incident." Apparently, wiser heads prevailed and shortly thereafter Ramirez’s request for state funding was denied. Still, how could such a proposal have been made in the first place? [Prince George’s education board to consider naming policy, By Ovetta Wiggins, Washington Post, November 20, 2013]The Cocaine Addict

Given the senator’s foreign roots, was he oblivious to the idea that placing a statue of a cocaine dependent athlete is not an acceptable way to promote the anti-drug culture that supposedly exists in educational institutions today?

Doesn’t “We can learn something from everything” also mean that Ramirez is not speaking up forcefully against the unlawful and unhealthy practices followed by the man he wishes to lionize?

Perhaps Sen. Ramirez could learn a thing or two in understanding what rubbish he has just spoken by listening carefully to the words of Horace Greeley, and in so doing understand why his idea of placing a statue of Len Bias at a school is an absolute disgrace:”Fame is fleeting; popularity is an accident; riches have wings. Only one thing endures: character.”  A quality that was apparently lacking in Len Bias, and, one wonders, may also be absent in the case of this Maryland legislator.

Chiarello is a retired Foreign Service Officer whose tours included U.S. embassies in Latin America and Europe. See Vincent Chiarello's previous letters to VDARE.com.