An Open and Honest Conversation about My Racism

August 1, 2010

“You see, you’re one of the good Blacks,” I told my friend Al, at a high school graduation party. “It’s the bad Blacks that are the niggers.”

“I think I hate you now, Bill,” said Al, walking away.

It was 25 years ago when that scene took place, and his words still haunt me. Partly because I haven’t spoken to Al since. But mostly because that those words started me on a path toward acceptance and enlightenment that I remain on to this day.

Racism toward African-Americans was instilled into me from birth. I never got a sex talk, but I got plenty of racism lessons. And until that night, those lessons formed my opinions of African-Americans.

Being racist was an unnatural fit for me, especially since the vast majority of my experiences with Black people were positive. Al, in fact, was one of the few people who I felt close to in high school from freshman year through senior year. But mind you, my casual racist mindset was on display more than just that night. And regardless of how I got that mindset, I take responsibility for every racist word that ever came from my mouth.

Plain and simple, I was an extremely ignorant boy, swimming in his own privilege. I knew nothing of the African-American community. In fact, I knew nothing other than the limited culture of an upper-middle class white home. So while I feel I’ve never been deeply racist in my heart, I grew up being deeply racist in my mind, and thought little of it.

In the 25 years since that horrible conversation, I have had myriad experiences and travels that have helped me understand my own racism. I have learned that - while I can never fully understand a culture that I am not part of - the cultures of all minorities are a vital part to American culture as a whole.

Nonetheless, I cannot ever bury that ignorantly racist 18-year-old. He exists inside me as a never-ending lesson to myself. That boy teaches me that education and experience have helped me get on the road to becoming the man I always felt I should be. He teaches me to never become self-satisfied on issues of race. And he teaches me that the road from racism to acceptance is a road that will never end.

I am an imperfect man and I always will be. But the 43-year old writing this post has a much more open mind and much more open eyes than the 18-year-old who ended his relationship with a close friend with a racist diatribe.

This is for you, Al. Someday I hope to apologize to you face to face. But I want to thank you for your words that night, because they helped turn me around and put me on a path of acceptance and self-examination.

The path I am on today began that night, a quarter-century ago. And that path has made my life better in so many ways. Accepting and learning about the cultures and lives of other races and nationalities has made me a better husband, friend, writer and man.

So along with my apologies, I send you my thanks, Al. Because of you, I aim to create love, not hate.


White Supremacy & Hate Groups: A nation-wide problem

April 30, 2010

Almost a year ago, NBC reported on the rise of hate groups throughout the U.S.:

The Southern Poverty Law Center has been tracking hate groups for almost 30 years. In its spring 2009 Intelligence Report, they found that 926 hate groups are currently operating in the U.S., an all-time high. These groups include the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis, racist skinheads and Black separatists.

Potok attributes this rise in hate groups to the recession, the election of the nation’s first black president, and the immigration debate.

“We’re looking at a kind of perfect storm of factors that really favor the continued growth of these groups,” he says.

In the past year, that perfect storm has grown, as more and more reports of white supremacist groups, militias and neo-Nazis have taken over the news pages. The media, for its part, has taken a passive role in the growth of these hate groups, reporting when they commit crimes or hold marches. Unless it’s the Tea Party movement, which has received a great deal of attention for having white nationalist interlopers amongst them.

Now, I will gladly admit that the vast majority of people involved in the Tea Party are not white supremacists. But with the overall whiteness and simmering racial tension, the Tea Party movement is a shining opening for many white supremacist types, who view the loosely held together organizations as a chance at achieving broader acceptance.

While this isn’t primarily about the Tea Party, it’s time for these “Patriots” to adopt a “you’re with us or you’re against us” mentality when it comes to white supremacy. Because as a quick check of Google News shows, white supremacists and hate groups are continuing to gain influence in every part of the United States:

  • Arizona: Profiling Arizona legislator Russell Pearce: Author of immigration law is pals with noted neo-Nazi.
  • Arkansas: White Supremacist Man Gets Ten Years – Planned On Killing Obama.
  • California: Nazi flyers litter Rialto neighborhood
  • California: White Supremacy Rally Draws Counter-Protesters, Heavy LAPD Deployment.
  • California: Suspected white supremacists arrested in connection with attacks on police.
  • Connecticut: Another Militia Group Indicted by Feds
  • Florida: Stormfront Scion Derek Black Hosting Radio Show on WPBR.
  • Idaho: Supremacist Fliers left at local home.
  • Illinois: White Supremacy Fliers Found In Easter Eggs.
  • Indiana: Christian Identity Church to Host White Nationalist Speaker
  • Indiana: Judge suppresses motorcycle gang leader’s white supremacist ties.
  • Massachusetts: White supremacist murder defendant stable after suicide attempt.
  • Massachusetts: Racist graffiti found in Concord.
  • Michigan: Court records reveal more about Hutaree
  • Mississippi: White Supremacist Richard Barrett Allegedly Murdered by Black Neighbor.
  • Missouri: Judge says Klan can have barbecue at battle site.
  • Missouri: Radio Stations Wait for Ruling on White Supremacist Campaign Ads.
  • Missouri: Club Owner’s Ties To Aryan Nation Draws Furor Of Residents.
  • Nevada: Oregon man bound over for trial in Sparks rape, robbery
  • New Hampshire: Fear and Loathing in New Hampshire.
  • New Jersey: Nazi Flag Flier: I Collect Flags, I Fly Them
  • New York: Teen in NY immigrant slay: ‘I am not a racist’
  • Ohio: Three ‘Skinhead’ Soldiers, Another Man Held In Attack On Cincinnati Homeless Man
  • Oregon: White Supremacist Flyers Again Cropping up in Portland
  • Oregon: Bigotry making a comeback.
  • Oregon: Businesses use specter of selling out to hate group in community disputes
  • Texas: KKK Distributes fliers in Lubbock.
  • Utah: Allgier pleads not guilty to murder, 7 other charge
  • Virginia: Revoked ‘Hate Plates’ Restart Free Speech Debate
  • Virginia: Neo-Nazi leader White to be sentenced today.
  • Virginia: Group With White Supremacist Ties Influential In Getting VA Gov To Declare April Confederate History Month
  • Virginia: Governor McDonnell Declares April ‘Confederate History Month’
  • Washington, D.C.: FBI release files on white supremacist.
  • Washington: I’m not a white supremacist — I just move around a lot.
  • Washington: Man sentenced in anti-Muslim attack on Seattle woman, child
  • Wisconsin: Tea Party drops speaker for alleged ties to white supremacists.
  • Michelle McGee Nazi?
  • David Duke: Tea Party is not Racist.
  • Jesse James poses as Hitler.
  • Pat Buchanan: Tea Parties Are a ‘New Tribe Rising’
  • Thom Hartman: Threats, Violence Against Congress Show Urgent Need for King Records Act.

It’s in front of everyone’s face, we just have to make it visible. It’s on the tip of everyone’s tongue, we just have to keep calling it out by name: White Supremacy. And we must keep fighting to push them to the furthest fringes of our society. To not is to risk everything.


Originally posted at Alan Colmes’ Liberaland

Jesse James, Sandra Bullock need to confront Nazi connections

March 21, 2010

I have plenty of conservative friends, as well as plenty of liberal ones. In day to day life, I - like most of us - tend to judge people on their actions, not their political stances.

I have never had a friend that was a neo-Nazi, however. There are some people I - like most of us - refuse to meet halfway.

Which is why I think it’s necessary for Jesse James to come out and explain his attraction toward neo-Nazis. Gawker has a pretty good run down of the Nazis in James’ life - including admitted mistress Michelle McGee. The penchant toward Nazism is to strong to be waved away.

Hell, Sandra Bullock needs to answer for it, as well. She married the guy, after all. I’m sure she’s well aware of his political and racial views.

The Nazi connections gives James a smell of grotesqueness, and if he doesn’t answer for it, those connections will put him on the fringe of society.


The worst thing I can do to Andrew Breitbart

March 1, 2010

According to pretend journalist Andrew Breitbart, “The worst thing you can do …in politically correct America…is accuse somebody of being a (sic) racism.”

Let’s see if I can make it a little worser:

Andrew Breitbart is a cowardly racist.

Pass it on.


All-White Basketball League promises return of the set shot with assist to racism

January 21, 2010

Remember those heady days in basketball of four-corner offenses, set shots and not allowing Black people play? Well, someone is trying to bring that back:

A new professional basketball league called the All-American Basketball Alliance (AABA) sent out a press release on Sunday saying that it intends to start its inaugural season in June, with teams in 12 U.S. cities. However, the AABA is different from other sports leagues because only players who are “natural born United States citizens with both parents of Caucasian race are eligible to play in the league.” AABA commissioner Don “Moose” Lewis insists that he’s not racist, but he just wants to get away from the “street-ball” played by “people of color” and back to “fundamental basketball.” Lewis cited the recent incidents of bad behavior by NBA players, implying that such actions would never happen with white players:

“There’s nothing hatred about what we’re doing,” he said. “I don’t hate anyone of color. But people of white, American-born citizens are in the minority now. Here’s a league for white players to play fundamental basketball, which they like.” [...]

He pointed out recent incidents in the NBA, including Gilbert Arenas’ indefinite suspension after bringing guns into the Washington Wizards locker room, as examples of fans’ dissatisfaction with the way current professional sports are run.

“Would you want to go to the game and worry about a player flipping you off or attacking you in the stands or grabbing their crotch?” he said. “That’s the culture today, and in a free country we should have the right to move ourselves in a better direction.”

Sure, some will look at this as abject racism (because, you know, it’s abjectly racist). I take a more nuanced look at it, however - at least ol’ Moose will lose a lot of money on this venture.

HT Mustang Bobby


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