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“Racist”, really?

Daryl Hunter, Kenny Hunter

A racist, sexist homophobe is what I’m called whenever a political argument is lost to a liberal. It is also the “go to” blanket disparagement of the left for all conservatives. This bothers me, as I have never been a racist. I grew up in a small town in California that didn’t have many minorities; hence, no gangs that so often hasten judgment and prejudice. I think my former gay roommate Bob would also attest I’m not a homophobe.

As a boy of five years old, for a time, my family lived with my grandfather. An often-heard refrain from my Grandfather was; “All African-Americans should be sent back to Africa with a Mexican under each arm”. (Not his wording). I have always been inquisitive soul, and at five years old I met an African-American boy my age at the Independence Day celebration at Atascadero Lake, and I decided I wanted to find out what my grandfather found so detestable about them. After playing with this kid for an afternoon I had discerned that he was no different than me.

This early experience planted empathy in my soul for African Americans, as I had recognized, even at that early age that blind unjustified hate of people as my grandfather had for people he had never met was just wrong.

Black Like Me

Black Like Me

Later in school I read some books that strengthened my empathy, Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin. Griffin wrote of his experience In the Deep South of the 1950s; he decided to cross the color line. Using medication that darkened his skin too deep brown, and a darkening topical solution, Griffin exchanged his privileged life as a Southern white man for the disenfranchised world of an unemployed black man. His audacious, still chillingly relevant eyewitness history is a work about race and humanity-that in this new millennium still has something important to say to every American.

Manchild In The Promised Land by Claude Brown was the other. Claude Brown’s childhood was as a hardened, streetwise criminal trying to survive the toughest streets of Harlem. His everyday life for the first generation of African Americans raised in the Northern ghettos of the 1940s and 1950s. When the book was first published in 1965, it was praised for its realistic portrayal of Harlem — the children, young people, hardworking parents; the hustlers, drug dealers, prostitutes, and numbers runners; the police; the violence, sex, and humor. The book continues to resonate generations later, not only because of its fierce and dignified anger, not only because the struggles of urban youth are as deeply felt today as they were in Brown’s time, but also because the book is affirmative and inspiring. Here is the story about the one who “made it,” the boy who kept landing on his feet and became a man. This was inspiring that despite what he was born into, Claude rose above it. Claude was also an inspiration to me for another reason, I also grew up poor and on welfare. There are many things a good teacher can inspire.

Manchild in the Promised Land

Manchild in the Promised Land

In 1972 I moved to Chino CA where half the population was Latino, my friends and brother who went to school there, because of gang fights and such, became prejudice. They often spoke about their racial problems, gangs and such and how a white person couldn’t safely walk down D Street, a part of the Chino Barrio. As a believer in the goodness of humanity at the idealistic age of eighteen, I couldn’t believe that I would get beat up merely for walking down a street just because I was white. So on a bet with my brother and his friends.

Shortly thereafter they were dropping me off in the middle of the barrio, and I was to walk out. Shortly after I started my walk a group of guys I was hoping to walk passed, asked me where I was from. I replied, over on Santa Ana Street, a street about two miles away. They replied, oh, and let me pass. The same thing happened on the next block, same result. The third time I was asked the same question, I got jumped, knocked out and robbed.

My only consolation was that several groups of young men first asked where I lived, so it is my belief I was jumped, not because I was white, but because I was out of my turf, and I was trespassing in theirs. It was also a young man from the neighborhood that picked me up and took me home, I should have gone to the hospital and have my new concussion checked. In defense of my friends, they revoked the bet before I took the D Street walk, in an effort to talk me out of it, as they didn’t think when they made the bet I would take them up on it. However, as a hardheaded idealist with a point to make, I was compelled to do it anyway.

A few years ago, a niece and nephew of mine joined the skinheads racist group. They were not to thrilled when I informed them that I was part Jewish, and part Mexican, as certified in my Heinz 57 pedigree, as was their father. I felt it my duty to inform them “Be careful whom you hate! It may be yourself, or someone you love.” It rocked their world!

Yes, my grandfather on my dad’s side of the family swam the Rio Grande from where he was born in Ciudad Juarez to El Paso Texas around 1915. Oddly enough, my Grandfather on my Dad’s side became a third baseman for my racist Grandfather Leo’s  baseball team. My Grandfather Leo would never admit that my Grandfather Scotty was a Mexican. When Leo moved to Douglas Arizona, he had another baseball team and sent for has favorite third baseman. Scotty’s son would later marry Leo’s daughter. It wasn’t until my Grandparents fiftieth wedding that my Grandmother told my Grandfather in front of 50 guests she has half Jewish. By then she felt it was safe to tell him.

Justice Clarence Thomas

I love this guy

Having been enlightened to the challenges of being African-American in America via biographical literature and historical observation, inspires in me the greatest respect for those that overcome the odds, as have Utah Representative Mia Love, Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr, Justice Clarance Thomas, Oklahoma Representative J.C. Watts, Ken Hamblin, former RNC Chair Michael Steel, economist Walter E. Williams, Dr. Ben Carson, Deneen Borelli, Congolesa Rice, Armstrong Williams, Stacy Dash, congressional representative Colonel Allen West, Ken Blackwell, Herman Cain, economist Thomas Sowell etc. These men and women of strong conviction and self-determination are heroes of mine. Not only have they overcome the challenges of succeeding despite their color, as conservative Americans they didn’t have the support of their own race either, Uncle Toms they are called.

You see; I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. A lesson that should be learned by many liberals who only recognize them as a block of voters.

Oh I’m not without prejudice, oh no! My prejudice though is reserved for liberal sycophants who hurl gratuitous blanket disparagements not only to demean, but more so, to silence those whom they disagree.

Racist, really?

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