I was born white in the south, in the mid-1950’s. Poor in a small town in rural NC. There were no traffic lights then, and there are no traffic lights today. I was born in my grandparent’s house and delivered by the local doctor. I had the unfortunate experience of being born with a double harelip, a 3/4 cleft palate, born with teeth that came in turned 180 degrees the wrong way. Teeth coming in at odd angles and on top of each other. As I got older a second set of upper teeth started coming in and I had surgery to remove them. So I had many plastic surgeries to repair the double harelip and cleft palate. I had many dental surgeries. I wore braces for 7 years or so during that time, various kinds, but finally, the last pair was the steel kind with wire binds, and they were pulled so tight that the braces cut ridges through the enamel of my teeth. A very painful beginning to my life. My life was in and out of the hospital up to 17 years and 6 months which was my last hospital visit related to my condition at birth. Of course, this does not count the various accidents I had growing up, which I won’t go into. I was looked at as a sort of monster, a freak of nature. Horrible to look at. Someone people turned their eyes from or pointed at me whispering. It hurt, and that is what life can be, hurt, sorrow, pain, loneliness but guess what. You have to grow up sometime! Right?
In my first 12 years of life, I spent most of it with my grandparents as my mother worked to support her two other children who were perfectly normal, well at least from outward appearances. My grandfather born in 1894, still had his fathers musket, still working. He preached to me a few mantras of his way of living life. His favorite was “an honest man never looks over his shoulder.” His most profound was “Every man deserves respect until he proves otherwise.” I took them to heart. This is how I learned to live my life. This is how I raised my children.
But this is about racism. One of my first memories of racism I recall was not even “racism” from my grandfather’s point of view. Or perhaps I was just too young to understand. I was eight or nine. It was 1962 or 1963 and my grandfather, and I took a walk to the “corner store.” About three or four blocks away. It was the local mom and pop that bordered the white and black community in town. It was visited by black and whites daily.
As we walked up to the store that day, a middle-aged black man was walking up to the door just a few steps in front of us. He reached for the door and opened it for my grandfather and said: “How are you today Mr. Davis, sir?” My grandfather’s reply was “I’m doing good Nigger Charlie, how are you?” “I’m good, sir,” My grandfather replied “good, good,” and said, “thank you.” Being poor white in the south, I was no stranger to the word nigger. It was a confusing word at times because many used it about blacks. Many blacks used it about blacks, sometimes angry, sometimes saying a friendly hello. And if a white person used it around blacks, all hell broke loose. Though I was only 9 or 10 years old, I asked my grandfather why he called the man “Nigger Charlie.” “Because that’s his name.” His reply was so astounding that I really did not fathom that anyone could be called “Nigger” as a name. So in my grandfather’s world, he showed the man respect, because he was due it. Even at that age, I found it a confusing situation to understand.
It was around this time I started noticing white only and colored only drinking fountains. Then I realized I had experienced this racism thing before, not against me, but without my being aware of it at the time. When I was six or seven, I would go to the movies, and the black community could not sit downstairs. They had to sit in the balcony. I did not know why but that was the way it was. Because it was that way, I wondered why? Why did it have to be that way? What was up there that white people must not experience? So one day I bought my ticket, and when the clerk was not looking, I went up there. No one was even there, I looked around and saw nothing different except the view, the sitting space was smaller, and you could see the light of the movie and hear the projector whirring. A young black couple came upstairs about then and saw me and said. “You better get out of here before you get in trouble.” I ran down the stairs and stepped out of the building and went in the “Whites Only” door. It was strange thinking about it later.
My next vivid memory of growing up in the south and seeing racism first hand was very typical of the world around me. Around 11 years old I had to go to the hospital and spent two weeks, 100 miles from home, all alone in the hospital having major surgery. My grandmother took the bus to drop me off at the hospital and came back to pick me up. On the bus ride home, we stopped at a bus station to have lunch. While we were sitting there eating, a young black girl from up north came into the “whites only” bus station and asked the man for a coke-cola. His refrain was typical for the times. He told her, “We do not serve your kind her girl, now get outta here,” she replied “Sir I just want a coke-cola.” and again he replied, “get out of here nigger we do not serve your kind here.” Of course, the young girl, probably 15-18 years old ran out crying. My grandmother and I were finishing our meal, and she said to me “Go buy a coke-cola but don’t drink it.”
“Why grandma? I replied”. “Never mind, just go on,” she responded. So I went over and bought the soda came back to the table, and my grandmother said: “Go give the soda to that young girl on the bus and tell her, we are not all like that.” This incident made an indelible mark on me. My grandmother knew that confrontation at that moment was pointless, but kindness was not.
I took coke on the bus, and at that time blacks had to sit in the back of the bus. She was in one of the first seats black were allowed to sit in. Moreover, I walked up to her and said. “My grandma told me to give you the soda and tell you “We are not all like that.” The young girl probably at least five or six years older than me reached out accepted the coke and said, “Thank you.” I smiled and walked off the bus back to my grandmother.
I have vivid memories of racism around me, not directed towards me but still, I could see and learn and realized the reality that most white and most black people around me were all racist.
Of course, as I grew into a teenager, I was not immune to being racist and experienced black on white racism against me. It was a way of life.
Beyond name calling at times between myself and blacks, my only violent encounter was, five black guys, backed me up against a car in the parking lot of the local high school football game and attempted to rob me. I cannot remember exactly what was said, something like you got any money cracker. I caught one of them out of the corner of my eye, who started swinging, I pushed my way through two guys in front of me and broke through and ran into the stadium and saw a policeman near the end of the field and ran up to within ten yards of him. Turning I saw the gang of five walking a bit past me watching. I stood there as they walked past and then walked to the opposite side of the officer and stood about five minutes and then wandered off keeping my eyes open. I walked to the opposite end of the football and saw three friends of mine who were not choir boys. They asked me where I had been and I started telling them the story. Well being the rednecks that they were and still are for that matter, they asked what they looked like. Of course, I said forget about let’s go buy some beer with that five dollars I still had. But of course, fate would not turn its head from what was to come. Just as I was saying let’s go. I saw the five blacks guys walking towards us. They could not see me because of my friends, and so I said “Well they are coming this way right now” All three of my friends turned around and started walking towards the five guys. I still remember Winston Locklear who was a Lumbee Indian taking off his penny loafer which the steel taps on it. My best friend who is still around will remain nameless, the third person I cannot remember for the life of me. My friend had on a large steel belt buckle. He whipped it off, I was behind them and saw the third person bawled up his fist. Finally, the five black guys spotted me and started pointing and moving towards me, of course, my friends did not waste any time. Winston hit one of them with the heel of his steel tapped shoes. My best friend his one with this belt buckle and the third person hit one and started pummeling him. Only two left. One more was attacked with the belt buckle, and one ran. A couple of kicks and a couple of punches later and we were walking away. Southern racism, white racism, and black racism.
In high school we had race riots over and over and because desegregation was only eight years and old still had to be enforced. Students would gather in the student commons, white on one side, black on the other. I remember standing in the balcony above them when the vice principal jumped in the middle of it and got beat and punched. I remember riot police, or national guard, with riot dogs, and riot gear in the hallways for what seemed like months.
Having spent so many months’s in the hospital and with many hours at home alone recovering, I became a ravenous reader. No subject was off limits; no topic was ever rejected without first learning about it.
With all the surgery’s I had, I came home many times with black and blue eyes, stitches in my mouth, in my lip, swollen, distorted and in pain. I heard comments like “He looks like a monster” which hurt as much as the surgeries. So I read every subject, I could find. During my teenage years I was reading, Karl Marx, Chairman Mao, I remember reading Malcolm X and having my friends ask me why I was “reading that nigger.” Of course, my answer was always the same “to learn.” But I also read much more than words of radical communist. I read history, World History, American History, including the Native American History, Geography, Political Science, Religion, Social Science, Ethics. Military history.
Moving forward in life, As a teenager, my house was a bit of a hangout spot. Parents know what I mean. My mother was a single mom raising three kids. She worked hard, and that is why my grandparents were there to take me to the hospital so many times. I brought over a black friend my mom feed him like everybody else and invited him back anytime. A week or so later I went over to his house, we were trading records. His mom was home and was nice and offered me some ice tea. About two hours after I got there his dad came home. He did not see me right away but then he came back to his son’s room and saw me there, and I heard him ask his wife “What is that cracker doing in my house?’ My friend looked up and kind of waved him and to say don’t worry. I heard his father say. “I Want that cracker out of my house.” His wife responded with “let them boys be.” Well, of course, I kind of felt I should get out of there and at that time my friend agreed, and he walked me out. I was interesting seeing the hatred manifest itself over my mere presence. I thought about it as I went home and remember that I had seen the same type of hate in the bus station years ago against the young black girl by a white man.
Life moves on, and I meet a lovely girl, still married to her 43 years. She was a northern girl, and she moved down south with me. Since I had a small family, and she came from a large family when she became pregnant with our first child, I knew she needed to be with her family. So we packed it up and moved north.
Over the years I became quite the vinyl record collector. In the late 80’s early 90’s I was trading vinyl with friends from England. I got a letter one day, and he wanted to know if he could come over with a friend and spend two weeks. He came with a black friend, they stayed with us for two weeks. And his friend came back several times and has spent many days at our house. Desmond, the young English black man who my family regard as a friend and he has shown how we are his friend as well.
My next racist encounter happened in Boston, I went up there to go to a record store owned by a young black man in Roxbury who I had met and agreed to do business with him. He invited me up to his shop, so I loaded up my car and drove up. Once I got into Boston, I got a bit lost in Roxbury. So I stopped, there was no one around, so I walked into what appeared to be an upscale men’s clothing store with a hip well dressed young black man sitting at the counter. I walked in and said, “excuse me, could you tell me how to get to.” His response was sharp, angry and racist. He said to me “Get your White Cracker ass out of my store.”
I did not respond, I just walked out. Another black man walking towards me as I came out of the store and I said to him. “Hey Man, can you tell me how to get to .” His response was the exact opposite “Aw sure man, go down to the light make a left, go down two streets take a right, and it will be left.” Said my thanks and see you laters and headed on over.
My grandfather always told me every man deserves respect until he proves otherwise. That line of reasoning has served well me my whole life. I have instilled the idea into my children, into my wife, my friends. Everyone knows that I will not tolerate racist comments. I tell them I heard enough of them growing up and don’t want to listen to them from anyone in my family or friends.
I want to know the truth and the reason why. I want to see the right over the wrong. We all suffer under the pull of racism. When people say only whites can be racist, that is just beyond ignorant.
Racism is not something that can be purged from society through violence, or protest, or government regulation. No racism can only be purged when we all learn to understand that we all bleed red blood, we all eat, we all dream, we all want to have hope, we all want to be happy, we all want love. Racism steems for ignorance, it is taught, it is learned. You engage in racism, or you don’t. But we all are subject to racism. We are all subject to all those thoughts but living together in community, in peace, with respect is the key. Giving every man respect until he proves otherwise. It does not mean people of different color must live next door to each other. It does not say that people who are doing better in life cannot live where they choose. America is about choice. So you decide to hate people with a different color, or you don’t.
There is no equality in this world. Not under a democratic government and certainly not under a socialist or communist government. There is only treating each other with respect and agreeing that we can disagree. Admitting we do not have to conform to radical new sexual or social constructs that limit freedoms of speech and even individual freedoms when social justice warriors become vigilantly posses against some real or imagined affront. Your feelings do not matter when it comes to free speech.
I am offended by your pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, transsexual, illegal immigrants. Communism, Safe spaces, anti-free speech, the anti-white campaign of racism and hatred. You have your opinion, but don’t expect me to accept your idea. Or any cause that denies personal freedom denies a person’s right to move around in any public space in America. No safe spaces, no “Shira Only” areas, If people who come to America are not willing to adopt our way of life instead of coming here to take over our communities from us and separate from our society, much like gang turf, where even wearing a wrong colored garment can get you killed. No that is not the reality of America. The reality of America is a nation of people who can agree to disagree and get along without any violence. So if you understand that all people deserve respect until they prove otherwise, then you must decide if acting like a complete communist because you got your feelings hurt, or you are willing to hurt one class of people, pretending they don’t deserve what they have earned. White society is racist you say. Well so is black society, so is yellow society, so it brown society, and so are you. Do you confront your own “racism.” If you say you are not a racist, I call you a liar because you hate yourself. Racism is a learned and accepted reality. But it can be a rejected reality. We are all pulled by it. And those who pretend that white privilege is real. I would point out to you that each of us is privileged to live and breath and we have individual choice, especially in America to change our lives however we choose. Society does not hold back people, people hold themselves back, with their individual form of hatred and individual choices. Though I admit that much of society of all ethnic backgrounds, needs, and enemy to make their lives complete. I too needed an enemy to fight against, and my enemy was ignorance. I have found that ignorance is the enemy of all people. Leading me to the conclusion that Racism It’s White and Black and Brown and Yellow. It hides its ugly face underneath the skin of all of us, and that is why my grandfather’s mantra “Everyman deserves respect until he proves otherwise” is wisdom for the ages. I have learned that hate is the enemy of all humanity. But today in this world of irrational thought where the victim society rears its ugly head and screams Let me Murder my Children. Let me Hate Myself. Let me Hate Everything I take for Granted and Use it to Condemn the very thing that allows me to be free.
The Communist Democratic Party backed by their BLM & ANTIFA communist thugs and Communist Social Justice Warriors who are the great followers of hatred.
Racism is actually only hatred, and the desire to destroy the very society you live in is the in the inability to think for yourself. Read a book, educate yourself instead of being indoctrinated into the insanity of hive mentality. Individual free will is your greatest human power. But your hive is filled with hate, your hive is a mantra of hatred,. Denial of free speech, insisting upon gender neutrality and the right to murder your own child. Talk about hating yourself and everyone.