Racism or Bigotry
James E. Horn
We are all creatures of our existence, of our lives, of our experiences, our training, our formal and informal educations, and births.
I am Caucasian. I was born that way. I am stuck with my skin. In a world of over seven billion people, about 3% of us are Caucasians – a serious minority. I am not evil nor am I a criminal for just being born as I am.
When a person looks at me, do they immediately see my history or do they judge me by my complexion? Am I being profiled? I know that I am profiled every day. It’s a two-way street when I look at another person – do I profile them by virtue of their complexion or something else such as their attitude?
Racism occurs all over the earth. We Americans have done more, have gone further in blending our cultures and ethnicities than any other people.
Yet, we have highly prejudiced racist organizations such as the Nation of Islam, and the hijacked by racists Alinskyite BLM that only offer hatred and genocide as their solutions. Settle’s CHAZ/CHOP is under the dictatorial control of a self-described warlord, Raz Simone, who is reportedly getting funding and backing from other nations. People who sincerely believe, like I, that black lives matter are being betrayed.
I grew up in a Caucasian home in a Caucasian neighborhood, in a Caucasian city – Minneapolis. The street that I grew up on had four (4) cops; Mr. Johnson was very quiet and painted houses for extra income; Mr. Almen was a hard-nosed street cop who re-roofed houses for extra income; Mr. Stenbakken worked with juvenile crime prevention and was one of the nicest, kindest gentleman I’ve ever known; and when I was eight, Mrs. Horn, my mother became a cop (shield with the number “6” on it – one of the pioneering women in law enforcement). She worked in the women’s’ jail and witnessed the worst of the worst. She worked at the Post Office for extra bucks at Christmas so she could buy me gifts.
We lived in my grandfather’s house. He was bigoted. His father had come to America as a Lutheran missionary to Scandinavian lumber workers in northern Minnesota. Like the Pope, Martin Luther was terribly anti-Semitic and hated Jews just for being Jews. My grandfather therefore hated Jews because that’s what Lutherans did, then Finlanders, American Indians, and blacks in that rank order.
A youngster, I heard the “N” word on occasion but knew nothing about blacks. When I was about five years old, my mother took me to a July 4th parade where, while sitting on a curb, I observed two black skinned men walking on the other side of the street. I turned to my mother with: “Hey mom, are those Ni….s?” to which she quickly shushed me saying I should never let them hear me say that word or they’d ‘cut’ me. That left me terrified. Over the years, I learned about the horrors of slavery and was offended by the practice.
When I was eight, my mother became a member of the Minneapolis Police Force working in the women’s jail. My mother was smart, observant, and a very human woman who soon developed a sensitivity for the plight of blacks and other minorities. This she transferred to me. She often had to keep her thoughts to herself both at work and around some family members lest she suffer adverse consequences. So, I learned to likewise keep my thoughts to myself and to be discreet when I shared them. Once, she commented to me while we were discussing the behavior and attitudes of various ethnicities, that based on her experience and observations that what she referred to as “white trash” were the lowest forms of humanity.
After the parade, I blissfully went about life. When I went into ninth grade, my science teacher was black, the only person of color in a school with about 3,000 students and teachers. Mr. Bates was the first black person that I interacted with. He was a class act, very likeable, very understanding, and a great, fun teacher. He strengthened and broadened my perspective and understanding that many blacks were indeed wonderful people.
A very pretty, very blond cousin went to a high school with a number of blacks, and many of them swarmed after her like ants to honey. She was harassed, touched, even fondled and was so affected that she developed hives when she was around black men.
One of my mother’s colleagues who worked in the men’s jail down the hall was black former NFL football player. He was rougher with black prisoners than others and when challenged, his response was: “When you do bad things, it reflects badly on me.” “Don’t come to my jail if you don’t like it!”
When I was in Navy boot camp, we had two blacks (last names were Dyson and Irby) in our company who never caused a problem. One morning while Dyson was sitting on a commode with his pants down, a big white southerner named Lynn just kicked a defenseless Dyson in the face. It didn’t turn out well for Lynn. I blew up. I have a scar on my hand from one of Lynn’s damaged teeth.
I had a black friend when I was in training at the Navy base in Norfolk, Virginia. There was no problem for us hanging out together on the base, but we dared not leave the base together where racism was a serious factor and we’d have problems.
After I mustered out of the Navy in 1963 and while traveling by bus to meet (for the first time) my father, I was at a bus depot in Macon, Georgia, got thirsty and indiscreetly (without checking for signs) sauntered over to a drinking fountain and while drinking some water, a white cop knocked me to my knees. He pointed to the “BLACKS ONLY” sign and with a smirk walked away. That incident of racial animus has stuck with me for my entire life, and been formative to my understanding of despicable bigotry, terrible, senseless bigotry.
I returned to Minneapolis after meeting my father (a bigot), started classes at the University of Minnesota and dropped out because I had a hard time dealing with the liberal professors. I started working in heavy labor intensive industries. I had worked very late one night at a job site and while driving home, passed through a tough, mostly black neighborhood. I was driving down Broadway and there were four (possibly more) black men walking towards me in the middle of the street, blocking my way. Sensing trouble, I slowed down and when I saw a club in one of their hands, slammed my modified Chevy into second gear and powered into a sideways tire smoking slide with my engine roaring and caused those guys to scatter as I blew past them and safely on my way.
I applied to the police department and passed the entry process. One of the elements of qualification was undergoing the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI ) – a 660 question test designed to ferret out personalities that could become abusive. In the case of officer Chauvin’s murder of George Floyd, the MMPI either failed or was not properly used in his pre-employment screening.
While on the Minneapolis Police force waiting list, I was offered and accepted a job with the Diplomatic Corps and left Minneapolis. When I was assigned to the American Consulate in Istanbul, two incidents come to mind: 1) One of the Marine Security Guards was black. The Turks didn’t like him and harassed him whenever he left the Consulate. Once, he, I and two other Marines went to a movie and after the movie, Turks went after him telling him that he ought to be in chains and for sale. The two white marines and I encircled him and got him back to the consulate safely. We filed an incident report and he was soon transferred away from that pit to a country where his life would be safer. There were two unmarried civilians assigned at Istanbul, a young black girl named Shirley and myself. We hung out together. There was nothing romantic. Black GI’s at a nearby military base didn’t like it and told Shirley that if she and I continued to be friends, I would get hurt. They wanted to get romantically involved with her. She was also subjected to harassment from the Turks. She resigned weeks later and returned to the USA.
When I was assigned to the Embassy in Belgium (1969-71), a black man was assigned to our all-white code room. He was a technician. He was well over six feet tall, was very dark complected and presented with a huge Afro haircut. He looked fierce. Within a few days, I was teamed up and working with him on an installation, and he slipped, stabbing himself in the hand with a screwdriver. We all say something when we hurt ourselves, and his comment was: “Gosh!” Not what one would expect from a big, fierce looking black man. He never got angry or swore. Asbury was a sweet, mild mannered Christian. He had brought a Corvette with a monster motor and was terribly frustrated when he drove (it was a frequent part of his job) to Frankfurt. While his Corvette would get to 100 miles per hour in three heartbeats, that was the top speed. I got a rear end with a different gear ratio and together, he and I spent a weekend upgrading his Corvette. He became a happy camper. He could venture onto the autobahn where he’d cruise at 110+ miles per hour in third gear and whenever he encountered a Porsche, he’d blow their doors off when he shifted into fourth gear at 130+ mph and smoked his tires. Our friendship continued after we were transferred to different locations. Whenever I was in Washington, D.C. we got together, and he often brought me to events where I was the only white person in attendance. A “token” white guest, I never felt threatened.
My next assignment was in the Central African Republic (CAR), a country the size of Texas where there were not more than 300 Caucasians. I had volunteered to go there.
I never had a racial problem with any of the Africans there and made several friends. At one point an embassy secretary had her purse stolen and when the local police asked her what the perpetrator looked like, her response was that to her, all Africans looked alike. She was of no help. Curious, I discussed this with an African friend and asked what we Caucasians looked like to Africans. His response: “White people all look like peeled bananas.”
We had a large Peace Corps presence in the CAR. Young, idealistic, black college graduates joined the Peace Corps to go to Africa to make a difference. The Africans did not always accept or appreciate them and many had a rough time.
Curious and caring about many things, I learned that within the Central African Republic there were disparate racial or cultural groups that occasionally erupted with communal riots and killings (and slave taking).
Within Africa there are many ethnic groups/tribes that are not homogeneous, and sometimes engage in unbelievable genocidal barbarity towards one another: Hamitic (Berber, Cushitic) + Semitic (Ethiopian, Arabic), Hausa (Chadic), Bantu, Ashante, Guinean” (Volta-Niger, Kwa, Kru), Western Bantoid” (Atlantic), Central Bantoid” (Gur, Senufo), Eastern Bantoid” (Southern Bantoid), Mande, Nilotic, Central Sudanic, Kanuri, Songhai, Sandawe + Hadza, Malayo-Polynesian (Malagasy), Indo-European (Afrikaaner), Khoikhoi, San. Within these groups there are cultural and religious or political groups such as Animists, Moslems, Christians, and others.
My thoughts, curiosity, and studies brought me to one conclusion: It’s the white man’s fault! As the Europeans colonized Africa, they drew boundaries on maps and divvied the continent up among themselves with zero thought or consideration as to the African people, their tribal, racial, and cultural boundaries, their belief systems, etc. The colonizing, exploitative Europeans didn’t give a whit about the local, the indigenous African people. The past seventy years since African emancipation from European rule have seen horrible excesses of Africans destroying millions of other Africans in places like Rwanda, Zaire (former Belgian Congo), Angola, Liberia, Mauritania, Nigeria, the Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, and other places.
Besides murder and mayhem, Africans are at the top of the list for slave taking with more than 500-million pitiful Africans being enslaved and sold off by fellow Africans every year. Moslems take the lead in this endeavor, capturing, herding, castrating males, and raping the females. The Prophet Mohammed charitably referred to Africans derogatorily as raisin heads.
China has replaced the Europeans as the principal exploiters of Africa’s resources. While the Europeans tried to educate Africans and provided life-saving nutrition and medications, the Communist Chinese are benignly neglectful allowing millions of Africans to simply die in order to eventually provide ‘lebensraum’ for Chinese Communist settlers (it’s happening already).
Asian racial and cultural bigotry exists. The Japanese look down on native Okinawans and on their own burakumin who live at the bottom of Japan’s social order. There are cultural differences on the Korean peninsula, and at least fourteen distinct racial or cultural groups in China. The majority Han Chinese are seriously engaged in eradicating the Moslem Uighurs with several million suffering and dying in concentration camps.
Dalits (untouchables) in India are treated horribly. To escape their plight, thousands convert to Christianity every year so that they can live better lives.
The Arab/Moslem conquest of the Indian subcontinent resulted in the complete eradication of millions of Buddhists from Afghanistan. More than fifty million Buddhists and Hindus in Pakistan and India were slaughtered by Moslems.
The native-American tribes of America regularly murdered and enslaved their neighbors.
The Jews are among the most enduringly persecuted people on earth. Jews were driven from their lands millennia ago. The ancient Egyptians enslaved Jews for centuries. The Romans were less than kind to Jews. Later, Mohammed determined that the Jews were to be eliminated from the earth. From the seventh century to the present, untold millions of Jews have suffered and died at the hands of Moslems. After the Moslems were expelled from Spain, Christendom went after the Jews. Hitler and the Germans murdered over six million Jews, and Russian Jews have suffered mistreatment and pogroms for centuries. The treatment of Jews is simply shameful with Christendom working with Islam to eradicate Jews from the earth. It won’t happen.
Repatriations: There is not a Caucasian alive in America who owned slaves. There is hardly a Moslem nation or community that does not (today) participate in slavery in one form or another.
For sixty of my 70+ years of life, America has almost regularly erupted with racial strife because of ignorant prejudices, I’ve watched Washington, DC burn, the Rodney King riots, other riots and now nationwide rioting because white cops have killed blacks. I ask myself why more blacks are not being hired, trained, and put into service as cops in communities nation-wide and if their presence in affirmatively maintaining law and order will reduce riots? Will people riot if a black cop kills a black criminal? Will people riot of a black cop kills a deserving white or brown thug?
Racism exists in all parts of the globe. Will that scourge ever end?
The outrageous murder of George Floyd by a racist white cop gave everyone with a grudge or political agenda reason to demonstrate or riot, causing millions in damage to innocent businesses and people. Will Floyd’s murder, Chauvin be put to death like the three white men who dragged James Byrd Jr. to death behind a truck in Texas in 1998? I hope so.
The worst of the rioting in the USA over the past fifty years has taken place where progressive Democratic Communist politicians rule the roost.
We Americans are doing a better job of blending than in just about any other part of the world. That is good. Within a few centuries, much of the earth’s blended population will likely have a coffee au lait complexion, wavy black hair, and will likely discriminate against one-another on the basis of eye color, shoe size or something else. The occasional birth of a Caucasoid baby will be treated as a prehistoric throwback.