Which terrorists?

I grew up in Los Angeles California, son of parents from New England. The word racist probably best describes them. Blacks (of course we didn't call them blacks then), Jews, Japanese, Mexicans, ... -- it didn't much matter -- were bad and those who appeared to be like my parents -- white -- were good. We moved to a suburb before I was headed to junior high because "there were black kids in the junior high".

The fact that I live where most people are brown would probably seriously scare my parents if they were still on the planet. The only issues I have had with these folks is that most speak a language that is more popular than English as a first language and I have had to learn it. They still speak it better but we communicate fine now.

While there are still people that have problems with blacks, Jews, Mexicans, ... the new problem seems to be Muslims. We continually hear about reasons to spend tens of billions of dollars a year to protect ourselves from this group. Is that rational?

An Alternet article titled Americans Are More Likely to Be Killed by Right-Wing Terrorists Than Muslims—But the Media's Afraid to Say It certainly indicates that no is the answer.

When Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) labeled cattle rancher and right-wing extremist Cliven Bundy a “domestic terrorist,” the far Right went into an apoplectic state. But the Senate majority leader may have unwittingly stumbled upon an interesting and sobering fact: that when it comes to domestic terrorism, you are far more likely to be murdered by a far Right-wing American than a Muslim American, but the term “terrorist” remains reserved exclusively for acts of political violence carried out by Muslims.

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I grew up in L.A. during the same period

and always found that the most viscous racists were to be found among the blacks. While white opinions were certainly a mixed bag, it was the good will of most whites that made L.A. the mess it is today.

Terrorism? You ever see the riots in L.A., or the gangs and drug dealers? The 911 crowd were headline grabbing beginners in the world of terror.

My grandmother disliked blacks. A benevolent person, she never dwelt on the subject. Maybe growing up in Hoover/Alvarado gave her reasons after seeing a great old neighborhood go downhill. Her best friend was from the Phillipines, and she was close to the Canadian family and the ''German'' lady down the street. She referred to the Mexicans across the street as Spanish. My grandmother seemed to have a biggest dislike for Okies, the scourge of 1930s L.A.

My parents both worked for Jews most of the time I was growing up, my stepfathers backpacking buddy was Mexican, and or neighborhood was half Japanese, which suited us fine.

``Socialism works fine until you run out of other peoples` money``

Margaret Thatcher

I find a day with Gringos is a day without bigotry

…except for mine against the sorts of people who drift into a foreign country and expect it to be about them.

Racist rarely think of themselves as racist -- they're just going on reality as they see it. The human capacity for delusion is infinite.

Your grandmother was a bigot against anyone who'd been economically crapped on elsewhere.

I had racist students at Albany, and I knew that they'd just start lying to me if I called them on it. I also had a black student who almost freaked out at my southern accent (first time in front of a class, it got really stronger out of sheer nervousness. Talked to her and confirmed that indeed she was facing racists but that I didn't think I was her problem.

Sometimes, that's all the comfort that one can give, being the white eyes that see the same problem that the black student wishes wasn't there.

Interesting to take the unconscious biases test and find out that I least of all trusted Orientals. I think at my age, I'll just not try teaching English as a second language in China. Might get better if I actually spent time with Chinese people, but I trust blacks and Hispanics more than whites by a slight margin.

The problem we had on Mott Street was that the black criminal, a guy named Chico (not Hispanic), played the whites and the blacks against each other. Told the blacks the white people were for him; told some of the more gullible whites that he was the leader of the black community there. Because I didn't see all blacks as alike, either as victims or as bad guys, I didn't buy this and did my best to run him out. Cops kept him in their precinct. Then my decent black neighbors told me what they thought of whites who sentimentalized black hoodlums, who preyed more on their own race than on any white people. And I knew white people like that, which is as demeaning to blacks as the more virulent bigotry like yours and your grandmothers.

A retired black (mulatto and probably a Hairston of the mixed blood) woman homicide cop from New York told me that the precinct I'd lived in was corrupt. And often some of the corruption is being sure that nobody in that community minds the drug dealing, the open prostitution, the intimidations, and all that. People in those community, the majority, do mind dreadfully about the crime and the police corruption that tolerates it, and says to the people reporting it, "Lady, do you know that for a fact."

Friend of mine lived in a Minneapolis black ghetto (tenure track faculty at U of Minnesota, so saving money) and said that when one of her black neighbors tried to report a hit and run driver who'd damaged his car as well as hers, she was treated reasonably, but the cops were insolent to the black man.

So the bent cops aren't on the side of the law-abiding in some neighborhoods -- except for dog bites. They'd come fast for those, but would check with their buddy the after-hours bar keeper and dealer in stolen goods if I reported anyone suspicious in the building. And I was white.

And not all cops are bent, but Sixth Precinct in Manhattan was.

So that neighborhood, like many others, got block busted in reverse, with the students from Yale and Columbia being the pioneers, and now it's white and Chinese.

Racism, still there and still killing people. Odd thing is with the recent shooting, if a black kid had posted that video, he'd have been in jail or the morgue before he got in his BMW, if he'd had a BMW, and murdered people because he was sure other people were having more fun than he was. Cops apparently interviewed him and decided he was charming.

Racism never believes it's being racist, or that there was anything wrong in ignoring the black women trying to tell the cops not to hand a Vietnamese victim over to Jeffery Dahlmer. The cops who did that didn't even get fired.

Rebecca Brown