The Time I Was Mistaken For A Black Man
One time in my life I was mistaken for a black man.
I once worked in the office of a black member of the Cincinnati City Council.
This did not sit well with right-wing bully Bill Cunningham at Cincinnati radio station WLW.
This is the same Bill Cunningham who made news not long ago at a John McCain rally leading up to the Ohio primary.
Mr. Cunningham and other WLW programmers encouraged listeners to call Councilman Yates and voice their displeasure about his views on Mrs. Schott’s comments.
We took many hundreds of calls.
Because of death threats our office received, a Cincinnati police officer was posted in our council office for three days.
One caller said to me that because of comments made by Mr. Yates and because I worked in his office, he was going to come to City Hall and “hang you by your black balls.”
I told the caller I was Italian.
He did not miss a beat. He said—”I’ll hang you by your spaghetti.”
Did the caller hate only black people or was he a hater in general? Likely it was a close call.
Often when a black person who speaks up, whether the comments are valid or not—and Tyrone’s comments were valid— that black person is demonized.
Forces of “respectable” conservatism sit back while the shock troops do the dirty work.
We see the pattern today with John McCain silent as Barack Obama is portrayed as some kind of militant. ( The burden is on any black politician to establish that he or she is not some kind of “militant.”)
We see this in my current hometown of Houston just this morning. The Houston Chronicle reports that Jeremiah Wright has canceled three planned sermons in Houston due to death threats.
Is it any wonder why many black folks, and people of all kinds, don’t see American society as fundamentally decent?