My words on race got readers going
BY JOHN W. FOUNTAIN email@example.com November 21, 2012 3:46PM
Updated: December 23, 2012 6:36AM
In response to my Nov. 8 column, “Racism: the drunk we try to ignore,” a reader writes:
“Mr. Fountain, Shame you. …You have gone over the ledge, with your anticipation of ‘racism’ in the USA. I DO have great black friends & mentors. You have disgusted me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
My response: Wow, really? Shame on YOU!
How have I gone over the ledge? How have I so easily “disgusted” you? Moreover, why should I care? And finally, have you ever asked those “great black friends & mentors” to speak honestly and openly on their views about the existence of, and their life of, dealing with racism?
If you are so disgusted by what I wrote, I dare say, you might go berserk if they ever gave you the real lowdown.
Another reader writes: “Your article was very provoking. I wish I had a response but you are so true. I am an 81-year-old black female and still struggle with the issues of racism. … Thanks for always opening up those ‘kegs of worms.’ ”
My response: Perhaps one day we shall overcome. Thank you, dear mother.
From another reader: “You need a reality check, Brother Fountain. … It should be obvious that what you describe as an ongoing situation is not going to go away just because you harp on it…
“…BTW, is racism responsible for all the violence and murder going on in the streets of the inner city? I’m sure you’d say ‘yes’ because this provides grist for your mill and material for another column.
“Needless to say, I’m a pragmatist. I’m also a 79-year-old black woman who voted for Obama. ... I have lived through the progression and regression of the black struggle and can only conclude that the more things change, the more they become the same. Such is life.”
My response: Ignoring racism isn’t the answer either. No one can save us from us but us. I remain an optimist. Amen.
A reader: “As an African-American man who is a son, an uncle and an educator, the writing spoke directly and succinctly to me.
“Within the last year of teaching college students, I have been labeled, ‘a race baiter’; ‘a racist’ with the admonition that being a racist goes both ways,” the reader writes further, adding that those students fail to understand “that a form of longitudinal, systematic power accompanies the label of being a ‘racist.’
“I have had students place a stuffed animal black monkey on their desks, call my name so that I could look at them moving the stuffed animal’s arms as if it were waving at me…
“Still I press on.”
My response: Keep the faith, my brother.
A reader: “Black people need to get a grip on reality and stop hobbling around on decades old crutches. … The fact is that today the most discriminated-against person in our society is the middle-aged white man.”
My response: Bwaaaahahahahahaha! Woo-oo-oooo! Now, that’s funny. Lord, hammercy! ROFLMBO (rolling on floor laughing my butt off)!
Another reader: “My parents are both Holocaust survivors because they are Jewish, and they do not have race chips on their shoulders ... how long ago was slavery? Or Jim Crow?”
My response: We too, as African Americans, must never forget.
A reader: “Your column today is total baloney. Racism, give me a break. Here are your problems: 1. When fat black women have 5 kids and I don’t have to pay for them, racism will stop. …”
My response: The real No. 1 for when racism will stop: When racist bigots like you either change their hearts and minds, or simply die off.
Peace out, dude.