I grew up in the American South, but a Texan would tell you it was “North Texas.” For five years, our family of four lived in a small, 18-foot masonite travel trailer with no bathroom. My nickname in high school was a racial slur because I was born in New York and had only lived in Texas since I was 5. The local movie theater had a second entrance that just said “colored.”
I left for Vietnam in 1961, saw and experienced more racism in the Navy. I met a fine woman in San Diego, married her, and went to college on the GI Bill. With a master’s degree in social work, I worked for the California Youth Authority. I wanted to help young people who never had a chance. I helped some of California’s most troubled youths become responsible adults.
A few years ago I went back to Texas for my 50th reunion. A classmate told me the most jaded story of his view of President Obama’s birth parents. Racist on its face, he was quite proud to tell me. I found he was not alone. In these 50 passing years, I learned that not much had changed in Texas.
Now for calling the leader of the Free World a “sub-human mongrel,” Ted Nugent is a hero in these very same parts. Judging from letters I read in this paper, I fully suspect many here in Lodi laud his racist rant. But indeed he is anathema to enlightened thought. With his white supremacy claptrap, he has engendered and endeared himself to the true thoughts of all racists who lie just under the thin surface separating those who have decided it just isn’t seemly to be known as a racist from the neo-Nazis who would wear the jack boots and tramp around with weapons of racist suppression.
Nugent freely espousing this guile without responsible rebuke bodes ill for all who have respect for honest differences of any kind. There’s a very clear difference between those who hold his effluent dear from those who have informed, differences of opinion on the best way forward. Ted Nugent is as “un-American” as anyone else who believes, espouses, supports or remains silent about this brand of wretched vomitus!