(Article/Essay - on American Racism)
(Article/Essay - on American Racism)
Don't fear my friends, this is something everyone should read.
Recently, I wrote something to inspire Mr. XXXXX to question whether I am a racist or not. Mr. XXXXX is a fellow poet that sent me a message to say that I shouldn't let what a few people did to me poison my mind against all people of that race. I am Black and Mr. X is White.
We both have had very bad experiences with each others races. I really do need to explain that I definitely do not hate white people or any other race for that matter.
My name is Jimmy L. Holder and I am a survivor of hate crimes. I've lost my family, been burned, been mutilated four times, almost blinded, tortured for years and humiliated in every possible way and denied basic liberties like medical care and simple human dignity and made to live in a hostile environment. This article discusses how this came about in America. Let me tell you up front, I've never done a dishonorable thing in my life. I don't lie and I don't steal. I don't take what is not mine to take. I am a former Air Force captain with an outstanding record and 11 years of outstanding service. I have a daughter, a son, a grandchild, a brother, three sisters, and a mother still living. I have many cousins and many other relatives.
In fact, when I was burned, a white man from Missouri saved my life. Other whites have kept me alive -- mostly white, black and Hispanic doctors and many nurses. Many people of all colors cared for me in the hospital including many young white men. My article is really about the behaviors and actions of people in the United States. Yes, I pick on my beautiful home state of Texas and Nebraska specifically, but the truth is it could have been any of several other states.
By the way, I am not writing this article to make anyone feel guilty. Guilt gets no one anywhere. Rather, I write this article to inform and suggest a "positive" course of action. For me, to get you to understand what I have been though, how I feel, what I think. I will site several examples and reveal several facts. Look at it this way, how often do you get to look into the mind and motivations of a tortured man.
I must admit, I wonder whether it would be easier for me to write several poems, a collection, to explain this difficult topic. I am poet, after all. I don't know. I’ll try not to over generalize, but that will be difficult. I will definitely speculate and explain why I believe certain things happened.
Yes, below I used these examples to inform you how bad my treatment has been. My goal -- to stop the senseless mutilation of Black men In America.
Yes, I know it is a lofty goal, but I know the good people of America can improve things. I have found out over these last two decades, just how strong your "Collective Voice" is. If used correctly, it can move mountains.
The examples I site of cruelty are not of one specific race, nor state. They cover all races and many states. Kindness and cruelty have no colors.
I am definitely not a racist and I pray I will write this article clearly so all will know that. I am a humanitarian for all peoples. When I read Mr. XXXXX’s response, I was please. He was suggesting for me not to let the bad experiences I had "ruin" my outlook on life.
My article is an attempt to bring to light a very bad situation I have been experiencing for almost two decades. Hopefully, it will educate most Americans on the sins of racism today. I honestly believe if Americans know what has happened to me they will be both surprised and outraged at how far these abuses and cruelty have gone.
Please bear with me, I will make many mistakes while writing this. You may even get angry from time to time. Again, I write this to inform.
I know this article about my life will inspire many questions. In fact, I ask several question myself below. I am sure other will have many questions too.
Be aware, if I keep expanding this article, it will quickly become a book. Perhaps even several books. I’m trying to give you a broad overview of what happened over the course of many years. Having said that, I will attempt to clarify where possible.
You should ask questions too. If you don't, then perhaps I need to rewrite my article. People need to know why and how something like this can happen today in America.
I believe in truth, justice and fair play and I am sure most Americans feel the same. That's why what I write below should bother you. If you have never been exposed to racism, you are fortunate. This article will bother you tremendously. Along the way, all races have helped me stay alive in and out of the hospital. By the way, I was in the hospital for seven months. I should have stayed eight, but I had to get away from there. I was in a coma for about 2 months and the burn unit for approximately three months. After that I went to a VA hospital near my home for four months. Before being burned I weighed 210 pounds. After, 145 pounds. I was in great physical shape, and, I am told that if I hadn't been, I would have surely died. In fact, a male nurse in the burn unit told me they revived me several times.
While you are reading this -- please pretend it is happening to you (regardless of race). Are you sure it couldn't? Or hasn't happened to someone of your race? Perhaps, it is happening to your son, brother, cousin, friend, or God forbid, your daughter. Can't happen you say -- why not? Read carefully below!
A Letter to Mr. XXXXXX
Yes, Mr. XXXXX, I totally believe you are not a racist!
I don't hate white people, I suspect I'm a lot like you, I hate evil people.
I am a Christian man. I love all people "regardless of skin color" which, by the way, doesn’t measure "the content of a man’s heart!"
I was burned in a terrible car fire in 1998 as a result of being stalked by white supremacists in Nebraska where I was originally stationed with the Air Force. I was an Air Force Captain with a "Outstanding" record. Yes, it was a racial hate campaign that resulted in me being burned. These were organized middle American whites, mostly middle aged white businessmen that started this disgrace, they were trying to put me in my place -- where they believed I should be on the social ladder. I was told by a young white man that I was too close to their dream, yes, of finding the American dream of success, a good home, a lovely wife, good kids, etc. I lived in Nebraska with my white German wife and —"half white" kids.
They hunted me like an animal by harassing me on the job, changing my work to make me look bad, giving me assignments without the proper resources to complete them, sabotaging my PC with viruses, putting me in embarrassing positions at work, deleting my work and many more clever tricks were used.
They spread a rumor that I was a slob to give people justification for stalking me. Let me cut to the chase. This is totally ridiculous. I wasn't. Even if I was, would that justify stalking? No - it would not! Would it justify harassment? No - it would not. They said I was gay - I had been married and raising a family for over 10 years at this point. It sure was a surprise to my wife, "me" and ever single soul who had ever known me. Ridiculous. Even if I were gay, would it justify mutilation? What do these puritans have against gay folk anyway? Shameful!
I am not telling my whole life's story, just a few facts so you will "know" how I felt. I believe they also ended my military career prematurely by putting me in non-promo table jobs. Once I was out of the military, I worked for several defense contractors. This is where the trouble increased. I believed they not only harassed me on the job, but also gave me bad references when
I tried to get a job in different locations. I was a computer programmer and a very good one. Some even believe I was gifted at programming mainframe (big) computers. A lot of accidents were happening to me: while I was at a dentist's office the x-ray technician let the x-ray slip and it ended up near my eyes when she snapped it.
Remember, at the time I was a naive young man. Something told me to close my eyes and now I wonder if she was not trying to blind me. Once when my ex-wife and I were at Bluffs Run an Iowa dog racing track converted into a casino in Iowa, a floor worker pushing a money cart ran over my left foot. At the time I thought it was an accident but later it started hurting. Then I went to my doctor in Omaha and they said nothing was wrong. I could not get any help. I knew something was wrong because whenever it got cold my foot hurt on the top. Was it an accident? Later, In the hospital burn unit, I got foot drop (I couldn't lift my toes on that foot) in that very foot.
Mr. XXXXX, I can readily see you are a good man, but Black, Hispanic, and White, each race separately, have done much more evil to me than you can possibly imagine.
I had just today came from church where I and my sweet girlfriend were orally assaulted my the minister, his wife and his staff. This is how it went. A woman came over to welcome us. She asked was it our first time. No, we had come to the Tuesday night meeting. She asked our names and we told her our first names: Jimmy and Loretta. So she asked our last names. Red flags went up in my mind and I didn’t say anything. My girlfriend told her our last names and that we were engaged. I heard her tell the young man sitting next to me I was a "loser," "freak" - I was stunned. Soon, a Black woman wearing a white jacket stood by the front door. We were sitting in the last row and to the right. Soon, this woman, the usher, was repeating "the loser" statement.
As the preacher began to preach, I soon learned the woman who had come back to talk to us was the preacher's wife. The preacher began to preach on boyfriend/girlfriend relationships and TRUTH and I assumed he was addressing the whole church, not just us. So much for assumptions! By this time, my girl friend was furious and ready to go. I wanted to hear what he said on truth. So we stayed a few minutes more. Basically, he said: some people see what they want to see, and don't see the real truth. I can't disagree, but I would suggest he see his own evil heart. My girlfriend said he also talked about all the women he had known and had babies with. That was more than enough. They, the leaders of the church, had singled us out. Singling us out and preaching love -- no problem. Singling us out and preaching whatever it was they were preaching -- big problem. We left.
I can tell you this about truth, it scares some people. Sometimes, they refuse to believe it because sometimes it is too much or too terrible for their minds to handle. I mean cold hard facts can be right in front of a person and they will still flatly refuse to believe it. But when let a person discovers the truth they have been blinded to, they will always remember the lesson that blinded them to the truth. To me people will still attempt to justify their wrong doings even when the facts are presented to keep the blame off themselves. But most people, those with a heart, will feel bad for the evil things they have done because they used bad information or someone deceived them into thinking something bad about a good person. Yes, I am such a case. I believe many people here and in Nebraska were tricked into believing I was the bad guy even though the evidence indicated otherwise. Many were just too frightened to say anything.
After they burgeoned my hands off in Missouri (where I was just passing through) as I was trying to leave Nebraska and come back to my home state of Texas. I was leaving Nebraska because I had been harassed on many jobs and my life had been threatened. At this point I had gone through many years of systematic harassment. I couldn't get a job out of state though my references and it was clear, I had no future in Nebraska. My wife and I had been under tremendous stress through all of this and our marriage was breaking up. It was an unimaginably horrible time. Let me break with the facts here to say this: "You must understand, they were using my family as a tool too. Let me explain, They had spread the word that I was a trouble maker. See how that works? They were effectively ruining my credibility everywhere.
Why not just leave? I had a family and not much money. Bills. That's why I was trying to get a job out of state. I needed references to do that. At some point I could see I was being trapped in Nebraska, and decided to leave. Why stay? My wife? No that appeared to be over. My daughter obviously would be better with my wife under the circumstances. I was in a tight fix. I left thinking I could get help from my family in Texas. Note, I waited too late. Things were in grave shape by then. I had worked everywhere trying to keep my family fed. No job was too low -- cleaning houses with my wife for my landlord, cleaning a bank, cleaning cow dung for the city of Omaha?
Huge mistake. I underestimated the Puritans and their influence. I should have went to the East or West coast. Yes, I was confused, angry, upset. Keep in mind that I had left for seven months and come to Texas before. That's right. I had. I had worked for several companies. Yes, I was being hunted in Texas. They had actually followed me.
The whites here, and everywhere, the new Klan, which I call The American Gestapo, told the Blacks here to "break me" or "someone would shoot me." By this time in the hunt, they were "in your face aggressive". Well, I guess I am a dead man -- cause no one will ever break me. By breaking, they meant break my spirits in the same way cowboys used to break wild horses in the cowboy days. You have to ride (torture) them until they give up trying to throw the cowboy off. In my case, they were to ride me until I give up trying to defend myself. Once broken, they can do anything to the man and he will take it without objection. In effect, they were frightening people into torturing me. In effect, they were making good people do their dirty work for them. Of course, it was open season for all bad people who like hunting a man -- ("A BRILLIANT TACTIC TO DIVERT ATTENTION FROM THEIR OWN GUILT AND MAKE A GAME OF HUNTING A MAN") -- I always say, "Hunting a man is the greatest joy anyone can experience, except, maybe, of course, child birth."
This tactic is so brilliant because everyone who is hunting me, regardless of why, will hate me if they don’t get me. Creating a hostile environment - very clever.
They justified their hunt with a lie -- he's talking bad about us (hello Hitler fans -- why would I possibly talk bad about THEM if I had no knowledge of them)? HE WILL WRITE A BOOK ABOUT US! A VERY GOOD LIE TO INCITE HATRED. WELL, MAYBE THEY ARE RIGHT HERE - MAYBE I SHOULD WRITE A BOOK. Why shouldn't I mark them down in history, they stole my family and career?
They even have a game of trying to get me to lie on myself. It’s outrageous. This is how it works: someone white that I meet will ask how I got burned. I guess, they want me to say what ever -- lie: it was an accident or suicide. Another whopper of a lie since I don't believe in suicide! Perhaps also, they want me to relive what happened thinking it is painful. Many whites have asked me this. They have it down pat. I know what you are thinking, They are just curious. No, it is an attempt for them to see if they have tamed me. It’s the way they do it that is so insulting. It is so obvious. Why on earth would I lie on myself. Sometimes, I just come right out and say I was butchered. You should see the looks on their faces - it's a look of intense pain like they are in physical; pain (I call it guilt).
Yes, Mr. XXXXX, we are masters of our own faith, and we are captains of our souls -- black as the pit from pole to pole may be (yes, Mr. XXXXX - I know "Invictus by William Ernest Henley" -- its one of my three favorite poems along with Psalms 23 and High Flight!
Do I hold on to my hurt? No, Mr. XXXXX I don't. I know better. But, I am pursued by race traders and cowards who refuse to let me live in peace. By race traders I mean those Blacks who pursue me and don’t care how innocent I may be. All they care about is the fact that they look bad because they can’t tame me. They are the people who will do anything, sacrifice me or anyone else to make brownie points with the white people down here who run stuff. Hell, they try to please just regular everyday whites here. I want to scream. Equal? Not in their minds.
I'll bet over 50 million Americans know I have been butchered and tortured and continue to be and do nothing. That is what I am referring to!
Truth is I was singled out in Nebraska and pursued by white America (using other races) to hide crimes started by old white men! I know!
I was there! I live it every day -- hate and more hate.
Its about power and truth, Mr. XXXXX. The people with the power don't want the truth to emerge. I was told by a very well educated woman on AD that it would not be good for America for my story to come out! How can we let the world know we butchered another Texas Black man in the same year as James Bird, Jr.?
So a lot of America has chosen to lie on my name and torture me instead! Why? To suppress what has happened. Keep in mind, this had nothing to do with Texas. They didn’t even want me going outside, and at first refused me a drivers license. Texas DPS said my name wasn’t in the data base. Later, when rumor of my torture were known, I walked in, took the test and got my license. No mention of my not being in the data base came up. See how that works. By the way,. I use a, special device on the steering column called a tetra grip. When I first tried to find one, I searched every where in America using the internet and asking local therapist. No one knew of this device. Finally, I found one in a foreign country. Simply, I put my whole hand in it and thus can easily move the steering wheel.
How would you like someone standing outside your door 24/7 taunting (for years), going through your mail, etc. Teasing and making fun of you relentlessly for years. Doing without a woman for over three years. Keep in mind, they try to isolate you to break you. If a woman is interested in you, she is scared away. I saw is several times. Even the families don’t want you to have one. This is a key point. If I go to a working girl, you are a bad guy. Keep in mind, my Texas Blacks are simple folks who don’t know of Hitler and his cruel regime. Here they had a chance to play God with me. It is a power thing. Some of the Blacks, whites, and other races have been convinced they are "helping" me. All like the perceived power.
Last night, my mother, girl friend and I went to the grocery store to buy my mother some food. The H.E.B. food store we went to is near Baylor University. There are Black, Whites and several Mexican-Americans in the store. What do I hear? Yes, you got it -- "We got this" meaning they broke me? And of course, "we already broke you" from several young men. There are the sly, cowardly smiles and much more.
In the store were two college girls. They stopped to stare and then started laughing. Guess its funny that I was butchered. Wonder what all these children would say if I wore a Baylor University sweat shirt, after all, I graduated there in 1981.
There are always the smiles -- even when I am driving, people point and stare. I was in the local store right down from my apartment and there were two young white men, yes, they stared giggling like little bitches at my injuries - the young Black man at the register was very considerate and didn’t like it - he took my money out of my bank envelope - put my pint of ice cream in a bag so I could carry it, put my change in the red zip up case I always carry to make it easy on me to carry things. In short, he kept me and my severely burned hands from the struggle of handling change. Normally, I always curse these people out, but his kindness surprised me. Yes, perhaps, there are still those people in this world who are kind and considerate. Glad I didn’t have to fight these two big 30 year old boys. Need I go on? Yes, I do! In church, the preacher's wife called me a loser -- it was open taunting -- terrible for a church and my girlfriend kept me from cursing them right there in church. You should have seen the looks on their faces. It was a holiness church, so I told my mother a very religious person about it -- my oldest sister was there (a devout Christian and also a Church of God and Christ member), they both were outraged. My mother, said I should have told them off. WoW!
The constant taunting -- "You‘re going down" (one of the constant taunts from the Obsession-nists), "Nobody will want you," "He won’t get one?" (I assume a job - this one takes pure genius … or since I hear it at BINGO a lot are they saying I won‘t get a BINGO [are they actually advertising that they are cheating me?]), "we got you", "we broke you", "loser", "freak", "That - (I‘m actually being referred to as "that") "we’ll destroy him", "no body will want that (can‘t get a job or anything else anywhere in America - (maybe I‘ll leave America and show the rest of the world my hands - so much for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, eh!)", we’ll destroy him up "there" (up north I assume- wow, I’m honored - a nationwide hunt), "we’ll clown him down", "we‘ll ruin him down", "we FRAMED him - If millions of people know is that a frame - I guess so", THEY got ‘that’ SET UP - "WOW MUST BE NICE TO GANGBANG AN INNOCENT BLACK MAN WITH IMPUNITY"), "we HAD TO destroy him down" -- (wow somebody had to butcher a black man -- hello Hitler), etc., you get the picture. By the way, here's my favorite -- "we're tired of torturing him! -- ["thank God for Americans without "true grit or honor"!] I’m of course, being facetious.
Oh! I almost forgot an important one -- "Nobody will respect you!" WoW - Blacks hunting a Black man that white men are really trying to MURDER on the sly, saying I won’t get respect. I know what you are thinking, they have no respect for themselves! Right? Stalking - a national pastime. Mutilation of a man’s hands -- the new way of putting Black educated men with pretty white wives down (in a grave, inane, or incapacitated)?
I’m challenged too by whites and blacks. They actually think this constant taunting and bullying will change me! Its brainwashing -- plain and simple -- guess what? -- yes, I am offended, after all, I don't have a weak mind and it is AN INSULT to me to use such weak tactics! Wow - this driving a sane man insane can be nasty business. More examples? Good, because I know you want them and I definitely have them. Did I mention many people ignore me as if I am not in the room, or some have tried - I corrected them?
One physical therapist actually told me about another therapist who had a knee operation that I needed at the VA in Temple Texas and I was ignored! Positive denial, yes, just deny your crimes and therefore they don't exist. Puritan attitude? Or national attitude?
Did I mention the questions that I have, like: If this hunt began in Nebraska - why am I being hunted in Texas? Where is the federal government in all this? Where are the good Americans? Where are our Black leaders? Does America need a black man to "whip on" forever? Can't they find a bad Black man to beat on -- preferably one with hands? My favorite question -- if not a single Hispanic and only a few Blacks hunted me in Nebraska, why are so many Blacks and Hispanics hunting/hating me here?
If they have so much power, why did they have to butcher me (why didn't they just say -- "We singled you out to show our power, we don‘t want you to hold any job where you can feed your family, we don‘t want you to work in America or have any dignity at all?
It won’t make a difference - I AM A MAN! I KNOW MY VALUE - ITS THE SAME AS YOU (AND ALL CHILDREN OF GOD!) There’s nothing wrong with a Black man having confidence.
But it has gotten messy -- very, messy because this 250 pound black man had enough. Yes, I was 145 pounds. I grew and told my Black folk I wouldn't take it anymore.
Yeah, they challenged me but I explained it in their own language of brutality.
And yes, I have looked into the eyes of the beast and NOT become the beast.
They stole from me -- its outrageous - Whites and Blacks. I mean they actually stole from me. Is America's system of putting Black, men down and open door for brutality and domestic terrorism -- yes it is. I'm living proof.
Someone Black actually stole my credit card and ran it up. Someone in a Texas bank put unusually high interest fees on me and ran the few dollars I had in there to nothing. I was in the hospital fighting for my life at the time. There are many ways to steal, not just money. Sure if you take a man’s car without permission you are stealing, but there are subtle ways of stealing also. Like trying to discredit a man so you can steal everything "material:" he has. That’s stealing too. So much for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. So much for the American dream.
You are not actually going to make me list examples are you? I warn you, don’t get me started! Do you know how I got through college. I worked my way through with an ROTC scholarship. The scholarship wasn’t enough so I worked almost every day averaging 36 hours a week while pursuing a degree in computer science. There was one time I was so tired, I fell asleep standing against a wall. I graduated in 4 years and one extra summer. I earned it and to have racists want to randomly single me out and throw away accomplishments, well, it's just UN-American! Disgraceful! Am I to be a sacrifice for every one in America: white, black, yellow, brown, and red? I won’t!
Imagine this. You are a man working at a job to support your wife and two children. Soon, unusual things begin to happen to you. You have no idea why. Soon, people at work and then in your community start to act strangely toward you. Some even look at you in a sympathetic way. You don’t know why. You are being alienated from everyone and everything. You try to leave and get a job in a different state because you see no future where you are. No one responds to your resumes which should ordinarily get many replies.
You leave the state you have lived in for twelve years and go back to your home state. You leave your family and try to make a new started. Everyone is treating you cold, including your family and you don’t know why. Finally, you get a few job counterviews and find on one job after another, it was an setup. Seven months have passed and you haven’t seen your wife and family. You are losing weight because you are eating one meal a day and sending most of your money home to keep your family afloat. Now imagine you are a white man or woman being stalked all throughout America by big business. Now imagine that someone had you stalked because they wanted your spouse.
Well, I hope you get the idea. I selected a few examples of my inhumane harassment so you can get an idea of racial hate. There are many, many more I am sad to say. Its nothing personal against the white race. My disappointment is directed at those who would use their whiteness to say I'm of lesser value than they simply because their skin is white.
Many people wanted to think I did something wrong. I did not. Ask me a specific question, I'll tell you no lies.
Americans need to check themselves: I was telling some folks in England and Australia about my troubles and each one of these people believed my story and were not surprised at the abuse. That's a shame.
My war will never end.
by William Ernest Henley; 1849-1903
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.