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Growing up With Blacks Made Me Racist


“I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”

I’m not going to claim that I have been totally 1488 from day one or that I came goose-stepping out of the womb. But I think I have always been instinctively and intuitively a race realist. Or at least, I have been since around the age of 8. The first black person I ever met was this kid named Scooter when I was in kindergarten. This would have been in the early 80s.

Scooter wasn’t his real name. It was a nickname whose origin was shrouded in mystery. It was what his family called him and what he preferred to be called over his real name, which was one of those newfangled exotic black names. Scooter was the only black kid in my grade and one of maybe 6 black kids in my otherwise entirely white elementary school. His dad was a doctor and his family was loaded.

Scooter was on my soccer team. He was a genuinely nice kid and well-liked by everyone. A real credit to his race. If anything, all the white kids were intensely fascinated by him. Before Scooter, most of us had only ever seen black people on TV, and seeing one in real life was something new. We knew little about blacks, but we knew that they tended to be good at sports and so we hoped that having a genuine black person on our team might give us some kind of edge over the competition. Scooter would be our secret weapon. It didn’t turn out like that. Scooter was not a significantly better athlete than the rest of us and we lost every game that year.

I was briefly friends with Scooter and went to his house once. Very nice place, and his collection of Star Wars toys dwarfed even mine. However, while we were in the same grade, we ended up in different classes, and so we quickly drifted apart through no fault on either side.

My first impression of blacks was, therefore, actually quite positive. Had I remained in that sleepy little Kansas town where my interactions with blacks were limited to the middle-class children of talented 10ths, my worldview today might be very different than it is now. But at the end of 2nd grade, something happened that would change my life forever. My dad sat us down and told us that he had been transferred at his job and we were all moving to St. Louis. The next three years would radically and irreversibly change my perspective on race and I would never be the same again.

Let’s talk about desegregation bussing.

Once upon a time, American schools were racially segregated. But then segregation ended, and black kids were allowed to start going to the white schools. There was a lot of hope that if the black kids could learn around the white kids at the “good schools” with the “good teachers,” maybe the white people’s good habits would rub off on the black kids. Well, the joke was on them! Once the blacks started going to white schools, white flight kicked in, and within a few years, all the schools de facto segregated again.

So their solution to the problem was desegregation bussing. If whites were going to run from the black kids, well, they were just gonna bring the black kids to them. So they started bussing “underprivileged” black children from the war-torn ghettos out to the lily-white suburbs. In some cities, the opposite also occurred: in addition to bussing black kids to white schools, they also bussed unlucky random white kids out to inner-city schools so they could serve as role models for the black kids there. In some cities this was compulsory, a deeply unpopular practice called “forced bussing.”

In other places, it was voluntary and blacks would apply for this bussing program. This was the case in St. Louis, and they were mostly bussing black kids to white schools. A much smaller number of white kids went in the other direction to magnet schools. St. Louis only got around to ending the bussing program a couple of years ago.

This was supposed to have two effects. The blacks were supposed to pick up good habits from the white kids but they also expected the white kids, upon meeting the black youths, to quickly learn that we weren’t all that different after all and this would totally BTFO racism. Now, I don’t know about any other school. But my school? That. Did. Not. Happen.

If you were trying to create a government program for the specific purpose of turning white kids racist, I don’t think you could come up with a much better idea than desegregation bussing. If they had sat all us white kids down and forced us to watch an hour of Jared Taylor videos every day, I don’t think we would have ended up as racist as we actually did.

Now, the blacks in St. Louis are particularly vicious and dysfunctional, even by black standards. Everyone in St. Louis is at least somewhat redpilled on blacks. That’s not to say everyone in St. Louis is “based” or “racist.” But everyone in St. Louis knows that there are certain parts of town you don’t go to, because if you do, there is a very good chance you will be killed. By blacks. No one is under any illusions about that. People joke about it. Particularly East St. Louis. Ice Cube once wrote a song about the blacks in St. Louis.

Granted, everyone probably thinks that about their blacks. I’m sure plenty of people will read the paragraph above and think “Oh, you think the blacks in St. Louis are bad? You should come to Detroit/New Orleans/Baltimore/Little Rock/Dallas. The blacks we have here are really fucked up!”

Even black people themselves do this. I mean, what were the 1990s coastal rap wars if not a bunch of blacks from New York and a bunch of blacks from Los Angeles arguing with each other about who was more violent, criminal, and nihilistic than who?

“I used to sell crack on the street corners of Brooklyn and I would murder anyone who tried to move in on my turf!”

“Oh yeah? Well, out here in Los Angeles, I was in the Crips and we used to do drive-by shootings of people just for wearing the wrong color bandana!”

“I used to do armed robbery!”

“I used to pimp hoez!”

“I used to pimp hoez and then armed robbery them!”

“I used to pimp hoez, armed robbery them, and then kill them!”

Everyone thinks they have the worst blacks. In a way, they are all right. But St. Louis can make a serious claim to having worse-than-average blacks. East St. Louis (which is technically across the river in Illinois) regularly shows up in Worst Cities in America lists. It ranks supreme as the most dangerous city to live in. If you are driving through East St. Louis at night and your car breaks down, you had best start praying because there is a good chance you will not live to see daylight again. Forget foxholes. There are no atheists in East St. Louis.

View of the Gateway Arch from East St. Louis.

When I strolled into my first day of class in 3rd grade, I was somewhat apprehensive, being a new kid. All the other kids knew each other from having gone to school together from K-2. Would I seem strange to them? Well, I didn’t need to worry. For as strange and alien as I may have been, I could not possibly have seemed as strange and alien as the other new kids. There were about 6 other black kids in my class (about 20 in my grade) who had been bussed in from the inner city, and it didn’t take long for me to realize these kids were nothing like Scooter back in Kansas. These kids were absolutely feral. Maybe if someone had adopted them as infants and raised them, things might have been different. But even by age 8, the ghetto seemed hardwired into them and there was no hope of whitening them up.

For one, they spoke this strange, broken English, and used slang that I had never heard before. Now, a lot of blacks are bilingual. They might “talk black” at home and among friends, but when they need to (say, during a job interview or a police encounter), they can flip a switch and “talk white” with varying degrees of success. But a high percentage of St. Louis blacks are monolingual. They can only speak black. I’ve always found monolingual blacks puzzling. You would think that they would at least be able to pick some stuff up off TV.

I remember that some of us white kids would start laughing when the black kids would talk. In hindsight, that seems rather rude of us, but we couldn’t help it. We had never heard anyone talk like that before. This was in the days before gangsta rap brought ghetto speak to the suburbs. I had heard “jive” before in movies, particularly in the movie Airplane. But jive was kind of charming and had an endearing rhythmic quality. This was completely different. It was more guttural and their accents were so thick as to be almost unintelligible.

I remember one time, this kid Deanton threatened violence against one of the kids in my group of friends. He said “I’ll steal you ‘cross your head, boy!” But rather than feeling intimidated or threatened, we all busted out laughing. We had no idea what “steal you ‘cross your head” even meant, but it sounded funny. It seems like a very silly way to threaten someone. I’m sure where he came from, “I steal you ‘cross your head” came off with an air of foreboding. But out in the suburbs, threatening to “steal someone across their head” sounded to us like a comically absurd word salad.

There were, as you would expect, constant classroom distractions. We became very familiar with the “dindu nuffin’” meme. The black kids would be doing something that they weren’t supposed to be doing, the teacher would call them out on it (“Deanton, you’re pulling on that girl’s hair!”), to which he would respond “No, I ain’t! I wasn’t doin’ nuttin!” They were quick to anger and unpredictable. They got into fights, but thankfully no one really has enough upper body strength to cause that much bodily harm to anyone else at age 8.

But what was most painfully obvious to everyone was that the blacks were clearly not as smart as the white kids. It took them longer to learn every lesson. Sometimes, the teacher would have to sit down with one of the black kids for an extra half an hour to help them learn the lesson we learned in 10 minutes. It held the whole class up. Just having these kids around slowed the rest of us white kids down, and I’m sure being around us white kids made the black kids feel insecure and dumb.

All the white kids started to deeply resent having the black kids around. The white girls didn’t seem to get along with the undainty black girls any better than the white boys got along with the black boys. Every once in a while, an outcast white would buddy up with an outcast black, but for the most part, little socializing occurred between us. We didn’t like each other. We had nothing in common with each other. We didn’t understand why the grown-up world was making us go through this. It seemed like a sick joke. We could see that whatever effect they were hoping this would have, it was clearly not happening.

By 5th grade, every white kid in my class was racist. One kid in my group of friends (oddly, a Jewish kid) actually became rather obsessed with hating blacks. Most of us would be annoyed with them while at school, but would forget about them at the end of the day. But this kid. . . We’d be hanging out and he would constantly say “God, I hate those blacks so much! They’re just so stupid!”

For their part, the black kids didn’t want to be there any more than the white kids wanted them there. The commute was insanely long and they didn’t fit in. Now, there were a few black kids who seemed to understand what was up. They understood that they were given a special opportunity to learn at a good school with no crack dealers where they didn’t have to worry about getting shot, an opportunity that their parents never had. These kids took the opportunity seriously. But these kids were the exception. Most of the black kids just didn’t want to be there.

I did feel really, really bad for the black kids in one way. They didn’t get to watch cartoons. We now live in an age where there are multiple 24-hour cable channels entirely dedicated to cartoons, and if that is not enough, you can watch an infinite amount of cartoons online. But in the 80s, cartoons were much more precious. They were like a treat. Before school, you got an hour of low-grade Japanese animation (Voltron and Saber Rider, sometimes Speed Racer) and two hours of American animation after school (TransformersG.I. JoeM.A.S.K., and Duck Tails). After that, all TV was geared towards teens and grown-ups.

But the black kids had to catch the bus at 5:30 or 6 in the morning, before the morning cartoons began, and they didn’t get home until 5 or 6, after the afternoon cartoons had ended. They just didn’t get to watch cartoons. So when everyone got to school the next day, all us white kids would be talking about yesterday’s Transformers episode, and the black kids couldn’t join in the discussion because they were still on the bus at that time. I’m sure they resented the hell out of us for that.

It just seemed so fucking cruel to me. Cartoons were one of the best parts about being a kid, and thanks to this naïve hair-brained bussing scheme, the black kids didn’t get to watch them. It was like they were depriving these kids of part of their childhood. It was bad enough that they had to endure the brutal commute to go to a school where they didn’t fit in and had few if any friends, but then they also didn’t get to watch cartoons. If they had been able to watch cartoons, we might have had at least something to bond over. I guess they could still watch Saturday morning cartoons, but by Monday morning, Saturday was a distant memory.

Now, I was not politically aware at the time and not one for things in terms of “the grand scheme,” but it started to dawn on me that I was being lied to by society. Well, maybe not all of society; it was still common in those days to hear frank talk about race from grown-ups.

Political correctness was not the thing back then that it is now. You heard people say that “all races are the same,” or “all men are created equal,” but I don’t think anyone actually meant it. I always assumed that was just some bullshit that people said for the benefit of blacks to make them feel better. You weren’t actually supposed to believe it. It was a way of being polite, but we all knew the score. It was kind of like being nice to the retarded kid. You treat the retarded kid like he’s not retarded, but everyone knows he’s retarded. Back then, PC was like that. It was just being polite. It would be until decades later that I would encounter people would say shit like “we’re all the same” and actually believe it.

So society was more bullshitting me than outright lying to me. But it was bullshit that I assumed was being done with a wink and a nod.

That said, I was definitely being lied to by the media.

There were two big black-themed shows on at the time that were marketed towards a young white audience. The premise of both was the same: a wealthy white family adopts black kids and learns to love them like they were their own children. One was Diff’rent Strokes, starring Gary Coleman. Coleman played Arnold Jackson, an adorable orphaned black child with lightning-quick wit who always had the perfect zinger. Arnold was mostly white-presenting, except when delivering his signature catchphrase, “whatchoo talkin’ about, Willis?” which he said with comical ethnic sass. The other was Webster, a Diff’rent Strokes knock-off, starring the preposterously cute cherub-faced Emmanuel Lewis as the title character. Webster was like a less funny version of Arnold Jackson, but what Webster lacked in wit, he made up for in wholesomeness. That was his shtick. Webster was the avatar of childlike innocence. His soul was as pure as the driven snow. Lil’ Webster wouldn’t say boo to a goose.

A lot of the episodes of these shows revolved around some white person’s racism. But by the end of the episode, that white person is either shown to be an ignorant buffoon or they learn the error of their ways and learn that their initial “racist” assumptions were totally wrong and that the black kids were actually totally swell.

Later came The Cosby Show, about a middle-class black family who acted exactly like white people, where race was a never issue. It became the biggest show in the country.
I was struck by the stark contrast of how blacks were presented in these shows versus my own experiences with blacks in the real world. I started to get annoyed at these shows. Then I started getting angry at them. I’d watch them and think “That’s. Not. What. They’re. Like!!!!

I knew there were nice blacks. Scooter was a nice kid. But by that time, I had only met one Scooter and I had met 30 Deantons. I knew there were a lot more Deantons in the world than there were Scooters. But Deanton was never shown in any of these shows. Not accurately, anyway. According to TV, blacks were all a bunch of Scooters. I could tell the TV was trying to trick me. And I had a sense that had I not moved to St. Louis when I did, and were it not for the desegregation bussing program, the trick probably would have worked. And in that sense, I was grateful for the experience.

A brief aside here.

It turned out that the cast members of Diff’rent Strokes had, in fact, a lot more in common with Deanton than with Scooter. Gary Coleman would eventually become a drug addict, and get arrested for assault and domestic violence multiple times. Todd Bridges, who played Coleman’s brother Willis, spent some time in the late 80s and 90s as a full-on crack dealer. He was once put on trial for murdering a rival crack dealer but was found not guilty after a witness testified that he wasn’t there.

At the end of 5th grade, my family moved again. For the rest of my school days, my only contact with blacks was with housebroken middle-class children of talented 10ths. But those three years of experience with desegregation bussing let me know that those kids were exceptional. I knew what real blacks were like.

More than anything, those three years completely inoculated me to media propaganda about race. Even 90s hood movies like Boyz n the Hood or Menace II Societyseemed overly-sanitized to me. “Well, I can understand what that character is saying. So, no. This is not a realistic portrayal of blacks in the hood. Real hood blacks are unintelligible.”

Another thing that has always annoyed me over the years is the liberal trope that racists all learn racism from their parents. Liberals like to say that “no one is born racist.” It’s not entirely true, by the way. Infants as young as 6 months old show racial bias. But the trope is that because no one is born racist, it has to be taught.

The implication is that if you meet a racist, that means that at some point in that guy’s youth, his dad sat him down and said “Look here, Billy. Here’s why you should hate niggers.” And of course, that guy’s dad received the same speech from his dad who received the same speech from his dad who received the same speech from his dad ad infinitum going all the way back to some point in history when some guy started hating blacks for absolutely no reason whatsoever.

Now, I don’t know about anyone else in my class, but I never received such a speech from my parents. I doubt any of us did. No one had to tell us that blacks were dumb, impulsive, quick to anger, unpredictable, and all the rest. All you had to do was wheel some honest-to-God ghetto blacks into our school and us kids were easily able to figure that out all by ourselves. No one had to tell us.

That’s kind of a dead trope now. With the rise of the Alt-Right, everyone knows that it is possible to become radicalized on the internet. But that trope had a lot of currency until relatively recently. The first line of Dylann Roof’s manifesto was “I did not come from a racist family.” He knew that would be most people’s kneejerk interpretation.

But the spirit of that trope lives on; the idea that if someone is racist, it’s because someone else told them to be racist. The idea that anyone could become racist through personal experience and observation is completely inconceivable to liberals. Well, conceive it, baby. I can tell you that it is entirely possible.

Now, I won’t say that I’ve been a white nationalist since 3rd grade. I did suffer from some delusions that if we tinkered with the system somewhat, that maybe we could close the racial gaps. If we could get rid of welfare, it would force blacks to pull up their bootstraps. If we could untie the invisible hand of the free market, it could work its magic and lift blacks out of their squalor.

I never believed that blacks could achieve socioeconomic parity with whites. I knew whites had some x-factor that blacks lacked. Even before I knew anything about bell curves, I knew whites were smarter than blacks and would always be doing somewhat better. But I still thought that if we tinkered with the education system, somehow we could smarten them up some. Not white smart, but smart enough to where they would be good enough for jazz. I had some hope that maybe something could be done to get things to a manageable level to where blacks were at least not a burden on society.

It wasn’t until I discovered race realism and the writings of John Derbyshire that it started to dawn on me just how hopeless the race situation really was. This was around 2004. Now here I am.

Originally appeared at: Counter-Currents Publishing