In the days that followed the older White participants would be picked up by police, but none of the Mexican rioters were arrested. The rationale was that if not for the presence of the few Whites, the whole event would not have even transpired. All considerations of self-defense were considered moot because the alternative might precipitate further unrest. The illegal alien mob was thereby officially extended legal immunity while the White kids were locked away for an act of self-defense.
I was told a few were murdered in jail by thugs seeking vengeance for the collective injuries to ‘Brown Pride.’ Once inside, others were caught in one violent entanglement after another, which only added to their time.
These events poetically overlapped notice of action against our property. As with the land around it, eminent domain was now invoked against our home. Our property which sat adjacent the previously seized land over three decades was an apparent addendum to the larger project, and now slated to be bulldozed to make way for a halfway house for minority felons. The literal theft of my home courtesy of an iron-fisted government was analogous to what was simultaneously happening to my city, and, in the scope of my experience, my country at large.
This one-two punch left me numb. I lost all interest in school. More than a loss of interest, it marked the onset of a deepening cynicism toward the whole system. There was still much of it which I had not grasped, but I had gained the distinct impression that these woes were not come upon me by accident. That impression wasn’t by way of mere feeling. My readings of Scripture and the traditional perspective of my grandparents continued to reveal the hypocrisy of that system and its commitment to the same. The newspapers, television, movies, the government school, counselors, and in some degree even the church seemed to be acting in concert to destroy everything good. There was a clear synergy between all the institutions, evincing a common set of goals which, to every appearance, seemed equally anti-Christian and anti-White. After all the gross injustice which had transpired against me and mine with the unified blessing of, if not coordination by, the system, I could not bring myself to serve it.
That’s certainly not to say that I did no wrong; I did. Though I learned much from these circumstances, keep in mind that I was still a child working through his faith under very imperfect circumstances. Under constant attack, my cynicism would give way to fits of deep resentment and yes, genuine rage. Sometimes at the non-Whites around me, but, interestingly enough, more often at any Whites who facilitated what was an apparent war on their own nation and the Christian heritage of America.
After we lost the property my grandparents moved in with my aunt and uncle around the corner, and my mother inconceivably opted to move my sister and me further into the ghetto, to an area known as “the Sans,” which bordered into the city of Compton. It was the central hub of the Mexican gang known as CVS – Compton Varrio Segundo (the fact that they spelled barrio with a ‘v’ only went to prove that they were illiterate in Spanish as well as English). We stayed there only a few months. There a White kid couldn’t even walk a block to the corner market without being assaulted. Had we stayed, it would have only been a matter of time before one of us was killed. But while we lived there my mother gave birth to a third child – a boy – the paternity of which was never established. It was by no fault of his own that he was born a bastard, and I had nothing but love for him. From the day he was born I began contemplating how I might rescue my sister and him from those worsening circumstances.
But my mother and her new boyfriend had other plans. They determined to kick their methamphetamine enterprise into high gear by living year-round in motels. A fisherman goes where the fish are, after all. It was the last place I wanted my siblings, myself, or, for that matter, my mother to be. In spite of my every conviction against my mother’s downward spiral, at age twelve, it seemed I had little choice. I tried to stay to protect my sister and my half-brother. I tried.
Even though I was only entering into puberty, circumstance had nonetheless made of me a fairly savvy streetfighter, so when I stepped between my mother and Larry in the middle of an argument turning physical, he and I had a momentary tussle and it went harder on him than he expected. He thus rightly concluded that I was a threat to him and made immediate arrangements for me elsewhere. At this point I could have refused to leave. But I’d seen enough of their interaction to know that if he hit her, it was only because she was hitting him. And it was clear that she didn’t want out of it. It took my reading of how Jesus wept over Jerusalem (Luke 19:41) to come to grips with the fact that you cannot rescue those who refuse to be rescued.
Had I remained with them, I could not stop her from hitting him, and if he reciprocated in my presence, I would have shortly killed him. Or he would have killed me. Either way, someone would have died. So I accepted the new arrangements, if grudgingly, but would wrestle tearfully with that decision for many years to come.
Since Larry and his father were members of the American Legion in Hollydale, Larry kept a small camper trailer in the rear parking lot there. This was my new home, and at twelve, my first experience living alone.
As for the question of food, Larry also supplied me with a key card which opened the rear door of the American Legion facilities, and gave me full access to the kitchen. But only after hours, once members and staff had cleared out.
That’s how I lived for a year and a half: sneaking into an old boys’ club after the bartender left every night. It wasn’t all bad. In time I came to enjoy it, actually. I’d make my jukebox selections (which were free) and eat on the pool table. Hot dogs, colas, and a freezer full of ice cream were mine for the taking. So was the beer, and any other liquor I might wish to try. I sampled most of them.
Yes, it was theft. But I rationalized it at the time by reminding myself that Larry was a member there. His dues paid for this stuff. But deep down, I knew I wasn’t supposed to be in there. If caught, I would’ve certainly been arrested.
My school attendance throughout that time was sporadic at best, but I actually read more on my own than I would have in class. I’d argue that my self-selected reading material was educationally and morally far and away superior to the fare I would have been saddled with in the government school. Even at that time I had accumulated a respectable little library. I had a family of dog-eared paperback novels which included assorted works of Robert E. Howard, Louis L’Amour, Edgar Allan Poe, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Stephen R. Lawhead, as well as hardbound works from Howard Pyle and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, works of Norse and Celtic mythology, a bunch of Sword & Sorcery short story magazines, a few books on Arthurian legend, a handful of apologetic/theological works by C.S. Lewis, and a King James Bible. Not to mention the fact that my new parking lot home was just a couple blocks from the Hollydale library, where I spent a good deal of my time.
Sometimes people ask me why I never got into organized sports. It’s an unspoken assumption of Liberal Whites that in spite of all other issues, if a kid just gets on a team everything else normalizes. Silly as it is, it is a common conviction. I expect it comes by way of their having been dazzled by all the civil rights fairy tale movies of interracial sports teams as well as the socialist/conformist programming of government schools, generally.
Though I was always quite physical, the first reason I abstained from group sports is kind of embarrassing. Funny as it may sound, I could honestly never understand what was happening in any group sport. Be it basketball, football, or even baseball, really anytime a bunch of people were running around on a field or court, it just looked like indiscernible chaos to me. I tried on several occasions to give a game my undivided attention, and had the rules explained to me, but it never helped. I even tried playing myself many times, but it just never clicked. Like I said, embarrassing.
None of which is to say that I couldn’t take up a solo sport like wrestling – something I very much wanted to do – but that’s where the second and overriding reason comes in: the wrestling teams in both middle school and high school were full of many of the same guys with whom I was constantly fighting. When I mentioned this to a school counselor he was adamant about my never going anywhere near the teams. So that was the end of that. But it didn’t diminish my love of combat sports of all kinds. Be it wrestling, boxing, judo, jiu-jitsu, Sambo, aikido, kenpō, or even fencing, I enjoyed each, and would go on to take private instruction in each at different times.
Beyond that, even if I had been inclined toward group sports, the theory that it would have ameliorated the difficulties of being White in a post-White area were well tested by others in the laboratory of real life right in front of me: my friend Phil, whose father was a college football star, loved team sports, especially baseball. By way of his father’s genetics, he was well-equipped to athletics in general. He would quickly prove himself one of the best on the junior varsity team, but was nonetheless constantly harassed and assaulted by his own teammates. Eventually, it came to a head when the Mexican coach actually held him down for all the Mexican players to beat him. Yes, that really happened. Needless to say, that cured Phil of the itch to participate, too.
It was after the race riot, when most of the Whites who had fought were swept up by authorities, that I began connecting more often with Phil and a couple others I’d known from elementary school and around the neighborhood. Phil, as you know, was a White kid, but Julian and his older brother Jaime were Filipino, Alex was Mexican, and James was a Korean.
Phil was the son of Brethren missionaries. His family bore an unmistakable similitude to the old sitcom Leave It to Beaver. Of this Phil was quite aware, and much embarrassed. But I loved it. Though that ring of friends was multiracial, he and I always had many more things in common than with the other guys.
Though Alex (the Mexican) had been born in America, retained no hint of any Mexican accent, and was relatively intelligent, Phil and I never ceased to be amazed by all the cultural shorthand we shared which Alex had no conception of at all. Some of these differences, especially pertaining to table manners, provided us no small amusement: for one, Phil had to teach Alex (at age twelve) how to use silverware because all Alex’s life to that point he had only ever used tortillas to scoop up food. Though Alex had eaten hamburgers and pizza often enough, he had never before eaten in a sit-down American-style restaurant until accompanying Phil’s family, and when a waitress asked if he’d like “soup or salad” he replied, “Sure. A super-salad sounds good.” I was the first to inform him that chewing with your mouth open was considered rude. But despite my ribbing, he never shed that habit.
Even though they were raised in America, attended the same schools, and were exposed to all the same media, there were any number of sayings, stories, folk songs and the like which either Phil or I could reference to one another with no impediment, but the others were clueless of them all. If I said, “A rolling stone gathers no moss,” Phil knew exactly what I meant, but it was gibberish to the others. If I mentioned Bing Crosby or Bob Hope, Phil had heard “White Christmas” and seen the ‘Road to’ series. If I whistled Dixie, Phil knew the words. In all these regards, as far as the other guys were concerned, the White guys might have been from another planet.
More important still, when it came to any religious or political discussion, the two White guys thought and spoke on wavelengths entirely inaccessible to the non-Whites in our company. This in spite of all of us claiming Christian heritage for multiple generations. Though we were all supposed to be Americans, it was only Phil and I who had any sentimental connections to Independence Day or Thanksgiving celebrations, patriotic songs, speeches, or sites. Our friends thought us odd indeed for that. Despite all the social engineering to the contrary, the little cultural divergences like that were ubiquitous.
Though we long knew that our non-White friends tended more liberal than us, the real life-and-death impact of those differences would come into stunning focus around the siege at Ruby Ridge and the Waco massacre. In both cases, we White guys were outraged at what was apparent for rabid, anti-American tyranny. Yet the non-Whites beat their chests triumphantly not only in exuberant support for the murder of those innocents, but with a unanimous sense of self-vindication. Inasmuch as we identified with the victims of those massacres, they could only identify with the killers. As one opined, “Dirty rednecks think they can escape the U.S. government? Hell no! This is America, you racist bastards!”
At this, we White boys stood aghast. Inconceivable as it was to us, the non-Whites’ understanding of American patriotism was doing whatever the government commands, no matter how arbitrary; otherwise you and your children must die. I nearly came to blows over this issue with two of them on more than one occasion.
Read Part 5