In this case, 'Uncle Tom' considered a compliment

January 31, 1996|By GREGORY KANE

This column pays humble tribute to some of those who have called or sent letters. Most of the reaction has been surprisingly kind, leaving me aghast that so many actually take the time to read my musings.

But not all the customers are happy. One Annapolis man, upset at my "everybody takes a turn in the barrel" stand on affirmative action, responded by suggesting that the government force all blacks to move to Puerto Rico. You figure it out. I'm not going to try.

Barry Hunter of Baltimore wrote in response to my column suggesting that we give Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, his followers and admirers a separate state and be done with them: "Are you such a slave in your mind that you ... your pants at the very thought of leaving your master's domain? ... Despite the high level of truth in Mr. Farrakhan's speeches you and the rest of spineless Toms (Barry's emphasis, not mine) still have found a way to stay in 'massa's' good graces. ... In the coming years I feel the tremor of African-America responding to Mr. Farrakhan's agenda. You will either roll with it or it will roll right over you!!"

Thank you, Barry, for paying me the ultimate compliment by calling me an Uncle Tom. If I recall the novel (which you apparently haven't read), that character died resisting a white man. I'd rather be one of those than the leader of a militant, anti-white organization that professes to love black people but whose only violent acts have been against those very people.

A woman caller left a voice mail message taking me to task for my column about how the media contributes to racial polarization. She took exception to the part that read "[blacks] don't do to Asian businesses what whites did to ours in the latter part of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th -- burn them out and string up the owners."

The caller mentioned several cities in which blacks burned out Asian businesses, but the quote must be taken in its entirety. "And string them up" is the crucial phrase. Black racists have yet to string up Asian store owners. In fact, you can't really compare the state-sanctioned terror visited on blacks that was designed to reduce us to political and economic peonage with anti-Asian black violence.

Several women wrote to object to my column on "Waiting To Exhale." Laura Tomlin of Baltimore accused me of being "defensive," a theme repeated by several others. Do you see the insidious nature of the book and the movie? Laura Tomlin and the other women don't know me or anything about my love life. They don't even know if I have one. But I'm a man, so I'm guilty of something and hence "defensive." I have been tried, convicted and found guilty based on nothing other than a Y-chromosome and testosterone.

Ginger Williams thought I protested too much. The book and movie were just fiction, she claimed, and "there is a humongous difference between fiction and nonfiction." No, there isn't. A great deal of fiction is based on fact. Bigger Thomas, the anti-hero of Richard Wright's novel "Native Son," was a compilation of several real characters. Terry McMillan, author of the excruciatingly awful "Waiting To Exhale," acknowledged that the book was the result of talking to some of her friends about their relationships. From such hen parties spring forth bad literature and even worse art.

Darnell Leake of Baltimore doesn't like my position on the Cleveland Browns moving to Baltimore. Our mugging of the good citizens of Cleveland for a football team they've faithfully supported for 50 years is a good and holy thing, Darnell believes. He suggested I either love Charm City or leave it. I wouldn't "wait to exhale" before that happens, Darnell. Har, har, har!

I'll conclude by mentioning a major boo-boo I made. I gave Kurt Schmoke's middle name as Louis. His staffers called to say it was Lidell. (The mayor doesn't read this column, addicted as he is to being told what he likes to hear.) But whether it's Kurt Lidell, Kurt Louis, Kurt Linguini or Kurt Loop-de-loop, the bottom line is this: I publicly admit my boo-boos and would like for Kurt "I Can Do No Wrong" Schmoke to admit his.

If the mayor can't do that, then he should get a job more accommodating to his ego -- one in which he can't be criticized, second-guessed and will always be right. Unfortunately, the position of God is already taken.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.