“My people” are not black America. My people are who GOD created and I will never compromise being my own person because of my skin color!


An African man from Kenya recently said to me, “Jeff, I did not know that I was black until I came to the United States of America.”

I was having a conversation with a woman from Kenya whereby I asked her, ‘What does the term African American mean to you?’ She responded, “The most ignorant of people in the United States of America.” She went on to say that black America does not know anything about Africa and would rather build a life of anger as opposed to education.”

I asked Pastor Paul Wasabi (when he was visiting the U.S.) ‘What do you think of the term African American?” After thoughtful consideration he shouted, “IT IS A GREAT OFFENSE!” He explained that the black American rejects those who fought for freedom because they hold onto how racism ignores the very freedoms that many fight and die for.

I asked a 24-year-old college student from Nairobi, Africa, ‘What do you think of the term African American?’ His response was, “Self-imposed slavery in the United States by those easily manipulated.” He added, “I cannot wait to get done with school so that I can get away from the embarrassment that I suffer here in the states. These are just a few responses that I get when speaking with Africans from Africa.

Incidentally, I purposely ask these type questions when in the company of people from Africa.

I remember how our brother Rodney was bullied by the twins (One of them is dead now) because he liked a white girl. This was unacceptable in the black community. I also remember how growing up in our community (Elba Street, Rochester, NY) we were expected to be tough, black and proud, and suspicious about white people.

When Christine LaPlante, and I became boyfriend and girlfriend, I remember how the black kids, especially the girls treated her and called me all sorts of names because I was with a white girl. I think she and I were maybe 13 years old. To this very day I have fond memories of Christine. Nevertheless, we were expected to carry ourselves, based on our skin-color in a certain way, liking a white girl was a tantamount to being a sellout, if you will. The white man was evil, and we were the victims of prejudice etc, etc, etc! The problem that I was struggling with was the prejudice and racism promoted by the black folks that I grew up with? And, I was crazy about Christine!


Probably the biggest reason I left Rochester was because I did not want to be what I was expected to be as a black kid especially after George Jr Republic! At George Jr Republic I learned that we all had problems, that’s why we were there. I also saw first hand that white people were not evil just like my mother taught us. I got to know white kids, Italian kids, Puerto Rican kids (I don’t think we had any Asian kids there (Lol) It was there that I decided to be who I was and not the color of my skin. Moreover, I swore that I would not raise my kids up to be victims and that I would never abandon a child that I fathered. As a foot-note, the racism that I see in the Asian community against other Asians is incredible! I miss speaking with many of those very kids, now adults on the George Jr. Republic Facebook page.

I asked a co-worker during this last week (I help to develop customer service skills as part of my job.) ‘What was the worst thing that he has heard about me since I started with this company?’ Incidentally, he is a white man married to a black woman. He said, “It was said to me once that you’re a sellout to your race” Okay, so, I have thought about this for much of the week.This particular co-workers is absolutely wonderful to work with!

Now for the flip side

I moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1977. I have spent the bulk of my adult life here. I have experienced racism from white people and have come to understand the anger, the injustice, and the prejudice that many black folks, long before my lifetime have endured. I understand the rape, abuse, and horrific treatment of black America for decades not only in America but around the globe. I know all too well about the political lunacy used to limit black Americans from real prosperity in this country. I have grown up in a predominantly white community here in the PNW. I never present myself as though I have a chip on my shoulder because I am black. In fact, I never present myself- I am not for sale! I have worked my butt off in whatever community that I lived in with my family, for my family. I learned a skill, taught myself how to work in the public arena and raised four kids who are doing very well. Furthermore, I continue to study actual history not what was forced on me in the public schools back in the 60’s and 70’s. The media is not able to program my sensibilities nor do I buy into the “America is a racist nation” mantra that they are so quick to espouse!

I once had a person who I have held in very high esteem ask me this question: “Jeff, who is worse the Skinhead (White Supremacist) or the white college educated business professional who thinks blacks are beneath him or her?” I answered, ‘The Skinhead because he wants to kill me.’ [I was a lot younger at the time] His response was the white supremacist is typically not educated and following group think that is fundamentally ignorant (Paraphrasing his words) The college educated business professional Utilizes political influencesto control the economic ability of black America and has done so for decades. The political agenda in ths 1950’s was designed to lock black Americans out of the ability to prosper in a free nation. This is what fuels the control over many black families, and this is your real enemy. He offered, “How you overcome this is by never being a victim!” I have never forgotten his words; he is a white person who I have called my friend for decades in the Pacific Northwest. Today, I understand emphatically what he was sharing! And by the way, “White Privelege is BULL-Sh_t! Most of the world did not come to America because WHITE Privilege was abundant. Freedom in America echoed around the globe as a clarion call to just about ever person who immigrated here.

I decided a long time ago to learn about my country, the slave trade, and about those individuals who fought hard against racism, prejudice and ignorance. I was able to therefore side with those folks who lived long before my birth. I embraced the America they believed in; I embraced the fight that they fought. I honor their lives by not being black and proud but rather by being an American Citizen with the responsibility that comes with freedom. I have never had to identify with my skin color and fall in line with the Al Sharpton’s of the country. I refuse to live my life as though I was somehow still in chains picking cotton! I was never in chains nor forced to pick cotton because of those who made my freedom possible. I am a product of freedom, not slavery.

I was performing a service call here in Washington State about a few years ago. The homeowner is a white man, very liberal! During the service call the subject came up about how we grew up. I told him that I use to steal cars and sell drugs at a very young age. He said, “Well you had no choice because you probably did not have a father and were poor right?”  I thought, that’s one hell of an assumption. I asked him why he thought that? He said, I mean, it’s obvious, you’re black.”

I have dealt with this sort of individual most of my life here in the Pacific Northwest. In his mind I am a victim of white America and had to do those things to survive. I told this customer (idiot) before leaving…. ‘I stole those cars and sold drugs in my neighborhood because I was a bad ass kid who did not give a damn about the people that I hurt. I did not do any of this because I was a poor, oppressed black kid!’ He asked me if I was a conservative…. I asked him, ‘What is a conservative?’ By the way, he was wearing a Hillary for president T-shirt.

Suffice it to say, I understand the African, from Kenya who made the statement, “I did not know that I was black until I came to America.” The sad reality is in our country being a person of color (white, red or brown) is more relevant than being an American Citizen when one does not know our history and the miracle of our Constitution. It took 87 years to reject the horror of slavery in this country. It continues to take decades working through the damage that is caused. Nevertheless, the Michael Jordans, the Snoop Dogs and the Don Lemons of our country are not picking cotton or being chased through our cities to be lynched.

The Conservative who is black in this nation live free while those shackled to what the student from Nairobi shared continue to live enslaved. I am not a sellout to my race. I can appreciate and continue to be amazed by what humanity is capable of.

My sense of freedom belongs to the love that I have for humanity. I do not see the race of people that I live among on this planet as something to hate. I continue to learn from the people who are not programmed by the past failures of our country. I marvel at those who embrace our nation and who make a difference. These are the folks that make it impossible for me to ever sellout humanity! We needed Martin Luther King Jr during the 60’s. His life was taken from him but his message is branded into my soul.


We are the ones who make what GOD called good, ugly when we reject our neighbor! For the record, the Uncle Tom documentaries produced by Larry Elder tell my story. I am an Uncle Tom and proud of it!  And, incase your stupidity (for some of you) clogs up your abilitiy to comprehend this post, I am a black person that GOD purposed for such a time as this!

Genesis 1:31 JPS Tanakh 1917
And God saw every thing that He had made, and, behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.


  1. Michael Ortega

    Terrific! You are a very unique person. Color is not even a part of who you are! Bless you brother!

  2. Kevin Daviscourt

    Church this weekend was another amazing experience! Black, Latino and white people praising the one true God. Our Lord and Savior does not see color but the heart of those who love Him. It is a sad commentary that many who profess to love Jesus are still not seeing through may years of race issues caused by their family “values”. Great article and full of too many truths…


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