A couple days ago, I pointed to an op-ed piece that our contributor Trey Garrison had written for the DMN. Trey is very sensitive, and some of the feedback — a lot of the feedback — he got left him wanting to clarify his position. Jump to find out why Trey says he’s not a Nazi. And why he’s not ready to date a Nazi.
Last week my column in the Dallas Morning News generated more response — as measured by email anyhow — than anything I’ve ever written in the three-and-a-half years since I tripped onto the public media stage. It’s topped now at 270 responses, and they’re still trickling in a week later. This is probably small potatoes compared to big time writers, but it blew me away.
I swear I had no idea it would touch a nerve like that. It evolved from a first draft that was more about public schools than what it became. (Hat tip to Sharon Grigsby at the DMN for pushing me.) Clearly, though, it gets close to something that’s been on people’s minds.
I’d say about 80 percent of readers got it. About 10 percent of the readers called me a Nazi. And the remainder were from Nazis with standing invitations to speak. Or date. They sent pictures. I threw up a little.
In case there is any doubt as to what I was trying to say — and acknowledging that is hard because means admitting I failed a little as a writer — but if there’s any doubt, here it is and putÂ simply. Martin Luther King said he wanted a country where people were judged by the content of the character and not their skin color; I meant my column as a “Hell yeah, doc, and I mean to judge, by God.”
Funny enough, at least one inspiration for the column got left on the cutting room floor. In my old neighborhood, we had a family that left trash in their yard, were loud, and their kids were thugs, so when you’d see them you’d be sure to close your garage door lest things go missing. They had a mean, nasty single mother. Yep, they were white as Kennedys.
I just wanted to clarify this, because I don’t want any of the publications who give me the privilege of a forum to be painted as supporting a crypto-racist or anything like that. Also, for the benefit of the roughly 20 percent who felt the need to point it out: yes, I know Mexicans don’t come from Panama or Costa Rica. Yes, I know they come from Guatemala and El Paso. Thank you.