Most people get quite upset if they are accused of being racist. I don't. I know it's true. I'm racist, anti-Semitic and a bit homophobic. So when Justan Parker Fields and the people from inside his very small bubble of like-minded individuals want to call me any of those things, I'll be the first to agree. You got me.
My parents are innocent. You could blame my father, but he hated everyone equally. My mother was way ahead of her times when it comes to tolerance. She had to put up with my father. Worse yet, she had to deal with me. But Hellertown in the '50s was pretty much an all-white enclave in which I was an Irish minority in a sea of Slovaks with a sprinkling of Pa. Dutch and an Italian here and there. It was common to disparage just about everyone who was different from us. Blacks smelled funny in the summer. That's why they were banned from the pool. Jews had big noses and were notoriously cheap. Puerto Ricans were dirty. The Catholic nuns in grade school taught me that even Protestants were all doomed to hell.
There was nothing to rebut these grotesque stereotypes because there was no diversity.
During one grade school recess, I remember joking that one of the nuns had a nose as big as a Jew. Having never met a Jew, I was in no position to make a comparison, but did so anyway. One of the girls dimed me. The sister I disparaged beat the shit out of me. Was she was not knocking me around for being anti-Semitic? Nope. "My nose is not as big as a Jew's," she yelled between whacks.
I began to awaken in high school, where I was taught by a different order of nuns and brothers who were actually educated. My personal evolution continued throughout high school, college, law school, in the army and beyond. I am by no means perfect. My subconscious still sends me negative messages at times, so I consider myself a work in progress.
I am very hopeful for our future. Practically none of the prejudice ingrained in me during my youth exists today. Moreover, there is more diversity here in the Lehigh Valley.
While I certainly am a racist, my criticism of Allentown City Council candidate Jonathan Parker and Mayoral candidate Ce-Ce Gerlach is based on facts, not color. There is no racism, either overt or implied. I am pretty much an equal opportunity offender when it comes to pointing out the shortcomings of a political candidate. When I criticize a woman, I am called a sexist. When I attack a Republican, I am a Communist. When I attack a Democrat, I am a tea party member. Though I certainly have shortcomings as a person, my criticism of political candidates and elected officials is always based in fact.
Justan Parker Fields states any criticism of his past is an attempt to criminalize his skin color. He has also suggested that Ce-Ce Gerlach should be immune from criticism because she is the only woman of color running for office. We all should reject these arguments. The color of someone's skin should never be a basis for refusing to report on a person's shortcomings. They are relevant when someone runs for office. Refusing to report these shortcomings because someone is a person of color is itself racist
Fields has made some other, more specific, claims of racism on my part.
He notes I called him a thug. That term is entirely appropriate for the domestic terrorists who invaded the Halls of Congress on January 6. I called them thugs, too. They were mostly white. That term is also entirely appropriate for the mob who pounded on the doors and windows of Allentown City Council for weeks in an attempt to disrupt them. It applies to the members of the Allentown mob who chanted "Fuck the Police." It applies to convicted felon Hasshan Batts, who led the mob with this chant. This word "thug" has nothing to do with the color of someone's skin and everything to do with the actions of a mostly white mob.
Fields complains that I accused him of prancing around with a bullhorn in an attempt to demean his sexual orientation. He identified himself as gay. Frankly,I had no idea what his sexual orientation was and never gave the matter much thought. Since he had children, I assumed he was a heterosexual. Although I was demeaning his demagoguery, I would never demean his sexual orientation.
Finally, Fields states I called him a bad father. What I said is that he displayed very poor judgment by driving with his son in the car as a passenger when his own license is suspended. I stand by that criticism. That has nothing to do with his race.
The people within Justan's echo chamber have suggested protesting outside my estate in an attempt to silence me. That will only embolden me.
Yes, I am a racist and have a host of prejudices that I work on daily. What Justan Parker Fields and the people within his echo chamber need to consider is that they themselves are overt racists.
Blacks can be bigots, too.