Silent Threats In The Night: A Forgotten Memory Until Charlottesville

With the uptick in racist incidences in America during and after the pandemic, I wanted to share on racist incident I well never forget back in Virginia (VA).

Let us stand up to racism every day and share our experiences. The more we can share, the more people can understand. And the more we understand one another, the more empathy there will be.

Experiencing Racism In Abingdon, Virginia

In the summer of 1996, I got in my rusty Toyota Corolla hatchback and took off on a five and a half hour drive south from the suburbs of Washington DC to a sleepy town called Abingdon, Virginia. I wasn't sure if I'd make it because I had never driven my car more than 2.5 hours before.

Roadtrip from McLean to Abingdon, Virginia

After my transmission blew out six months after I bought it for $2,000, the mechanic got the gear ratio wrong so my car was always revving 2,000 RPM higher than it should. Constantly wondering whether the engine would explode was concerning.

I was back from a month-long internship at a Canon electronics distributor in Taipei and missed my girlfriend dearly. Sophomore year at The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg was only a month a way, but I couldn't wait to see her.

Abingdon is a beautiful town nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountain range. When I arrived, the first thing I did was give my girlfriend a big hug and go to a local greasy spoon restaurant right off the main strip.

She knew that I loved grilled cheese sandwiches with freshly sliced tomatoes wedged between the goodness. It was the perfect way to catch up after almost two months of being away.

Abingdon, Virginia

No Minorities In Abingdon, Virginia

Although there wasn't a minority in sight, I never felt out of place in quiet Abingdon, Virginia. Southerners tend to have a great way of making you feel welcome. After lunch, she brought me up a windy road to see her dad and his girlfriend. They lived on a little hill with not a neighbor in sight for miles. I was nervous to meet dad as any boyfriend should be.

I gave Mr. Brosnan a firm handshake and greeted him with the warmest “nice to meet you” I could muster. Mr. Brosnan was a psychiatrist at the local hospital. He stood about six feet tall with a full beard filled with black and white bristles. When I pulled up into his driveway in my dinky car, he politely scoffed. He was white and drove a green Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo.

My girlfriend, Erika, was not white. She stood about 5′ 8″ tall and had straight black hair. She was incredibly fit because she was a vegetarian and a runner. Erika was mixed. Her Chinese mother had died from cancer when she was only three. Virginia was her hometown, but she also had international experience studying abroad in Spain.

Into The Evening, The KKK

If you ever go camping in a desolate place, you'll marvel at the brightness of the stars. Each evening we'd sit out on the porch right off the kitchen and look up.

Because there wasn't a street light for miles, the solar system jumped out at us like high definition. We spotted no fewer than three shooting stars each night, which makes me wonder what else do we miss in our daily lives because we can't let go of money.

On the third day of a week long visit we got a flier. On the flier were four white hooded figures with an invitation to join the KKK. Was this the Virginia of yesterday year? There was a telephone number to call, but no address. We read the propaganda and thought nothing of it. But when we told Mr. Brosnan about the flier we could see the worry in his eyes.

He asked, “Did anybody follow you home?” “Were you aware of anybody in town watching you?” “Did you have a bad encounter?”

As far as we could tell, nobody was following or watching us. We had thought the flier was junk mail, sent to every single household in town. Not once did we suspect we were targeted because of my arrival until we spoke to Mr. Brosnan. It felt like there was something else Mr. Brosnan wasn't telling us.

Feeling Fine Until The Threat

Perhaps it's because I've been through a lot of uncomfortable racial discrimination encounters that I wasn't really worried about a silly flier. As a minority, you get used to the jeers, the name calling, the stereotyping, the intimidation and the hate.

Because you're physically outnumbered, there's nothing you can really do but ignore and move on if you want to live. Instead, I learned self-defense, practiced using a butterfly knife, and focused on my studies in order to gain some future optionality.

The next day, Erika and I went down to get a milkshake after a three-mile jog and everything was as normal as could be. Then night fell and something strange happened.

While on the deck, instead of hearing the cicadas gently hum through the night like an ocean wave, we heard a truck rumble up the hill to the front of the house. Nobody came out of the truck. It just sat there with the engine left on, gurgling as if it was hungry.

The pain of Charlottesville, Virginia

Then the high beams flickered on and we decided to go inside. As we were heading inside, we saw Mr. Brosnan walk outside with his rifle. He calmly told us to stay put. Mr. Brosnan stood behind a wooden bear statue on his porch for protection, pointed his rifle at the truck and shouted, “Get the hell off my property!”

The standoff only lasted for a minute, but it felt like an eternity. Finally, the truck lowered its high beams. Inside we could see three white men in the truck drinking beer and throwing up some sort of hand signal before driving back down the hill. They littered a beer can and left another flier.

Wealth And Racism In Virginia

We'll never know whether a member of the KKK spotted us in town and followed us back to Mr. Brosnan's house. But we did learn that the KKK had been trying to recruit Mr. Brosnan for a number of years.

The per capita income for the town was $22,486, while about 7.3% of families and 10.1% of the population were below the poverty line. As a psychiatrist, Dr. Brosnan was a respected man in town of 8,200 who likely unknowingly helped treat a KKK member.

At Dr. Brosnan's urging, he recommended I find a motel to stay in at a nearby town instead. So I found an Econo Lodge in Marion, 30 miles north on H-81. I didn't want to put his family in jeopardy. Erika initially objected, but she came along to stay for a couple nights before we both had to return to our respective homes.

What Happened To Progress?

I forgot all about this harrowing encounter as a 19-year-old until what transpired in Charlottesville, Virginia with the White Nationalist rally and torches. Millions were killed in World War II fighting Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.

Yet here people were at Emancipation Square and on the campus of the University of Virginia making Nazi salutes and carrying flags with swastikas while a team of men in camouflage gear and semi-automatic riles marched along side them in support. Then the car bulldozing happened. What the hell is going on in Virginia and in other parts of America?

Equality Across All Types Of People

It's incredibly sad that after 21 years, there is still so much hate and bigotry. Perhaps it has never gone away, but stayed more hidden until now. As a personal finance writer and author of Buy This, Not That, I can't help but think the lack of money and education have everything to do with racism.

Nobody grows up hating someone else because of their skin color. Hate is taught by our parents, our peers, and our circumstance. Hopefully this means that those who hate can be taught to love as well. will always be a platform that is accepting of everybody looking to achieve financial freedom. I enjoy not seeing what most of you look like because it allows me to focus on your substance. Even though I encounter racist internet trolls every so often, I'm always going to promote acceptance.

I strongly believe that if more people achieve financial security, there will be less hate in the world. Once you feel financially secure or at least feel like you're headed in the right direction, you can start helping others instead of trying to cut others down.

What race/ethnicity are you?

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Final Thoughts On Hate

* If you're experiencing hate know that the person hating on you is going through some sort of misery that causes them to act out. Happy people don't hate on others, they are accepting and kind. Try to have a private conversation to work things through.

* Forgive. It may not be easy, but once you understand why they are the way they are, it becomes easier. You'll feel better forgiving and moving on, rather than letting the incident eat away at you.

* Be careful not to lump everyone in the same group. If you do, then you're practicing a similar brand of prejudice. Discover the individual.

* Don't assume that just because Asian Americans as a group do OK in terms of income and education, they don't consistently face racial discrimination in many facet of their lives. Further, there is no typical Asian since there are 48 Asian countries. Find the individual.

* If you're practicing hate, dig deep to find the root cause of your hatred. Now direct your energy towards addressing the issue instead of blaming some group of people for your misery.

* Let's teach our children early on about the importance of respecting each other. Our prejudices will spread to our children if we are not careful.

* The best way to prove your detractors wrong is to be successful in your craft. The best way to cure your hate towards others is to also become successful in your craft.

racism and hate in Virginia and America
Unite The Right supporters with assault weapons threatening to kill anybody who stood in their way was one of the disturbing situations at C'ville. It's why the police didn't do more. One shot and we could have easily seen mass murder. How is this not a threatening display? Source: Chip S/Getty Images

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Reader Questions And Subscribe To Financial Samurai

Readers, what are your thoughts about what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia? Have you had any hateful encounters based on who you are that you'd like to share? What do you think are some solutions to creating more harmony in the world? Before attending The College of William & Mary, I attended high school in Northern Virginia. Virginia is a wonderful place that has a special place in my heart, despite all the growing pains I experienced.

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130 thoughts on “Silent Threats In The Night: A Forgotten Memory Until Charlottesville”

  1. TheChocol81

    I grew up in Ohio, but like so many of my peers, I decided to trace my family’s origin or “root”. This ancestral route led me to Abingdon – the home and birthplace to my m. grandmother and her siblings. I tried to interview the sisters (and a few of their friends, as well), but I always would hit a dead end. Why? Whatever transpired during their childhood effected their adult lives to the point of migrating up North during the fifties. When asked what happened, the only answer given was, the klan and Jim Crow ran us up outta there. I asked of the relatives that remained and was informed that anyone that didn’t “run”, died in Abingdon. When I tried to collaborate the information, there were no public documents indicating anything. I found a poor census record that barely confirmed my family’s existence and a newspaper article telling the account of an uncle that was hit by a car while playing as a child. I contacted the local newspaper only to discover that the Black publication of news no longer existed and that maybe the local Black church may have more information.
    I’ve wanted to do research in Abingdon for years, but I have been deterred due to the imbrued racism that still continues to “pop out” either covertly or overtly through the establishment of the area. It’s easy to blame lack of education or economic depravity, however I have determined that the advancement of racism is to only convey a façade of superior value/worth over another. Even researching the area leaves a bittersweet taste. Most of the “famous” folks of the Abingdon area are Confederate military turned politicians…
    Can someone say outlier to American systemic racism????
    My bad, I know yaw won’t.

    1. Thanks for stumbling upon my post. I had forgotten I had written it until your comment. How did you find it?

      It is sad that there is still so much racism in America today. I don’t think it’ll ever go away. But I do see progress about creating more awareness, empathy, and acceptance of other people.

  2. Last Iconoclast

    Sam, I see from the map that you grew up in McLean. I spent my last years of high school at Langley, and went to UVA (’85). Like you, I came here as an immigrant child. Great Falls, where our family lived, was very rural back then, and as we were the only Asian family in town, we stood out. We were the victim of occasional vandalism by local kids, but for the most part, it was not a bad place to live.

    Student life in Charlottesville back in the ’80s was also good, even for the small group of us Asians that attended UVA. I never encountered any racial hostility, although there was the occasional stare from a local. Some of my closest classmates were from rural parts of Virginia like Marion, and they would often joke about their country upbringing and how related everyone was in town. We all got along well.

    This is why that tiki torch march on our beloved UVA campus by those neo-Nazis was so shocking and revolting. It called to mind a notorious incident while I was a student there some three decades earlier. Wynton Marsalis, the great trumpet player, and his two band mates had just finished performing at our campus, when they were suddenly pulled over by Virginia state troopers along a rural highway. The cops claimed the trio fit the description of some Black criminals they were after. It was a reminder that it was still a dangerous time for African Americans to be traveling through the South.

    I live in Southern California now with my family, and we couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. All of us are minorities here, and I believe this diversity promotes greater tolerance and mutual understanding. That doesn’t mean racism is absent, as we have seen tensions erupt, even between Asian groups, and of course the recent attacks on Asians by people of different colors. We are as a nation having to confront a spike in racism now, but the history of Civil Rights in the U.S. has always been like the stock market; promising growth, with the occasional setback, projecting a long term trend of ever increasing tolerance.

  3. Racism exists in every race, it gets worse when the the numbers of a particular race is more than another race. That’s why I like living in a diverse city, the racial attribute of human still exists but it’s reduced through interactions with others, forced to get work together, and with understanding of each other.

    I might be hated for saying this but when people asked where I live..I say I live in Northern VA (NOVA)..not VA

  4. I am white and was raised in a part of the country where the KKK is very strong. Allegiance to their hate had little to do with economics. Not being a part made you a very distinctive outlier. I lived in a city of 1 m and was still followed home if I was clearly on an inter-racial date. This was post 2000.

    I’m sorry this happened to you. I’m still traumatized by running for my life because strangers in my city did not like that I look like the queer woman I am. They did not visibly have firearms. Just outnumbered me. Thankfully I was a faster runner than them.

  5. Yes, and just to be clear the evil is a two way street….no doubt this will go ignored like all other datapoints that don’t support the narrative that Europeans are uniquely evil…

    1. I think it is quite apparent that the far left and the far right are causing the havoc and conflict that aren’t representative of the overall Democratic or Republican party.

      1. The reason this country is fracturing is due to the inability of the majority of people to engage in critical thinking and let the data lead where it goes….ad hominem attacks, groupthink, the application of Occam’s Razor, and simplistic slogans on both the right and the left are the order of the day….this country can no longer deal in nuance or data-driven, hypothesis led trains of inquiry. I disagree that this is not representative since the middle is fraying and the ends are becoming more vocal/extreme, largely due to the proliferation of identity politics which has come from the left (Democratic party not a Republican party institution). In a country where some groups are able to advocate for their group interests, while blaming any failings of their group on other groups, all while increasing their relative share of the population, inevitably there will be a backlash and identity politics will be adopted by all groups since game theory indicates the groups who abstain from doing so will lose badly. And when all groups adopt identity politics and group advocacy, all hell will break loose, and it is….

  6. Ms. Conviviality

    My husband and I are Vietnamese and this post got us talking about racist experiences we’ve had. Luckily, we’ve each have only encountered racism once in our lives. My husband’s story happened 24 years ago while he was in college in Florida. My husband and three Asian friends were crossing the street back onto campus when they hear some guys sitting at a popular college hangout/outdoor restaurant yelling racist remarks at them. My husband and his friends looked at each other with pretty much the same thought: “hell no! they really want to mess with us?!” So they rush back across the street and start throwing punches at the guys. They were doing well when a couple of cop cars arrived to break up the fights. The crowd at the restaurant corroborated my husband’s story with some even saying what jerks those guys were for harassing my husband and his friends when all they were doing was walking down the street. The cops seemed to sympathize with my husband since no arrests were made. My husband and his friends threw the first physical punch so it might have been within the law to arrest them. I believe that this example goes to show that even though racism exists there are many more people in this world who are decent human beings who will do what is right.

  7. Greetings to all from the original Abingdon, the most ancient town in England, and thanks for a fascinating discussion. Ours looks nothing like yours!

    I’ve never posted on an FI blog before because most are, being US-based, more a foreshadowing of what we here should be considering than of direct and immediate relevance. Unfortunately one of the best features of the internet – its immediacy and ease of communication – has now resulted in everyone being able to be citizen journalists and both act and comment and rally flash mobs without stopping to think first, and this causes distortion which polarises opinion and hardens attitudes.

    I’ve been fortunate to have travelled and lived the world over, and to me there are but two certainties in life: all parents want their kids to have a better life than they did themselves, and those who indulge in the seven deadly sins suffer most from them; however they may think their hatred, jealousy, greed etc are outwardly-directed, in fact they are inwardly utterly corrosive.

    Out of ten near neighbours here, only one is a native Abingdonian. The rest of us are all different either by birth, upbringing, or working lives in other countries. The main problem between us seems to happen when someone new moves in not because of the colour of their skin or that they don’t speak our language well, but because they try to live exactly as they would in their own culture, and it can cause misunderstanding when that doesn’t marry up with the custom here. That initial discomfort gets magnified by irritation and then it becomes too difficult to deal with. Make friends early and do it often!

    No one could fail to be appalled by what has been going on in your country, as in so many others, our own included. We used to think that we’d solved the problem of hate crime by only specially-trained policemen being allowed to carry guns (not all, as in many European countries) and only licence-holders such as farmers rather than the general public. Sadly there is now a lot more horrific knife crime, and more recently attacks using acid.

    Any of you care to send answers on a postcard, please? Sorry if this appears to be off-topic, but I do suspect that access to education and thus relative financial comfort are key.

  8. Thank you for sharing your story. I live in Richmond, VA, which as you know is about an hour from Charlottesville. The events in Charlottesville were painful to watch and hear about.

    I can relate a little to your story as my wife and I have two fabulous Asian kids, by adoption. We and they have experienced bias, but thankfully nothing overt and threatening. We have talked about hatred toward minorities (since they a minority, unlike their parents) and the various reasons for it – similar to what you describe. I keep reminding them to be proud of who they are, ignore what they see and hear when directed at them, talk about it, and keep striving. The vast majority of people they will encounter are not like those who marched in Charlottesville. We remind them of that too.

  9. Racism is alive and well in the workplace – it is THE reason I am keenly interested in early retirement. Twenty years ago, negative attitudes were overt towards women and minorities ( my profession and domain area is heavily skewed toward male, white, and young). The trend now is for folks to watch very carefully what they say. Racism is expressed not in what people say, but more what they DONT say, the cold shoulder, the exclusionary measures, lack of social niceties expressed to others just not to you, the isolationism. Nothing anyone could ever quote, much less complain about.

    So I put my blinders on, work 50% more to ensure my work top notch, dress well, professional and friendly to all. I hold my head up high.

    But boy, is it ever exhausting

  10. Thanks for sharing a personal, timely experience with valuable – and financially relevant – lessons. It is today’s challenge to empathize with ‘the other person’ and their circumstance, then act to put into practice a range of policies and programs that measurable help life people up and away from fear and poverty to a life of love, caring & fulfillment.

  11. The labels [left, right, black, white, etc.] that the press and most writers use often are polarizing words which inhibit and confound our understanding and truth.

    My wish is that at least one news show or newspaper start a display of leadership by showing ways of communicating without using words that convey bias. Rather than “a black man shot a white man,” report “a man shot another man.”

    Simple ideas like this are not really simple. There would be lots of push back from those doing the reporting to point out that racial differentiation is needed because “in this particular case, race was a factor,” or words to this effect. As soon as as reporter says something like this, then the reporter has become a judge, and not a reporter. And that, my friends, is the essence of the problem. xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  12. Dood, el Farbe

    Very, very insightful post overall, Sam.

    I think there are some people just need someone to point to that they think of as being lower than themselves. Maybe they’re dealing with some personal misery as you suggest. But maybe you’re giving some of them too much credit – I also think some of them are just very small people, insecure, and hating on someone perceived as “lower” helps them hide that insecurity from themselves.

    I am a white mutt, so to speak (Western Europe on one side, Polish/Estonian/Latvian on the other). Grew up in a small, rural, all-white town, in the poorer (by comparison) North end of town. Those who needed someone to hate upon called us “North end Hunkies” (Hungarians), and snubbed us, looked down on us, etc. Nothing like being refused service at a diner, mind you – just an example of how some people are.

    When I was in the Army I had a month’s training in Fort Knox, KY. On the drive down there I stopped at a quick mart to grab a soda in a small town near the fort. The man told me, “We don’t server your kind in here”. He was so virulently racist that the entire notion of the Army being integrated bothered him enough that he refused to serve soldiers (this was in the late `80s).

    As a young man meeting his girlfriend’s father, in the deep South, I was nervous as you mention. I held out my hand hoping to give him a firm handshake and greeted him with the warmest “nice to meet you, Sir” I could muster.

    He looked at my hand, asked, “You a Yankee, boy?”. I said grew up in the Midwest. He asked if I was a good Yankee or a bad Yankee. When I said I wasn’t sure of the difference, he explained, “A bad Yankee’s one that don’t go back where he belongs”.

    He turned around and left me standing there with my hand out, unshaken. I spent that 3-day weekend in his house and he never said one word more to me.

    I don’t know if he was in the KKK or not, but that’s the sort of person who just “needs” to have someone who’s different than them, to hate on.

  13. Great post with a great personal story and a multitude of lessons within. Thank you for sharing it, Sam!

  14. Great post. It is such a sad state of affairs. I am a middle aged white guy who lives in Pa. I was blessed with a family who taught me that everyone is equal. Plus, being college educated, I was able to interact with a diverse group of students while at university. There is no logical reason for this hate other than ignorance.

  15. Jeff @ Maximum Cents

    Some of these comments have really devolved from when the article was first written. Hate has no place in our society.

  16. I also struggle with the lack of a national uproar with the Portland murders that recently happened in which twice as many people were killed by a white supremacist who verbally attacked the Muslim girls ( 1 black and 1 mid eastern). Those guys who stood up and sacrificied their lives and the president took almost 3 days to respond. Why was Heathers death so polarizing, was it the klan & nazi rally?

  17. I agree Sam. Virginia is a wonderful place. I grew up in Charles City, between Richmond and Williamsburg, during the 80’s and part of the 90’s. I don’t remember any such activity, but then again, where I grew up is more diverse than the western part of the state.

  18. Do you even understand my comment? What is ridiculous about it? I simply indicated that Communism is horrible and any special snowflake kids wearing communist hammer and sickle flags should be treated similar to Nazis due to this similar level of hate/evil. I said nothing about the USA’s role in either (admittedly so with both fascism and communism, both funded by various elements in the US at critical points in time) which is irrelevant to my point.

  19. I think its interesting that the Charlottesville story gets so much media attention for being a racist attack… while when the BLM riots and attacks against white Americans due to the color of their skin got swept under the rug. These men women and children were singled out due to the color of their skin (white) and mercilessly beaten. The Charlottesville incident is filthy and disgusting but we can’t ignore or forget the racist, bigotted attacks against white Americans either.

    1. TO CHAMP:

      I agree that it’d be ideal if whites were not singled out due to the color of their skin. However, this unfortunate retaliation is merely a by-product of “Minority’s being singled out and killed/brutally murdered with no justice based on the color of their skin”. If you’re white, your defense is simple. All you need to claim is that he had a gun, right? Or maybe he “Looks” threatening, because we’ve seen that no weapon + a brown tan = a guilty man. Maybe it gets swept under the rug because it’s origin lies in the hand of its Creator?

      You ever thing that BLM (an injustice based group), was actually created/caused by those other than Blacks (i.e. racist whites and brutal police officers)?

      W/o the brutal, innocent and excessive force based murders of the minorities….maybe you wouldn’t have some whites singled out? I guess they are just a casualty of their own creation, maybe?

  20. No doubt Nazism / Fascism is 100% evil and therefore its supporters should of course not be tolerated.

    However so is Communism. Shockingly Communism was responsible for more deaths than Fascism in the 20th Century, driven primarily by Mao in China – see respective death bubble sizes:

    So hopefully one would also agree people running around with Communist flags must also not be tolerated, or is the implication one values a Chinese life less than others? If anything, since north Asians – Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Taiwanese – consistently score the highest on tests of cognitive ability and earn more than other Americans in the USA despite aforementioned discrimination one could argue from a pure economic value / production basis they are more valuable.

    Moreover, any statue or memorial related to FDR or Lincoln should likewise be torn down as well in the interests of logical consistency. The evidence is below:

    Abraham Lincoln Quote

    “I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races – that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied everything.”


    Abraham Lincoln
    (1809-1865) 16th US President

    Fourth Debate with Stephen A. Douglas at Charleston, Illinois, September 18, 1858
    (The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume III, pp. 145-146.)


    Executive Order No. 9066
    The President
    Executive Order
    Authorizing the Secretary of War to Prescribe Military Areas

    Whereas the successful prosecution of the war requires every possible protection against espionage and against sabotage to national-defense material, national-defense premises, and national-defense utilities as defined in Section 4, Act of April 20, 1918, 40 Stat. 533, as amended by the Act of November 30, 1940, 54 Stat. 1220, and the Act of August 21, 1941, 55 Stat. 655 (U.S.C., Title 50, Sec. 104);

    Now, therefore, by virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, and Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, I hereby authorize and direct the Secretary of War, and the Military Commanders whom he may from time to time designate, whenever he or any designated Commander deems such action necessary or desirable, to prescribe military areas in such places and of such extent as he or the appropriate Military Commander may determine, from which any or all persons may be excluded, and with respect to which, the right of any person to enter, remain in, or leave shall be subject to whatever restrictions the Secretary of War or the appropriate Military Commander may impose in his discretion. The Secretary of War is hereby authorized to provide for residents of any such area who are excluded therefrom, such transportation, food, shelter, and other accommodations as may be necessary, in the judgment of the Secretary of War or the said Military Commander, and until other arrangements are made, to accomplish the purpose of this order. The designation of military areas in any region or locality shall supersede designations of prohibited and restricted areas by the Attorney General under the Proclamations of December 7 and 8, 1941, and shall supersede the responsibility and authority of the Attorney General under the said Proclamations in respect of such prohibited and restricted areas.

    I hereby further authorize and direct the Secretary of War and the said Military Commanders to take such other steps as he or the appropriate Military Commander may deem advisable to enforce compliance with the restrictions applicable to each Military area hereinabove authorized to be designated, including the use of Federal troops and other Federal Agencies, with authority to accept assistance of state and local agencies.

    I hereby further authorize and direct all Executive Departments, independent establishments and other Federal Agencies, to assist the Secretary of War or the said Military Commanders in carrying out this Executive Order, including the furnishing of medical aid, hospitalization, food, clothing, transportation, use of land, shelter, and other supplies, equipment, utilities, facilities, and services.

    This order shall not be construed as modifying or limiting in any way the authority heretofore granted under Executive Order No. 8972, dated December 12, 1941, nor shall it be construed as limiting or modifying the duty and responsibility of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with respect to the investigation of alleged acts of sabotage or the duty and responsibility of the Attorney General and the Department of Justice under the Proclamations of December 7 and 8, 1941, prescribing regulations for the conduct and control of alien enemies, except as such duty and responsibility is superseded by the designation of military areas hereunder.

    Franklin D. Roosevelt

    The White House,

    February 19, 1942.

    [F.R. Doc. 42–1563; Filed, February 21, 1942; 12:51 p.m.]

    Source: Executive Order No. 9066, February 19, 1942.

    1. I come from an ex-communist country. Let me tell you, we don’t have communist flags, we don’t have communist statues, we tore them down in the first months after 1989. We changed the names of the streets and the school manuals in the first year. Anyone marching with the photos of our communist dictators would be run out of town the second they stepped foot on the street.

      Cherry picked declarations are not equal to the years of oppresion the Nazis or the communists inflicted. Lincoln was an aggent of change for the better in an imperfect world, the others were the aggents of oppresion. We, in my country, are very clear about the distinction.

      1. Of course this is cherry picking (hence the sarcasm latent but regretfully unclear in my comment) but that is what is going on. People are increasingly held responsible for a single misdeed or act of wrong think and are crucified for it ex post in the US. So if people want to do that then it should be applied consistency to heroes of both the “left” and “right”.

        There is cherry picking, for example ignoring any positive characteristics of someone like Robert E Lee, who even Ulysses Grant and other Union military contemporaries of the time admired as one of the greatest Generals ever produced by the USA and actually played a key role in ensuring that the South did not pursue a campaign of guerrilla warfare against the North by a) surrendering the Army of Northern Virginia en masse at Appomattox vs. disbanding them and asking them to head for the hills to continue fighting for their cause and b) joining with a black parishioner for communion in his Richmond Episcopal church as an act of healing and good faith. Note many historians believe such a guerrilla war would have destroyed the possibility of ever reunifying the two sides into a coherent country and could have lead to eventual subsequent secession attempts and more economic value destruction.

        Instead, it is much easier for US public school system to just label someone evil and erase them from history, but where does it end? Why don’t we eliminate Jefferson, Washington, etc. for owning slaves too? This is ISIS and Taliban-like in that they too strive to erase history they don’t like….

        As Orwell said “‘How do we know that two and two make four? Or that the force of gravity works? Or that the past is unchangeable? If both the past and the external world exist only in the mind, and if the mind itself is controllable – what then?’”

        In addition, if these statues are being torn down because of support from people, i.e. the neo-Confederate or Nazi like people, then what statue would be retained if that is the threshold requirement for erasure.

        Note that my family was a bunch of poor German / Irish hardscrabble farmer immigrants (no dogs or Irish need apply and dirty kraut a common refrain so no white privilege there!) who fresh off the boat were handed a rifle and fought and and in multiple cases died for the Union cause just to be clear where my loyalties actually lie – not sure how many on this board can point to similar levels of familial sacrifice against the likes of Robert E Lee and the Confederacy. That being said, I can still be judicious and fair to the other side and judge them in empathetic manner and according to the moral and cultural views of the time period (and isn’t that just cultural relativism applied to a different domain?)…

        1. Lee might have been a fine general. But he fought his war to preserve slavery. He fought his war to deny other human beings the right to their own bodies, the right to their own fates and to their own voices. That’s not “a single misdeed or act of wrong think”. That is his lasting legacy.

          My country own dictator was a family man, and a nationalist who said he wanted great things for his country, but his lasting legacy is that he imprisoned and killed countless people.

          Bad things are not done only by bad men, but they are bad, nevertheless. And people which do those bad things should not be put on a pedestal.

    2. Frankly, I find this comment ridiculous. America has a sordid racial past involving slavery, Jim Crow and the KK. America’s history with communism has been essentially as a counterweight throughout the 20th Century. Are you familiar with Senator McCarthy?

  21. Look, I understand that people who hate are not happy people. But that does not mean that we should tolerate their hate.

    Nazis are bad. The world fought a war in which 60 million people died in order to be able, once and for all, to say this: Nazis are bad. 3% of the world’s population died and we had 4 years of war and 2 atomic bombs to be able to say it: Nazis are bad!

    We don’t need to try to understand the people running around with Nazi flags, doing the Hitler salute. We need to make sure that they are not allowed in society! Because that’s exactly how it started the last time. They were tolerated at first, then resisted, then feared. People who run with Nazi flags should be reviled now, before it’s too late.

  22. A scary, prescient viewpoint from a very intelligent man, Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew:

    “Why should I be against democracy? The British came here, never gave me democracy, except when they were about to leave. But I cannot run my system based on their rules. I have to amend it to fit my people’s position. In multiracial societies, you don’t vote in accordance with your economic interests and social interests, you vote in accordance with race and religion. Supposing I’d run their system here, Malays would vote for Muslims, Indians would vote for Indians, Chinese would vote for Chinese. I would have a constant clash in my Parliament which cannot be resolved because the Chinese majority would always overrule them. So I found a formula that changes that…”

    Perhaps America is an exception, but perhaps not….we will certainly find out in time. I will
    be hoping for the best, while preparing for the worst.

    1. I love Singapore but the government is a bit authoritarian for my taste. It’s scary because he is right. Many people still act and vote tribally which can undermine the democratic process in a multicultural society.

      1. You bring up an excellent point, tribalism. Everyone is looking for the group that they fit in. I think, political parties have replaced ethnic tribes. Anyone not in that “tribe” is an outsider.

        At first I thought it was just over here, in my backwards uneducated hellhole that people thought that way about political parties. But watching the whole Dem. vs Rep. elections in a first world country like the U.S. really showed me that at their core, people all over the world have similar “tribalistic” instincts.

        Lately I’ve been thinking that perhaps in societies that are relatively backwards in terms of education, etc. an authoritarian figure is needed to reign people in. There’s so much chaos in the world. The trouble is, to find such a leader who isn’t a megalomaniac and only has the country and its people’s best interest at heart.

        It also occurred to me that these KKK people are very much like muslim extremists. They band together to feel safe and bully others. They’re mostly young impressionable males who feel dis-empowered and are looking for a path to follow.

        1. Adding to this Sam has mentioned in the past that his well connected friends stated that the plan is to keep populations dumbed down to keep the current structure in power.
          I dont recall the exact quote as it was years ago.

  23. Sadly it will get worse. Humanity is but an animal, and a territorial one at that. Multiculturalism ignores that and the end result will be tragedy I am afraid…history shows this over and over again….

  24. Thank you for the story.

    I’ve dealt with misogyny, but learning to handle racism has had quite the learning curve. Yes, I’m white and grew up in the northern midwest, but my children aren’t caucasian. My oldest has had to deal with a slew of racial slurs and bullying even at a school where only about 1/2 of the students are white. Youngest starts there this year. It is depressing knowing you have to teach your kids how to act when approached by an officer. I’ve even had to teach them a few of the slurs so they know why I give someone the stink-eye or why someone called them ____.

    Something tells me it is going to get worse before it gets better.

  25. Sam, I’ve been following you for 5+ years but this is only the second time I’ve posted a response. Keep up the great work and congratulations on your newest member of the family!!

    Unfortunately I have been on the receiving end of some “hard” stares from people in many different areas of the country except for Hawaii (I wonder why???). I’m third generation Japanese American born and raised in Los Angeles and my wife is Iranian (born in D.C and raised in Great Falls, VA) so I suppose it’s something people are not used to seeing every day. Also, my father and his five brothers, who were all WW II U.S. Army veterans (two were in the 442nd RCT) experienced similar (but worse) racial prejudice. While they fought for our country in Europe and Japan, their family was “relocated” to an internment camp in Rohwer, Arkansas.

    While shopping in a supermarket at Smith Mountain Lake in Moneta VA (this was about two weeks before a local television news reporter and her cameraman were shot during a live broadcast) I was standing in the condiments section looking for two different kinds of mustard when a man in his mid 40’s stood beside me and said, “I don’t know why ya all taking so long to figure out what kind of mustard to get. It ain’t too hard if you can read”. I turned towards him and the look of hatred in his eyes and menacing scowl took me by surprise. About ten feet away, his two kids approximately 6 and 10 years of age were also staring at me like they had never seen an Asian before. Well, maybe they have never seen a six foot tall 196 pound Asian with a shaved head ;)

    I didn’t respond to the man’s comment and was going to walk away, but became concerned when he moved his right hand towards his hip and held it underneath his shirt as if he was preparing to draw a gun. Fortunately, my 26 years of experience as a police officer helped me to diffuse a potentially deadly situation. And I mean deadly for my well being, not his because even though I can legally carry a concealed handgun in 50 states I didn’t have one with me because I was on vacation. I sternly told him, “Where I come from I’ve arrested people just like you, and the last thing you want to do is to get in a shootout with your kids standing right behind you.” I guess the guy was shocked that I spoke English without an accent because he mumbled a few words then turned around and told his kids to get the shopping cart and go.

    So far, this experience has been at the top of my list when it comes to racial bias. I travel to Northern VA about once a year to visit my in laws and the vast majority of people I’ve met are absolutely wonderful. Over here in Los Angeles…..well that’s another story :)

    1. Thanks for sharing your story. The more examples I read about racial discrimination, the more annoyed I’m getting that we have to WASTE OUR ENERGY having to constantly defend ourselves from things that shouldn’t be happening.

      Now that you bring up your story at the checkout line, I remember the time I was at a gas station and had a similar encounter implying I couldn’t speak English or read. I confronted him as well.

      If I were you, I think I might have turned to the kids after speaking to the guy and say something simple like, “Please grow up to accept everyone for their differences. The world is a wonderful place if you let it.”

  26. I’ve never understood all of the comments about “white privilege”. We grew most of our own food, chopped wood to heat the house in the winter and I had chores before and after school. Our family vacations were to wherever my dad was stationed in the Army Reserves that summer. The county I grew up in had the highest unemployment in the state and I generally distrust law enforcement since someone’s cousin was usually a deputy or that no help was coming since “we have more guns than they (the police) do”. There were no AP classes, no computer labs, most of the teaching resources seemed to be devoted to getting everyone to graduate. More boys went into the military after graduation than both sexes went to a four year college.

    Me? I knew that education was my out. I read anything I could get my hands on, was valedictorian, had near perfect ACT/SAT scores. But there was no chance for me to go to MIT, Stanford or any Ivy League School since we simply didn’t have the money. There aren’t many scholarships for poor white kids from the Midwest. So I made my way through college by tutoring, being a lab monitor and internships. I graduated with honors from a state school, STEM degree and everything was pretty smooth sailing until I was laid off during a reorg so that they could replace people with h1b recent college graduates. Basically a diversity push to mask cost savings. I’m good at what I do and quickly found another job, but for less money since I don’t want to move.

    Honestly, watch a few episodes of Mike Rowe’s “Dirty Jobs”. That was my “privilege” growing up from around the age of ten. How does this relate to Sam’s story? Because I’ve been there. Given a loaded shotgun and told to stand off to the side and “just don’t shoot anyone” while someone was asked to leave.

    1. Thanks for sharing your story. Funny you should mention Mike Rowe. I bumped into him several times while looking at some open houses back in 2012/2013 in SF. I like his message of don’t follow your passions.

      As a valedictorian, are you sure you couldn’t get a scholarship from an elite school? Did you apply? I feel that these schools always seem to have scholarships for valedictorians.

      One of the things I’m realizing is how important our parents are in instilling a CAN DO mentality while you. I never thought I was good enough for those type of schools, and no counselor encouraged me to apply either, so I didn’t.

      Related: What If You Go To Harvard And End Up A Nobody

      1. Maybe there were a few, but my reflection is that there was a preference towards a particular major, group or something else that disqualified me. The Harvard story is interesting, thanks for the link. I still stand by my original though in that if you’ve gone to an Ivy League school – you’re far more privileged than any racial group.

        I do like the message that work (for most) isn’t a passion. Life isn’t fair – there have been studies on how everyone focuses on their own struggles rather than what they are thankful for. Do the best you can at that given moment, be kind, move on to the next challenge – that’s it.

        Tribalism is only going to make things worse. If we can’t bond on being “American” without any hyphenations or clauses first – it will always be “us” versus “them”.

    2. Red,

      White privilege is not so much about social or economic status. It is more about not being question, need to explain or defend that you’re an American like other non-whites in America. For example, the most rich and educated Asian will be asked where they’re from even if they’re the 5 generation of Asian Americans in the US. In a sense, white privilege is the “default American.”

  27. Thank you doing what you do, Sam. It is so important for each of us to find purpose in this life and in this world. It is clear that part of your purpose is helping people become more financially secure which, as you said, will decrease hate in the world!

  28. Many thanks, Sam, for sharing your experience, it was scary yet heart-breaking. Fortunately it did not escalate further.
    Considering America is the richest nation on Earth, and yet there is still so much poverty in it. Some parts of the country look like a war zone in Africa with so much destruction, decay and neglect. It’s sad.
    The ruling/wealthy class could be part of a problem too as some of them are perpetuating the class discrimination. The slave owner mentality that some of the older generation have certainly did not help.

  29. Grant @ Life Prep Couple

    Dang Sam that was an intense story. Your girlfriend’s Dad is bad ass walking out there with a rifle ready to protect you guys. Glad it didn’t escalate to that.

    What happen in Charlottesville was disgusting and disturbing. I’m still trying to figure out my exact feelings as far as what does this mean, what should we do, what can I do, etc.

    I think that just starting the conversation is fantastic so thank you for posting about it. We can not be afraid to point to the bad guys. We have to be able to discuss bad ideas.

    I think broken homes are at the root cause of a lot of racism and hatred. The statistics show that people who grow up in single family homes are about 3 times more likely to be poor and end up in prison. People in these type of situations are typically quick to blame others for their situation so hate groups are always there to welcome you with open arms and tell you it’s not your fault.

    What bothers me is that it feels like the racial divide has grown dramatically in this country over the last five years despite a booming economy. Are we going backwards or does it just feel that way?

  30. Hi Sam. I have been following your blog for many years and I applaud how you shared your story. I am a Asian American woman in PA and racism is alive and strong. I experienced it all through my life and career. My brother in law is black and would not ever consider living in certain counties even if the school district is better or that there are better opportunities. It’s just that unpleasant and not worth the stress.

    Financial stability is critical in changing a person’s perspective in his/her lot in life. When one feels lacking in resources, the feeling of scarcity breeds fear, and fear breads violence. (Ted talk) When we can all be grateful for what we have, then we can start to help each other. This can start even if haven’t reached FIRE. Hopefully, this is before every tree is cut and every fossil fuel is burned.

  31. Thanks for putting this out there. Upon seeing the incident. I felt ill all weekend. The open hatemongering is very disturbing and we must not be complicit for the future generations. We need to take actions.

  32. Wow, that’s an intense story Sam.

    As an Australian I find it hard to understand how political/ racial marches could involve semi automatic rifles – that’s crazy to me.

  33. It has definitely been a sad story to read from over this side of the world. And then reading your story just drove home the point that racism exist everywhere. A previous commenter said that too, and I wholeheartedly agree.

    In Australia, I experience racism too. Both conscious and unconscious racism. In Malaysia where I was originally born, discriminating against different races is practically legislated. I don’t know when people will finally learn to live together harmoniously but my cynical point of view is that it won’t be during my lifetime. I live in hope that I am proven wrong.

  34. I don’t normally post on here, I just like reading about how to achieve financial freedom (and work hard to achieve that!) However, I really liked this post as I was really saddened by the events and your experience. I live in Canada and am sure we are not completely isolated from this. However, I hope what is happening in the US does not start happening in Canada. While I am hoping for things, I hope hatred stops all together!

    I am white and I grew up to treat everyone equal and see the person for who they are not their skin color or anything else. In doing so I met the love of my life and she is Asian.

    The scariest part to me about what has happened is that “history doesn’t repeat itself but it does rhyme” (Mark Twain) and the path this headed is very unfortunate.

    I live in Edmonton and a racial slur happened downtown and our Mayor met with the person that had the slur directed at them. From this meeting, they started a ‘make it awkward’ campaign to try to stop racial discrimination. If you see something I believe you must stand up and help or you are an accessory.

    Wishing everyone the best!

  35. As a white guy I ran into similar dangerous situations when I was in black parts of town. No one should be harassed by their skin color.
    The problem is that the perception today is that whites are uniquely racist. I have witnessed racism from Koreans, blacks, Chinese, as well as other whites.

    I will add that there are some genuine grievances that lower income whites have with the cultural and economic shifts that leave them behind. Outsourcing of jobs and technological shifts. Their states are referred to as “fly over”. Lots of put downs and jokes about “rednecks” and other classist terms are used openly. The dismantling of statues and a culture of blaming the white guy is the last straw for many.
    Furthermore, any legal gathering is often shut down by Antifa and violent leftist groups. So rather than being openly debated, the conversation moves underground. This makes their message “taboo” and attractive to edgy young people that like to push social norms.

    I would like to think things are getting more peaceful but my prediction is that more conflict like this will arise because no one is actually talking/debating.

  36. Glad nothing serious came of the incident. I wish we could get past this hatred. I was forced to get along with everyone while I was in the Army. Everyone still has their own beliefs and opinions but we work together because we don’t have a choice. Eventually, the vast majority of us see that race, ethnicity, religious preference, etc… have little to do with “accomplishing the mission.” Stupidity, ignorance, laziness, and evil don’t discriminate.

  37. Jack Catchem

    That’s horrible, Sam. Coming from a law enforcement angle situations like those are very frustrating. You have real victims, but there is very little that the justice System can do to stop the intentionally vague harassment.

    Also tragic is how it takes only one idiot (or three in this case) to ruin the community for everyone of the selected race/religion/creed.

  38. That’s funny…

    Born and Raised in VA…

    Spent time as a 2-4th grader in Abingdon.

    Spent 14-adult life in Northern VA…

    Virginia is great. Never thought the KKK thing was big like that down there.

    Oh well, that’s why we all have guns too. Protection against stupid :)

  39. Thanks for sharing this harrowing personal story, Sam. As an Asian-American who grew up in OH in the 80s-90s, I can relate, though thankfully I’ve never experienced anything this bad. Makes me think back to something I’ve wondered about from time to time — if I had to drive cross-country, particularly with family, which states / regions should I avoid to minimize the chances of unpleasant encounters like this?

  40. Albert @ Mr. Smart Money

    As Asian Americans, it’s definitely easy to fall into the ‘model minority’ trap. We still face many prejudices ourselves, and while I can say we’ve had it better than our black or brown brothers, it hasn’t been easy.

    I feel good in knowing however, that it seems more and more people are changing, and hopefully one day we’ll truly have equality.

    I expect more alt-right vs way left clashes in the near future unfortunately :(

  41. I was knocked down by an African American for being white. When I travelled to Asia, I was treated like a second class citizen and not allowed in certain nightclubs along with other non-Asian groups. Lets face it, in Asia there is Asian supremacism, in Africa, African supremacism, etc. – there is nothing uniquely wrong with or differentiated privilege for Europeans or whites. Frankly, there should be a safe space for every group of people on this planet, including Europeans – as attested to by the Dalai Lama who spoke of Germany remaining German and refugees needing to go back to their countries of origin when the warfare ends – to avoid the discord that is now tearing apart the planet…why is it Asia for Asians, Africa for Africans, but European countries for everyone?

    1. You bring up a good point that racism comes in all colors. Why do you think that people of European descent are held to a higher standard of welcoming hospitality? I can’t think of many countries that would accept an influx of dependent foreigners the way Germany, Sweden, and France have. Yet people resisting it from those countries are labeled “Nazis”. Why is that?

      1. I wish I knew. Generally the principle to apply is the Latin “Cui bono” – i.e. “Who benefits?” while in parallel evaluating both means and opportunity to investigate acts of injustice / crimes. I don’t have any answers, but have heard a theory Western Europeans have a unique level of out group preferences due to recent, regional and unique evolutionary selective pressures vs. non-Europeans (note Eastern Europeans do not seem to have this and definitely seem to favor their in group as do others) and so are susceptible to any pressures / ad hominem attacks (included but not limited to the name calling you reference). I think the educational system has something to do with it, as Europeans are demonized as uniquely responsible for ills like slavery wherein reality slavery was practiced by nearly all others (Arabs, Africans, etc.) and in many cases longer and for larger numbers than Europeans, who ended slavery before others and were far less brutal to their slaves (note survival rate of Africans in USA and contrast to those in Middle East, South America and Africa). Moreover, there were others who perpetrated war crimes / aggressive wars of conquest and extermination – e.g. Mongols, Chinese (wonder what happened to the pre Han Chinese populations who were similar to Polynesian people?), etc…Europeans were in no way uniquely evil in that respect.

      2. Lebanon currently has 1 million refugees for 4 million citizens. So no, Europe doesn’t even come close.

    2. Well if White Colonialists hadn’t plundered Asia and Africa, not raped their women and torn out babies from their wombs then maybe they would not still have this xenophobia against white europeans. Not because Asians think they are superior (well maybe Japan, but they also behaved the same way by occupying other Asian countries, plundering and raping and is equally hated by those former occupied countries). After centuries of occupying and oppressing other nations, now the Europeans (like the Japanese) want to retreat to their little ‘safe space’ and want to be treated like special snowflakes.

    3. That’s not true at all. Over the years, I know Angola at least has had a huge influx of Portuguese, estimate at over 100 000. And in my African country, there are expats from Europe, North and South America working, even lecturing at universities. I work with quite a few. Admittedly the influx of immigrants from neighbouring African countries as well as India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and China is much greater.

      Perhaps there aren’t more European immigrants because Europeans aren’t inclined to leave a reasonably run country for a 3rd world hellhole (which is what most African and Asian countries are)?

      Kath does bring up a good point. Most 3rd world hellholes are a result of western interference. Let’s face it, early Europeans moved in and destabilised whole continents to enrich themselves for example when the Brits left, they partitioned India which basically destabilised that area.

      The Americans toppled Saddam loooking for weapons of mass destruction and destabilised that area. Now I’m not saying that those places were Utopia to begin with but imho they were more stable than what they are now. And if that country had a bad leader, then it’s up to the people of that country to do something about it.

      I have also thought what’s so bad if people of colour want to move out of ex-colonies to the countries of their former masters who built their economies on the ashes of the colonies?

      But don’t worry Heretic and Roberts unless there’s a civil war or they pull an Idi Amin on me and neighbouring African countries won’t take me in, I won’t be coming to Europe/North America, except maybe as a tourist with a camera if I can afford to one day. :)

  42. Charlottesville voted 80% for Hillary Clinton. The town itself is a liberal town, it’s the outsiders that came to mess the town up. There are many activist were busing in from New York and DC to protest.

    We were supposed to go on a hike near Charlottesville and would have stopped for lunch or dinner, but I canceled it. It was a good decision as I was watching the story unfold on the TV.

    My city has Lee and others Confederate Statues, I hope violence doesn’t come here.

  43. It’s pretty sad there are so much hate down there now. I’ve faced some discrimination personally but nothing like your experience.

    I really hope people can learn from history. Maybe it should be mandatory for racists to walk through a Nazi concentration camp to experience what it was like see the horror with their own eyes.

    Money or lack of causes people to have extreme views. It’s too bad traveling cost money because you gain so much perspective by visiting different places.

  44. Thank you for the story Sam. Being a minority myself I wish I could tell you I’m shocked, but I can’t. Racism is as American as apple pie, and pretending it’s not is ignorance more than anything else. In my travels, no where else in the world has ever come as close in racism as good ol’ U.S.A. Sure other areas can be more violent, or terrorizing to foreigners. But no where else is a country as divisive regarding race than the U.S. Sadly I’d wager that will never change either.

  45. As an Asian, I have never encountered anything bad in the country. Of course, I had to get used to the stereotypes and ignorance and live my life which was no big deal.

    The funny thing is that most people I encountered with in the Midwest and Texas, were some of the nicest people that I’ve ever met especially when compared to either coasts.

    I definitely agree education and financial security have a big role in this. The unfortunate part is that the current president is not really helping with the rise of far-right folks.

  46. Thanks for sharing Sam. I grew up in post communist Hungary, so I’m not new to racism. I actually enjoy the low key covert racism here in the US, especially in coastal areas where it’s more liberal. Because as long as I don’t get physically assaulted it’s a win for me. It sucks that there’s still a ton of racism around. But I try to have hope. Everyone’s got hurts. I’m no different. Again, thanks for sharing your story; good thing that the confrontation didn’t escalate any further for you and your gf at the time.

  47. This is my favorite post. I hope it becomes as prominent as some of the other gems you produced that have helped so many people.

    Great stuff!

  48. Hi Sam,

    It is interesting that you recall this event after the current events on racism. I think that is how our brains work as we tend to remember things based on a mood or a feeling. That being said, this must have been pretty traumatic for you. What gets me about groups like the KKK is that they some how think they have the right to land in the US over any other race. The race of people that were here first were the Native Americans and they would be the only “race” that I could see have an issue with the way things turned out for them. What is real funny about being “White” is that there is no “White”. Like many other nationalities “White” is just a skin tone and a belief that you are some how pure. I am classified as “White” due to my Irish/German heritage but I am sure that if you were to run my DNA testing through 23 and Me you would find all sorts of ethnicity in my genetic make up. The truth is that there is no “White” race. I can’t find a country called Caucasia on the map. I think because of this they think Caucasia is the US. It is not. The Statue of Liberty has the quote “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!
    Everyone in the US came here for a better life and one of their family members were being persecuted for their color, their religion, or financial status. They some how think that because they were here a generation or two in front others that they have the right to act this way. Everyone of these idiots need to have their DNA tested and we should ship them back to where they came from so they can appreciate what this country is. It might be fun for them to realize some of the groups they hate are in fact part of their heritage.

    That is my two cents on this.

  49. After reading your story and what happened in Virginia over the weekend, I can’t help but think how fortunate I was to grow up in San Francisco being as diverse as a city you can get. Going to school in SF and attending college at SF State, I did not encounter any serious racism. Being an Asian-American, I blended in with everyone else and in some cases Asians were the majority race.
    Even going to a friends house that was a different ethnicity, I never once thought if their parents would look or treat me differently since I was Asian and fortunately they never did, they were friendly and offering me food. I thought it was normal.
    But whenever I watch events on TV ranging from the Rodney King riots in the 90s to all the protests that are going today and what happened in Virginia I know racism still exist and its very real.
    Thanks for sharing your story!

  50. You are spot on with, ” I can’t help but think the lack of money and education have everything to do with racism. Nobody grows up hating someone else because of their skin color. Hate is taught by our parents, our peers, and our circumstance. Hopefully this means that those who hate can be taught to learn love as well.”

    There will always be haters but for the most part they are kept in check by the good folks around them in society. But when working people are having a tough time financially they can be swayed into bigotry without thinking.
    I grew up in an auto-industry town in the north made up of people from the south. When times were good everything was good. When the economy was down hate came out.
    We can all be taught love not hate. In the church we attended there were blacks and whites. When the economy was down the church leadership taught us we all had to come together as brothers to get through it and show the love of God.
    Hate and the idea of race is not from God. We are more alike than we are different.

  51. “If you’re experiencing hate know that the person hating on you is going through some sort of misery that causes them to act out. Happy people don’t hate on others, they find a way to accept and be kind. Try to have a private conversation to work things through.”

    So true – useful advice which I’ve kept in mind for years when dealing with family tensions.

  52. Ms. Conviviality

    I’m Asian and a year ago I started mentoring a 14 year old black girl. The mentoring program has set activities for us to complete during our meetings. One of the activities was setting 3 goals for herself. She had the hardest time coming up with goals so I asked, “What things do you see around you that you wish were different?” thinking that she could work towards making a difference in those areas. She said “I wish there wasn’t police violence towards blacks” and then clammed up after having said it. This was not exactly the type of response I was expecting and the problem was, I didn’t have an answer on how to fix the situation. It is sad that this child even had to think about such things when she should be enjoying time with friends and focusing on school.

  53. The post is a painful reminder of how the world could be.

    I think people have to realize that different people are going through different situations in life. So before you start to hate someone for doing something you don’t like first think about what is causing that person to take those actions.

    From there you can have a better understanding of what that person is going through.

  54. Charles Sarahan II


    Grew up in the Washington DC area. Racism can be found in all people regardless of skin color or nationality. Been the victim of it because I was white and straight. My wife and I have been yelled at or leered by Hispanics because she is Spanish and I am white. All in the DC area I’ve had people treat me fine but her not because of her skin color (Ohio/West Virginia). You will find it anywhere. That being said, your advice is sound. However, the more rural the area, the more I would own a gun. Nothing like looking someone fighting back to deter a bunch of bullies or worse.

  55. Oh ugh Sam. What an awful experience. Your FIL has balls though – standing up to those men like that.

    We can only hope that the world our children will grow up and inherit will be a better place. I place my hope in the fact that newer generations are more connected than ever before, and will have less reason to see focus on their differences because they will have more in common than not.

  56. As a middle easterners growing up in the Bible Belt I grew up with lots of slurs and some physics threats from my peers. Kids are resilient and somehow get through it. I suspect it has improved some now 30 years later but poverty is Still present. Like you said, poverty and situations typically breed discontent and subsequent hatred.

  57. The Luxe Strategist

    Since you have such a huge reach, I appreciate you sharing this story and spreading awareness.

    As someone who’s a minority and grew up in a small town, I can definitely relate, although never anything KKK-related (sheesh!). But I always knew the problem wasn’t me, it was the ignorance, fear and inexperience of the people in the town. If they just got to know me, it would be a different story.

    Also, interesting story. There was a kid at school who used to call me racial slurs. Well, I was trolling Instagram for pics of my hometown a while back. I noticed he had posted a ton of photos. It turns out that the kid grew up and came out as gay. I’m still convinced that the hatred he spewed back then was because he was trying to deflect any suspicion about his own sexual orientation.

  58. Oh man, that was scary. It’s really sad racism is rearing its ugly head once again. Trump’s rhetoric just encourage this kind of behavior. I haven’t had to deal with racism much because I grew up in California. Portland is also very progressive.
    I just hope it gets better when my son is grown up.

  59. When I was 7 my family moved from Duluth, MN to Irving, TX. That was the first time I had ever heard the term “Damn Yankee”. To this day if I hear someone use that term I hate to admit it still affects me. For three years an older boy offered to pay kids my age a quarter if they would beat me up because he was too old and would get into trouble for it. At least I learned to fight. My mother remembers me coming home from school asking her if the South really won the Civil War. I was told in school that the history books were a lie fro Yankees. My mom clarified the issue but honestly I had no clue before this that there even was a Civil War in the US. Probably not the best age to study this but maybe it was the educators trying to stamp out ignorance starting in the first grade. Three years later when my parents announced we were moving to Colorado my older brothers and I literally jumped up, linked arms and starting dancing in a circle. Years later I was living in San Francisco (Noe Valley) and had to teach a week long computer class in north Dallas and observed racial discrimination to an older black man. I was stunned by the 20-something punk who was so rude to the black gentleman who worked with him and had been giving me directions. Fast forward 30 years later and Dallas has changed for the better. First, lots of us damned Yankees have invaded and supplanted much of the the ignorant small-mindedness of those racially motivated. Second, the consistent efforts by people of goodwill who systematically preached a message of love conquering hate from the pulpit, Web and social media have made a dent in the thick skulls and thin skins of the ignorant masses.

  60. Fun in the Sun

    Poor people need someone to blame for their situation. Instead of saying “My life is tough, because I goofed off in school, and am a little bit lazy”, it is far easier to blame those that look different to you.

    For poor white people, they don’t even have racism to blame. These are white men, the most privileged group in society, who still can’t seem to catch a break.

    It is sad this happens. We should be outing those that march. Instead of letting them hide in the shadows, media should be writing up bios of each and every person at the rally.

    1. “These are white men, the most privileged group in society, who still can’t seem to catch a break.”
      How do you think “white privilege” measures to economic privilege or two-parent happy home privilege? Which one is greater?

      1. It doesn’t quantify. The best analogy I’ve ever heard is a video game. If you are a white male in the U.S., you are playing “life” on the easiest level. It doesn’t mean you can’t win if you aren’t a white male, it’s just a harder level to play. As for the white males who still haven’t won… It explains the willful blindness, anger and externalizing of blame.

        1. And I would point out that in Asia similar this holds true for Asians, Africa Africans, and Middle Easterners in the Middle East. So if Europeans become a hated minority – and look no further to South Africa and the “blame whitey” educational cultural immersion in the USA to see the future writ large – then Europeans be unique in not enjoying this “privilege” among the people in the world.

  61. Jeff @ Maximum Cents

    Thanks for sharing this Sam. This is a good reminder that there is still hate and bigotry in the world.

  62. thank you for sharing! as a white rich guy i recognize that it’s most often not constructive to interject into these conversations. i will however, work not to present myself as color blind and will raise my daughter not to be colorblind as well. it’s not constructive to ignore/dismiss/minimize the negative experiences and poor treatment minorities have received while also trying to cheerlead their success. we can have it both ways. it’s the healthiest and most enriching experience IMO to thoughtfully acknowledge these horrible wrongs and histories of mistreatment and also those ONGOING and listen to minorities while also supporting examples of their successes and triumphs. thank you again.

  63. Thank you for sharing your story. It breaks my heart what happened. It breaks my heart that people are that angry and misinformed. I watched this video once of a former white supremacist and how he got recruited because he was at such a low place in his life. I’m not at all making excuses for that behavior, but it does help to reach inside the human soul to see what might be triggering this behavior, as it’s systemic, and fixing that will be the only true way to eradicate this horrifying behavior. He eventually finally had encounters with people of different races/backgrounds/sexual orientations and changed his ways. Now he is trying to get people out of that situation.

  64. Thank you for sharing this story and starting a dialogue about Charlottesville. While I’m still working through my thoughts, I keep going back to that photo of young people — the counterprotestors who refused to be swallowed in a sea of hate. When people try to sway me to move to more lucrative industries, that image is, in a nutshell, why I stay. Young people are amazing, and I hope they give me as much hope when I’m 50, 70, and 90 as they do now at 31.

  65. Thank you for sharing your story. I can’t imagine experiencing this as a 19 year old college student, or at any age for that matter.

    My husband is Jewish. I converted to the faith after discussing how we would raise our kids and discovering that I had my own Jewish ancestry. I find it abundantly sad that in my conversion classes and from time to time at synagogue discussion turns to how to help kids deal with anti-Semitism. These conversations, some responses to my conversion, and the events in Charlottesville have given me insight into a struggle I had the privilege growing up of never having to see first hand. I pray for the strength to raise kids that are better, and to stand up in the face of injustice when I see it.

  66. Save Splurge Deny Debt - Cameron

    Damn, thanks for sharing this story Sam.

    As a new father I constantly think about this and worry to make sure I raise my son right and he understands all of this and how he can make a positive difference.

    Moving from Nebraska to Arkansas really opened my eyes to blatant racism and how minorities interact and are treated still today. Just last week we were playing at a park on a small merry go round, with one other little boy. Four black children and their families came up after, jumping on the merry go round as well. The grandparents of the one other white child instantly jumped from their park bench, telling their boy there was no room and he needed to be careful and get away from the ride.

    It was such an obvious racist remark and made the experience uncomfortable for the African American families as well as us. We stayed and had a great time but it is still unfortunate that this is a normal every day occurrence for them. Tough to see and think that in 2017 that is still very normal.

    Great post.

  67. Stories like this and events like Charlottesville make me sick with anger. It is so frustrating that there is so much hate in this country and world. I wish I had the answer but I don’t know what is the right way to help fix this. It has been a battle in this country for far too long. Education is definitely one that would help greatly.

    I was watching an educational show on Netflix with my son this last weekend and thought to myself. Why is everyone ____ing white in this show? The media has been better lately with representation of the real world but it has a long ways to go.

  68. Thank you for sharing your story. Sorry for everything that you have had to go through.

    I think part of what made the events of this weekend so upsetting was how open and unabashed they were. It was less of a secret Klan rally and more of a Pride march. I don’t think that the hate ever really went away, but I worry about it not needing to be hidden. It felt like if racism were shamed and forced underground that it would decline with each generation. I worry about what such open and proud hatred will convey to young people.

    “Let’s teach our children early on about the importance of respecting each other. Our prejudices will spread to our children if we are not careful.” This, to me, is the most important thing for the future of the country. We need to raise the next generation to be better than us.

  69. Definitely love this. “Let’s teach our children early on about the importance of respecting each other” – educators certainly try to do this every single day. What gets taught in the classroom, the playground, and on the athletic field can get undone at home with a single word or action. Parents are their children’s first and most powerful teachers. But that doesn’t mean educators will stop. It just makes their job a lot harder… Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Sam.

  70. The Green Swan

    What a story and encounter you had during college. Firsthand experiences make it so you don’t ever forget about racial hate like this. So sad to hear this still goes on around us. Wish we could all see each other for who we really are.

  71. Thank you for sharing your story, Sam! I was literally holding my breath waiting to see what would happen next.

    I experienced a lot of racial discrimination in college. I went to a small private school with a bunch of rich white kids, and some of them made sure to let me know that I was different. I heard the same thing from other minority students too. All we could do was try to forget about the racism and focus on our studies since that was the best thing we should worry about.

    I actually also experienced some discrimination even among Asians and Asian Americans: those who hung out with whites and those who hung out a lot with Asians/Asian Americans.

    1. I totally agree. Sam its a great post. I’m what is called white. LOL..Paper is white. My husband is Korean. our skin looks the same to me, except I wrinkle and he doesn’t. I’m used to racial slurs even in Atlanta. I disagree with one thing Sam. Racial discrimination happens across all economic levels and even education levels. I could not marry my husband in 1979 because my well-raised, higher economic level, Emory professors, type family would have seriously, and maybe physically restrained me. Yet, I was not allowed in 2003 to buy my horses their feed in Clarkesville, Ga because I was Catholic not Baptist. As a Catholic in the south growing up in the 60’s we were not allowed to play with certain friends. Not because our family said no, but because their families said No. But Sam your blog is perfect. We must realize that its because at some point their families or even them, were angered, hurt, or abused by someone else and it was handed down. And until that terrible day in Va. I thought we were learning to think and love more perfectly. I cannot live in the rural areas now. the Semi-automatic weapon fire is even heard from my home near Lanier. Thanks Sam. Glad your getting some sleep.

  72. Mrs. Adventure Rich

    I was appalled and deeply saddened by the events that took place this past weekend. To be honest, I felt a bit sick… I have watched in horror as we have seen terror around the world in many forms, including individuals plowing cars into crowds in various cities. But when it hit this close to home, there was a deep, unsettling feeling that came over me. How could someone hate enough to injure and kill intentionally? Or even to carry a symbol of hate, genocide, and evil in the form of a Nazi flag?

    Solution-wise, I don’t have an answer, but I wish we could see less of an “us vs. them” or “me vs. you” trend. Have a conversation, look for the good qualities in others. I may not agree with everything another person says, does or believes, but that is absolutely okay. By allowing oneself to acknowledge that everyone will have unique characteristics, traits and beliefs, you are free to move forward and see the beauty each individual brings to the world.

    Thank you for the powerful post today, Sam.

  73. This is why after 20 years of living in America, I decided to move back to Asia. No matter how successful you become in America you will always have to deal with racist assholes and will never be fully accepted. Just looking at the current political climate, I don’t see the race division getting any better in the near future. Yes, I could have chosen to live in an Asian bubble such the 626 in SoCal but if I ever have kids I would rather they grow up in Singapore, HK or Taipei.

    1. This is an interesting angle. I’ve visited and lived all over the world, including living in Singapore and visiting HK and Taipei many times for work and pleasure. While I will say I absolutely love east Asia (food, culture, people, geography, etc) and hope to get the opportunity to live there with my wife and kids one day, I feel like it is even more racist than the US. Think about how Filipino maids are treated by the ethnic Chinese and Malays in Singapore. I even wrote a paper on this in undergrad…

      1. There is racism in Asia. The difference is that, being in the same class as the ‘oppressor’ group, is like being white in America, yields more benefit than being Asian in America.

        Secondly, the racism and race rivalry in Asia does not come with the baggage of centuries of slavery in America. Asia is a huge place and certainly there’s history of cruel oppression and occupation by the Japanese, Chinese etc – Can’t cover all of them in a reply comment. It’s just not the same as being an Asian in America. The playing field is a bit more equal. If you think the Filipino maids are treated badly in Singapore, think of how much worse it would be for them in America. I am not excusing the poor behavior of Asians, as it has been mentioned there is also racism in Asia.

        1. I say this as an America who has spent literally decades living in Europe and east-Asia, and has also traveled to Africa and the middle-east: I think Americans vastly underestimate the amount of racism in the rest of the world. A couple examples:

          – In South Africa, there is rampant racism (among both white and black South Africans) against immigrants from other African nations (think Nigeria & Somalia). If you’ve ever seen the movie “District 9”, there’s a subtle hint of that with the immigrant gangsters. Violence against immigrants is common. I spent three weeks traveling across the country around the last World Cup, and while I was expecting to see and hear about race issues intra-South Africa, I was surprised to see the bigger issue seemed to be with people born in other African (or even South Asian) nations.

          – In Europe, it is not uncommon to see racial taunts openly hurled at black footballers (soccer players) during games. France, Germany, and Belgium all have serious issues with race relations, France in particular.

          – You mention a Filipino maid would have it worse in America than in Singapore. I would strongly beg to differ. In Singapore, it a common occurrence for maids to be forced to lean out high rise windows to clean them, with no safety equipment. Google “Singapore maid deaths”, and you’ll see dozens of stories. One CNN article I read claimed 10 deaths in the first 5 months of 2012 alone. On top of this, I can say from experience that most Singaporeans withhold their maids’ passports during employment, work weeks are insanely long, and maids quarters are often the only part of a house or apartment that is not air conditioned. I’m using Singapore as an example because I’ve lived there, but I’ve seen the same thing in Bangkok and other Asian cities. Btw, for those that might not realize it, all maids in Singapore are foreigners (generally from poor SE Asian nations like Myanmar or Philippines), as are virtually all construction workers, etc.

          – Needless to say, mid-East nations like Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Qatar, etc. have also faced extensive human rights issues in their treatment of foreign workers, whether maids, cab drivers, construction workers, etc.

  74. Mr. Freaky Frugal

    I’m white, male and from a middle-class family, so I basically grew up privileged. I never directly experienced the racism and hate that others have.

    When my son came out gay, I worried a lot about all the gay-bashing and hatred. Mrs. Freaky Frugal and I joined HRC and did everything and I could to support him. He hasn’t had many bad experiences and I’m very thankful for that.

    I joined a Zen Center years ago with many minority members and and an African American teacher or Sensei as we call him. I really started to understand the subtle and not-so-subtle discrimination and hate that occurs just due to the way people look. To be honest, it really pisses me off. Not very Zen, I know.

  75. I can’t fathom why what happened in Charlottesville happened. I am from MS, and I know how extreme the prejudice can be from time to time. I don’t understand why people continue to live in the past and can’t see where we are now.
    My husband grew up in the the MS Delta, where the poverty is even worse and the prejudice and anger is much stronger. There is a constant level of fear between the whites and blacks, that I feel is out of place given that it’s 2017. Despite the local governments efforts, the tension hasn’t decreased. The town is getting smaller, as the more affluent are moving out. This really just makes the situation worse for those that want or have to stay in the town.
    I wish I could say I knew how to fix this, but I don’t. But I love the South, and our state, even though there are many issues like this that need to be worked through.

  76. Sam that stinks that you had to deal with that. Having grown up in Northern Virginia as well I didn’t really see any racism since it’s a big mixing pot being just outside DC. However, like you said there are some pockets in VA that can breed hate which is unfortunate but personally I think there is hatred in every state if you look close enough.

  77. It seems like your president did nothing to tell them to stop. I watched the Governor of Virginia use strong words against the hate groups but your president’s words were not clear or strong against these haters.

    These groups and their supporters must feel emboldened by the lack of outrage from the top. The lack of outrage and the lack of firm statements against hate speech makes me think he supports the evil.

    1. Beth, I know it is easy to buy into the narrative of our liberal media in the US but please recognize our politics are so divisive that no matter what our President said or how he reacted, the media would have portrayed it in a negative light. What they don’t tell you is the head of the KKK was actually outraged at his comments so I believe our President did indeed get the appropriate message across and it was not well received by the KKK, as it was intended.

      1. That article did nothing to alleviate the support Donald Trump has garnered from racial bigots. In fact, it points out the racists still do support his divisive message

        “Duke called the rally a “turning point” saying that protesters would fulfill the promises of Trump’s candidacy”

        1. Paper Tiger

          Support comes in all shapes, sizes, and colors, as does bigotry. Where was the outrage when professional protesters were flown in to stop Trump rallies at the risk of the lives of many innocent folks simply attending as part of the political process? Remember Chicago? Thank goodness for the good sense of the Trump campaign to put the welfare of the crowds ahead of the welfare of the campaign. He is far from perfect but he is also not the portrait painted by the liberal, bought and paid for media in this country.

          1. cc visnesky

            As Dennis Praeger says when we have a nation of “feelings” vs actual facts as ‘evidence’ we have lost the battle. I give you credit for putting up a fair and logical arguments.

      2. I don’t need to listen to any of the spin media can put on things. I watched your president place blame on both sides. I watched him skip saying anything bad about neo nazis and the KKK. He refuses to denounce them.

        Evil triumphs when good men do nothing. Your president has done nothing. A young woman stood up to the evil and lost her life to it.

        1. Paper Tiger

          Beth, the blame he was placing, as he said, was on “all sides.” Protesters on both sides were out of control and local law enforcement and the local agency who approved the permits allowed the demonstrations to get too close together, as has been acknowledged by the local authorities in hindsight. They made a mistake with the permits that put both sides in close proximity of each other that should not have been allowed and enabled a very volatile situation. President Trump was correct when he asserted there was plenty of blame to go around in this tragic and terribly unfortunate situation.

        2. Paper Tiger

          He did not place blame on “both” sides. He placed blame on “all” sides and he was correct as local officials have acknowledged. Both sides of the demonstration are to blame and the biggest impact may have been that officials approved permits for both demonstrations that were in too close proximity of one another and local law enforcement was not prepared to deal with those kinds of numbers and volatility.

          As our President correctly stated, plenty of blame to go around on “all sides” for this horrible tragedy that potentially could have been avoided.

          1. You seem like an intelligent person and a trump supporter/ apologist. This combination is baffling to me.

            1. Paper Tiger

              Matt, I’m not sure where you saw an apologist trend in my responses. All I was attempting to do was add some perspective to counter some of the emotion out there. I will say the second response was redundant because on my computer the first response did not show as having posted so I wrote another response and then of course, it turned out the initial response had gone out and was just delayed in posting on my computer because it was running an update in the background. So, sorry for the repeat for sure.

              I would say I am more a supporter of the policies than the man but we won’t get one without the other. I believe in a strong national defense, a renewed tax policy that will change the trajectory of our US growth, a “legal” immigration policy and strong enforcement of current laws regarding illegal immigration, a new and broad investment in our infrastructure (roads/bridges/hospitals, etc.), better and fairer trade negotiations that don’t disadvantage our country and a healthcare policy that actually works for all, rather than simply covering all at the expense of quality and costs.

              I also absolutely rail against hypocrisy. It is laughable that we jump on Trump for not denouncing the KKK in stronger terms, (even though I am glad to see his follow up that in fact he did just that), when you have a former President that never said boo about a group like Black Lives Matter and the hate they were spewing about killing cops and other atrocious things that were equally disturbing, and also a President who could not bring himself to utter the words, “Radical Islamic Terrorism” to define exactly what it is we are fighting. The left wanted no part of those discussions but they are quick to jump on the right for the same kinds of things.

              I really feel like the Left in this country would much rather see our country fail, than our President succeed. They are that misguided and selfish. This blog is about chasing FI and FIRE and we can’t accomplish our goals and our dreams without a steady growing economy and stock market. Whether you love or hate Trump, many of his policies are designed with these goals in mind and I for one care a lot more about the success of his policies than I do the success of the man. Like I said before, you can’t get one without the other and our prosperity should mean more than our politics, and far less emphasis placed on who receives the credit.

            2. The amount of semiautomatics, bulletproof vests, and gear on display was at least a magnitude higher than any BLM protest. Furthermore, the # of arrests is much higher at BLM protests, even without any difference in amount of violence.

              At BLM, the govt is willing to send in anti-terrorist vehicles. BLM is a movement to reduce the number of police killings.

              At this event, the govt simply said they were outnumbered. This was an event in support of a pure race – you can go ahead and hear the chanting.

              This was a hint to the rest of us to stay inside. In order to cut taxes, Trump will likely continue to cut support to the police as he has with every other department.

              I suspect a large rise in “peaceful” protests involving individuals patrolling (trolling) areas, where they have a higher concentration of military power than the govt. They will use this to keep us out of areas. I’ve been told in many terms for years in the South now that they have guns to fight the govt, now the govt is supporting them.

              Finally, what do you say about Bannon and his past?

            3. Matt, Honey, for you to make such an ignorant statement, clearly a lot of things in life are going to bafffle you, sugar, you just keep pluggin’ away!! Bless your heart!!

    2. I agree, Beth. Trump’s response showed not only a great lack of presidential leadership, but failed to call out the Nazis and Klansmen responsible for the tragedy.

      1. I worked late last night and came home to watch that awful press conference he did yesterday were he said their were good people on both sides. He supports racists. He made that very clear. He will never change.

        There will be shame on all of the republican politicians who do not speak out against him. I am Canadian and I am sad for all of you. Actually I am only sad for most of you. A lot of Americans voted for this guy and support his racist views.

        1. Beth,

          You have a much too simplistic view probably generated through years of both Canadian and US liberal political OPINIONS being spouted as fact by academia, media and government. These “dramas” are created by current policies (on all sides) via identify politics in efforts to gain votes and power.

          It is not as simple as “these guys hate minorities.”

          1. I watched Trump’s press conference yesterday. No spin, no opinions. That told me all I need to know. Racist.

  78. I jumped directly from China to San Francisco.

    I’m pretty lucky to grow up in San Fran. My best friend was from El Salvador and I rarely encountered issues with race. When things were tense, we cracked jokes as kids do to calm the air.

    San Francisco is definitely a more diverse place than Charlottesville, Virginia. Eeeek, Sam I was reading that story and my face is still permanently in “eek” position.

    The only racism I felt growing up in San Francisco was covert. I remember being in the Westfield mall with my friends after school and I walked backwards into an older white women who looked at me like I was a rat.

    She grab her purse closer to her and clenched onto her husband’s arms for support like I was the demon purse thief.

    I was 4 foot 10 and as shy as a teenage dork could ever be. But it did cut me pretty deep that someone would automatic see someone of my race and clutch on to their purse. Left a bad taste in my mouth.

    My husband is white and I was soooo afraid of meeting her mother. I thought she was going to be like that woman in the mall. Now of course she isn’t! Mrs. P’s the sweetest woman everrrrr but it took me a while to get over that mall incident.

    Its funny, you don’t think about how these things effect you but it does.

    1. Charlottesville is actually a very liberal college town. People came in for the rally there from all over the country. The white nationalists like to hold rallies in liberal cities because they hope antifa counter protestors will show up and get violent. Then they can use it as a recruiting tool.

      1. Oh cool I didn’t know that! The news media made it seem so far off right and conservative. They were arguing over a General Lee statue! I don’t think I would feel comfortable in Abingdon though…

    2. Lily – quick question. Did the woman you backed into say anything to imply that she was scared of you because of your race? Could it have been that she was worried about a bunch of teenagers, regardless of race? Or maybe she was frightened because she had been looking in a different direction and felt you bump into her purse?

      1. It was a gentle bump and she acted like I smacked her. Then she with held her purse, she snucked it tighter under her arm.

        I’ve been a minority all my life (duh) and I can smell something racially driven, anyone can because it’s in the way the person looks at you. It’s that highly sensitive. And teenager? She was 2 heads taller than me. H&M still codes me as an 8 year old in size ;(. I was probably 14 at the time and looked much younger.

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