“I would like to know if you think maybe you are a racist too. You seem to be. “

I know better than to lower myself to replying to internets slander but just this once I’ll make an exception. An Enquiring Mind posits:

“I would like to know if you think maybe you are a racist too. You seem to be. Perhaps not everyone is interested in black culture as you are.

In addition, how many white bookstore owners have black people come in and buy because the book are about or written by white people?

Do you understand that you have become the hater? I would not buy a book from you store simply for the reason of why you opened it in the first place.

If you are so down on white people, adopt a black child with no Dad and teach him that he can be somebody important. Don’t spread more hate. Close your store! It’s a monument to racism!

Take a good long look at who you have become.

Patti”

The bookseller replies…

Dear, dear Patti,

Ouch.  Prejudice, I think.  Racist, I don’t think so.  I don’t trust you know the difference, which would be mighty white of you, but you could look it up.  As for being a hater, I reserve that to people I know personally.  Do I know you?

While I can’t tell you how many others there are (reliable statistics being difficult to come by), I am a white bookstore owner who has black people come in and buy books by and about white people.  Just outside the scope of this little video you know me by is the shop’s representation of Local History.  We are located on Sugar Hill facing the Morris-Jumel Mansion, Gen. Geo. Washington’s headquarters for the Battle of Harlem Heights, and the shop carries an extensive selection on the principals of the Battle and their principles: anti-Colonialism/Imperialism, pro self-determination and equalitarianism.

Jazz isn’t the only thing that’s come out of Harlem.  The Mansion is sometimes referred to as Manhattan’s Monticello, for being Washington’s first and one of his few military victories, and his stand here as “The psychological turning point in the American Revolution.”   Not that it was much of a victory, nor can it be much attributed to the Founding Dad’s strategy.   This is also where Hamilton met Burr, both of whom would live here in Harlem. Hamilton’s house, The Grange, is twenty blocks down the Hill. Burr, who introduced the first legislation in America towards total emancipation of the slaves in 1784, and was it’s first feminist politician, occupied the Mansion longer than Washington, who was here for three weeks.  Here he married Madame Jumel, perhaps the country’s most liberated woman of the Revolutionary and Antebellum periods.  The inconvenient truths of their histories have been discombobulated to the best of our court historian’s abilities.

But jazz is white people playing black music and black people playing white music.  So in our community we’ve come to identify our declared autonomies more with Malcolm X, who was assassinated five blocks from here, than with Thomas Jefferson, who many consider the Founding Father of White Supremacy in America.  Mr. Jefferson, who made all his money off slavery, was candid in his Orangatangism.  He very successfully pits the abolitionists Hamilton and Burr against each other toward fulfilling his vision of The Louisiana Purchase Territory being wholly slave.  Had he failed, slavery would most likely have ended fifty years sooner and there’d never have been a Civil War.

I’m presuming you’re white (call me prejudice) and I don’t hate you for that; some of my best friends… I married a white girl (but once you get to know her you can hardly even tell) and my son is African-American.  So, after taking a “good, long, look at myself,” — (see above) I look like boiled pork! — it’s prejudice, Yes. Racist, No.

Still, without meeting you, however you identify, no matter what color you are, just for you, I might make an exception.

All amities,

Kurt Thometz

Leave A Comment