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Your Views: Aaron’s comments are no better than those from white racists

POSTED: May 3, 2014 12:54 a.m.

Hank Aaron was celebrated recently on the 40th anniversary of breaking Babe Ruth’s record. In his remarks after the ceremony, he said Obama’s critics today were like those who sent him hate letters years ago. “The bigger difference is that back then they had hoods. Now they have neckties and starched shirts,” meaning Republicans.

Hank was doing the very same thing he accused the KKK of doing. They believed blacks were second-class citizens. Does he know history at all? The man who wrote the Emancipation Proclamation was Abraham Lincoln, a Republican. By the way, Hank, “emancipate” means to “free.”

I am in my 70s, and I can tell you black folks may have been emancipated, but they were treated terribly. And if anyone cares to look back into political history, the politicians who were strongly against any law that opposed segregation were Democrats!

I know by experience that in the early ’60s, blacks were slapped, cussed and arrested just because they were black. I had over three years of seeing that behavior as a DeKalb County police officer. No, I was not guilty of that kind of stupidity.

One incident that caused me to get out of that job ASAP was when an older black couple had called for assistance in getting a troublemaker out of their house. After we resolved the incident and as I was going out the door, the black man held out his hand and thanked me for coming. I shook his hand and we left their home.

I was a rookie with about a year’s experience. My partner was a much older man with 20 years. When we got into the patrol car, he warned me to never shake hands with an “n-word” as long as I rode with him. I was speechless and I knew it did no good to talk to a supervisor, because I had before and he just thought it was laughable.

No, I can’t see things the way blacks see them, as blacks can’t see things white people see. Some years later in the ’90s, I was working for a very large company with many black co-workers. We went together on service calls. My black co-worker would often call me a “huckleberry” or “cracker.” I didn’t like it and just ignored it. So the pendulum swings both ways.

I’m an independent voter, and we all better start looking at a person’s qualifications when we vote for any political office, not party, race or gender.

Neil Boykin


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