Taking on the Nazis
American Nazi party leader George Lincoln Rockwell had just been assassinated, and I was sanguine about his passing not caring one way or the other, until the television announced that his local followers were congregating at the Federal courthouse in downtown Seattle. Looked like about twenty or so Nazi dressed Hitler Youth Types, parading on the steps of the courthouse; extolling the virtues of their martyred leader and liberally defaming the name and character of minorities, and the white Race Traders who supported them. Freedom of speech and their right to peaceably assemble I regarded as noble concepts, but I didn’t care about affording them the same rights these Nazis would deny me, so I decided to test out their power and right to continue attacking other American citizens. I showered and cleaned up in appropriate clothing for battle, I planned to walk back and forth in front of the courthouse on 5th avenue, in case I had too many of these racist animals to contend with, it would be easier to control the action and move around between the adjoining library and the court steps. I believed my martial arts and fighting skill could prevail over people I regarded as cowardly bigots, a 19 year old Black man who had always been raised to stick up for what was right, and never back down if I were challenged by evil people. Of course this isn’t what my mentors and elders were expecting of my, I was looking for a fight that I couldn’t win, because there are never any winners when stupidity and bravado are the reasons for actions.
I started by walking along the east – west side of the courthouse to draw the protestors attention, then moved around to the front on 5th avenue and defiantly strolled North and South, occasionally slowing down as I approached the courthouse steps. A couple brown shirts kept a close vigil on me but didn’t venture off the property, and I spotted several concerned passersby who nodded acknowledgement to me, some showed a look of concern at the obviously misguided Black youth about bring about his downfall. At some point I just stopped in front of the courthouse stairs and glared at the assembly, I was ready for this to end on way or another regardless of the outcome, and I guess they were also because some young man started to uneasily move towards me. The young man about my age as were many assembled was about my age, he asked what I wanted and almost seemed relieved when I just said I wanted him and his buddies to leave or make me leave, I imagine he couldn’t believe that I was there alone and didn’t have confederates in the ready. I young follower of the recently departed leader of the American Nazi Party, tried to apologetically related the sad event of his assassinated leader and they were merely exercising their right to free speech, but his speech drifted off as he glanced at my cold eyes and stone featured response to his empty excuses. The young man walked away and his young comrades began to disassemble, I was amused that these pale vocal brigands didn’t charge me in mass, but they looked more intellectual and cerebral and more inclined to debate rather than brawling.
There were no victors present this night because I was dealing with the body of a decapitated monster, maniacal babies incapable of executing their deranged plans, I was dealing with adolescents who were afraid of the dark and in this instance they regarded me As The Dark. Again myth and prejudice that this hate group embraced made them fear me unreasonably, it also added to false courage on my part and mistaken belief that I would undoubtedly triumph in this situation, attitudes of the late 1960’s fueled by 100 years of racial proximity after the Civil War. I grew up in what I call Apartheid Seattle of the 1940’s through the 1960’s, the black community was part of Seattle’s Central Area, and our neighborhood was attacked or disenfranchised until its final dissolution in the 1980’s. When I was five years old all three black theaters were burned down one night, youth wilding rape gangs frequently attacked the CD until mid 1960’s, the police were a necessary evil and during the 1960’ and 1970’s FBI COINTELPRO program worked in concert with public services to spy on CD residents. My generation of Seattle Baby Boomers were the first generation to mix and mingle in Seattle, we eventually swam together – played music together – and danced together, as our pensive parents looked on with fear and concern at Seattle’s Social Experiment. So I didn’t tell mother that in her words went downtown and “acted a fool!”, It would have scared her to death to know her teenage son had put himself in harm’s way, and as I became a professional alcoholic for 11 ½ years (65-76); I constantly tested her patience and psychic pain threshold. After 37 years of abstinence from alcohol I am more certain that booze (African Buza) fuels more aggressive acts and mental states than any anything else. Surprisingly enough the need for a drink knowingly led me into Klu Klux Klan bar, and could have been disastrous if it wasn’t 1976,and if the members were Berserkers rather than good ole boys. What saved me was that I had been one of the local garbage men, who was always nice to their children whom treated me with celebrity, and I used to throw them with inexpensive little dime store toys, to the gratitude of the kids and their parents.
Every so often a minority person like; Trayvon Martin 17 years old killed in Florida, 19 year old Yoshihiro Hattori murdered in Louisiana, or 19 year old Reshina McBride because they deemed an outsider. When I moved to my home in Port Orchard, Washington found I had a psychotic non-veteran racist neighbor, with an AK47 assault rifle who wore black Viet Nam pajamas at night, and did reconnaissance in my back yard. I did get used to him but I didn’t ignore him, tried to stay out of his way until he overdosed a year or so later. I’ve had three death threats 8 racial confrontation over the twelve years I’ve been there, in a surprisingly small population of 8,200 inhabitants. Usually I just receive the “what are you doing here”glare, even if the person is visiting my neighborhood, I was thinking erecting a large sign that read “Port Orchard – we’re not prejudice just Discriminating”.