God made all races and no race is superior to another. Therefore, anyone believing a particular race matters more than another race beyond “All Lives Matter” is a racist by the very definition of racism. I am not going to be ashamed of being white nor will I feel my race is superior to another. We are all children of God.
For that matter, I have heard of “white privilege.” What “white privilege” do I have?
My grandparents came to America from Italy just over 100 years ago. My grandfather worked the railroad. My father was born in a house in what today is North Richmond, one of the worse crime riddled neighborhoods in California. My father spoke Italian and didn’t know how to read. He got a job at a young age in a grocery store; but never promoted because he didn’t want people to know he couldn’t read.
My mother’s great-grandfather died in the Civil War fighting for the Union. The fatherless family settled in a town living poor in Colorado, near the Oklahoma border.
Growing up, my father worked and provided what he could to give me and my siblings a good life. I struggled in school as I also could not read. In Special Education with many of my Hispanic friends, I was placed on a reading machine even in high school to learn to read.
My counselor, Ms. Arce asked me if I was going to go to college. I said, “No, I am not smart enough.” She invited me to attend a trip to the community college. I got on the bus with many of my Hispanic friends when I noticed a lady with a clipboard in the front of the bus staring at me. When our eyes met, she called me to the front of the bus asking who authorized me to go. I told her, Ms. Arce. She told me there was a mistake and I could not go because this was a trip ONLY for Hispanic students and I was kicked off the bus. There was no more difference between me and my Hispanic friends. Actually most were better off than me. I later found out from my friend Eleuterio Serrano that the group was “La Raza,” Spanish for “the race.”
This was my first encounter of racism. I had been denied a college trip because I was white. Actually, I didn’t care. I didn’t want to go to college anyway. I was satisfied that I would become the first in my family to graduate high school.
Working for the Recreation Department, my boss Frank Acebo gave me life-changing advice. He told me to go to college and that college isn’t about how smart you are; it is about how hard you try.
I went to college as scared as can be. I researched what teachers would require a term paper and avoided those classes like the plague. Acebo gave me some more advice. He said never stop going to college. If you do, it will be hard to ever start again. As I got hired with Concord Police Department in 1988, I continued taking at least one class, sometimes doing my homework during a graveyard shift at 4 a.m.; but after 11 years, I received my bachelor’s degree.
My wife also had no “white privilege,” migrating here legally from Portugal. Her family had to learn the language and assimilate into America as immigrants.
I wrote my first letter to the paper while sitting in a court holding room with an inmate that was to testify. Spending multiple hours waiting, I was reading the newspaper and decided to write a letter. Honestly, I was scared to send it in; but encouraged by those who reviewed my first letter. I was scared that people would criticize my writing with my own fear of not being a good writer. Sure enough, my first letter was criticized by a local Democrat; but the words of my letter were praised by a local pastor who invited me to speak at his church. I was scared to speak and asked the pastor in advance for the questions he would ask so I could try to memorize my answers. I had to overcome a fear of speaking.
Whenever people today praise me for my letters, I thank them but tell them I cannot take credit for my letters. Where I am today in my life is from God. God uses those who are small to do great things for His glory. No one would have ever expected me to write to the paper, much less my book, “Sarah Palin out of Nowhere.” For me to be a praised writer is only from God. There is no “white privilege.”
I compare my life to Kamala Harris. She is praised as an “African-American woman” but she is not even African-American. Her mother is Indian and her father is from Jamaica, which the family was slave owners. She is a descendant of slave owners, making her the product of “black privilege” as her family’s success was the result of advantages of those in bondage.
There are no slave owners or slaves today. There are “white” people who have had no such “white privilege” while there are black people who have had “black privilege.” We should stop all the racial division and hypocrisy. Every person is a child of God. All lives matter and everyone should have equal access and equal opportunity to succeed based not on how smart you are; but how hard you try.
Frank Aquila is president of the San Joaquin Stanislaus Conservative Patriots and author of the book, “Sarah Palin Out of Nowhere.” He can be emailed at email@example.com