Hi! My Name Is Loco and I Am a Racist (英語) ペーパーバック – 2012/1/15
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Born to Love - Taught to Loathe In this powerful and controversial debut book, acclaimed blogger turned author, Baye McNeil (a.k.a. Loco), vividly illustrates with unflinching introspection and candor the birth and evolution of a racist and in doing so makes the persuasive argument that the only way to cure this social virus is by first engaging one's own susceptibility. Loco takes us on a scintillating journey from the streets of Brooklyn, where a child's first playground was the front lines of the Pan-African Nationalist and Black Power movements of the 70s, to a period of black militancy, military service, interracial romance and corporate bigotry in the 80s and 90s. Following the earth-shattering events of 9/11/2001, Loco journeys to Japan where he learns the hard way why the old adage: you can't hide from yourself, has hung around so long. He finds the woman he was born to love; only she's a member of a race he has come to loathe! In the name of this love, Loco confronts his dark stowaway with deep roots even as the world is literally falling apart around him, in the form of the Tohoku disaster of 3/11/2011. A book that is both a memoir and an impassioned call to arms, Hi! My Name is Loco and I am a Racist tells us in no uncertain terms that while racism continues to be demonized as a dark aberration that only "evil people," ignorant fools, or people lacking compassion and common decency are subject to, then it will remain at large - hiding in plain sight, in our schools, offices, carpools, living rooms and sometimes even in the mirror.
Baye McNeil (a.k.a. Loco) is an author, columnist, freelance writer and blogger from Brooklyn. He graduated from Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY with a degree in English and Communications. He's resided the better part of a decade in Yokohama, Japan, where he teaches junior high school English. He's a columnist for The Japan Times and also continues to blog about life as a foreigner, a New Yorker and a black man living on a tiny homogenous island. For more information visit: www.bayemcneil.com This is his first book. He is currently working on his 2nd about the jubilation and tribulations of teaching in Japan.
Please buy it and enjoy! Especially if you are an expat in japan.
Only when the sublime and exceptional experience arises is this circle flipped this on its head, where a parent learns from their child as the child's personality and actions forces a parent to learn and change.
And then there are other moments, where a child, looking at the twilight years of their parents and still seeing something, an experience or lesson, so valuable they that feel their parents can still benefit and find value in.
And this was the case with Baye's book. It was hard to read, but not because it was bad, but because it forced me to look at this country (Japan) that I call home and look at my own thoughts and experiences and tear down the veil of denial that, though it may have kept me ignorantly blissful, was preventing me from truly engaging my world and thus enjoying it more, having greater control over myself and my environment.
From the backgrounds that mark us, and sometimes inhibit us from being the people the world needs us to be, to the specter of death that visits at unexpected times, Baye's book took me on a journey of discovery, remembrance, humility, and joy that I feel has increased my humanity...
....and also made me laugh and feel good, and have hope, for myself and humanity.
So greatly did it affect me, that I turned to my father, and for the first time in 41 years made a book recommendation to him. I handed him my kindle app and suggested he read, and he was deep into it before realizing I needed my phone back. He said he looked forward to getting the hard version for himself.
He really loved it and I hope that in his twilight years the book gives him the joy and love that it gave me and perhaps repay just a fraction of what Steve Seals has given me.
Thank you Baye, you are a savior and I cannot thank you enough for having the courage to share such a raw, beautiful, and revealing story that can only make this world a better, closer place.
The book is not only about a sensitive issue that many in Japan, especially foreigners, see as the elephant in the room, but it is also about the author's journey of how his views on that issue have come to be the way they are today. I highly recommend it!
This book made me almost shed tears on the train while reading it, but also made me lol at other times. His writing style is also captivating and definitely not your average layman writing.
Excellent work Baye