Race relations in America.

They suck.

In my own childhood experience here in the good ol' USA, heartland Oklahoma in fact, I've been "restricted" from entry into a Golf Club, a DeMolay Chapter and even the civic swimming pool (yup, no foolin'., 1974, Stillwater OK.) . And that was simply for not being a Christian. At least I'm fair of skin tone and can pass for white as I choose.

My first out in the open race hatred came not as a Jew, but as a gypsy in fact. I spent 2 weeks touring Austria, Hungary and Serbia with the mightily dark skinned rroma brass band Boban Marcovic Orkestar. There, and simply by dint of association, I was presented little to no service in restaurants and the worst rooms in the hotel. A consistent if not benign hatred. (Think being black in Alabama in say, 1961.)

Just this last week I had the great privilege or performing with 'kosher" Gospel superstar Joshua Nelson in LA. I guess I should mention he and the majority of his band are 'colored" as he likes to say. He and his band are top-flight musicians with a deportment of impeccable professionalism both offstage and on. It was a great honor for me to be asked to come play bass for him.

However, watching him continuously having to explain his Jewish upbringing and practice over and over again was pretty damn tiring, seeing especially as the quizzing came almost entirely from fellow Jews, who in fact should know better. Worse still was the openly suspicious gaze that my traveling companions were constantly followed by while shopping up and down the public street. Black folks are probably used to such open scrutiny by now. But by golly, I'm not and it's a fairly sad statement on our society as a whole that any segment of our citizenry should be exposed in that way.

Makes me pause to consider my own stupid prejudices and how they affect the world around me.

Might ought to consider doing the same.