When I first started touring with the George Duke Band in the early 70s, we played a lot of festivals and gigs in the deep South. At that time, there were still places where you could see “Whites Only” signs on water fountains and restrooms, and I witnessed some shockingly open racism against the black members of the band.
As a kid who grew up in Hawaii, this was a real consciousness-raising experience that had a huge influence on me.
So am I learning something new by seeing the support for Trump’s message of hatred and bigotry? No. But I guess I was hoping that as a country, we’d put some distance from those days.
I’m not so naïve that I thought those days were gone for good, but I did think we at least had enough decent people in this country that we’d renounce a fucking sociopathic presidential candidate who wants to bring those days back to horrible life.
Even if Hillary Clinton pulls it out and wins, I’ve learned that in 2016, the racist history of this country is still influencing our politics in a major way. And it breaks my heart.
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