Gary Hofmeister: Race baiters |

Gary Hofmeister: Race baiters

Gary Hofmeister / For the Steamboat Pilot & Today

When one of my sons was in boarding school many years ago, it took me a couple of months to make the jaunt to visit him. He showed me around the campus, introduced me to many friends, including his roommate, and then we went to lunch. I mentioned that he had never told us his roommate was black. He looked at me kind of funny and said, "Oh, I never thought about it."

Isn't that the way it's supposed to be?

I now have two grandchildren who are black, and their older brother recently asked me just what was going on with the demonstrations being held in Indianapolis about something that happened down South. I explained that the leaders who are organizing the protests are trying to give the impression that whites are just waiting for a chance to gun down black people because we as a country hate black people and still suffer from institutional racism. His reaction shocked me: He laughed. And then he kept laughing. He thought that was the stupidest, most outrageous thing he had ever heard. I may as well have told him that Martians were coming down to imprison us for all the credibility he gave such a notion. After all, he had two black siblings and had spent all of his life interacting with blacks and people of many ethnicities. So he just had to laugh. No one could be that stupid.

Well, stupidity isn't the answer. Evil is. The old saw is "Follow the money." The race baiters never pass up an opportunity to scream racism if it can help solidify their contention of us being stuck in the mid-'50s. The Trayvon Martin case is tailor made for such demagoguery despite the absence of facts. So what? Better get the folks out in the streets and try the case there before some evidence emerges that spoils the narrative.

Instigators such as Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson have lived for years on their promotion of victimization within the black community to the unbelievable detriment of tens of millions of people. Rather than encourage and inspire people to study hard, work hard and earn their success now that institutional barriers are out of the way legally, they have labored overtime convincing people that there is no getting ahead and no justice in such a racist country. They have done so to feather their own comfortable living while stealing hope from their brothers and sisters. It is despicable.

While an undergraduate in the early 1960s, I was the leader of the campus Congress On Racial Equality. No one was happier than me to see the Civil Rights Acts of the mid-'60s end legal impediments to full equality. To say it is insulting to the maximum to accuse white people in general of racism when they have either fought against it, as I have, or don't even think about it, as my grandson's colorblindness proves, is overwhelming. I await the day the black community will throw off these charlatans to see the promise and opportunity of America.

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Gary Hofmeister is the owner and operator of Hofmeister Personal Jewelers in downtown Steamboat Springs, a company he founded in 1973. He is a director of The Steamboat Institute and a former Republican nominee for Congress in the 10th District of Indiana.

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