Hi! My Name is Loco and I am a Racist by Baye McNeilBorn to Love — Taught to Loathe
In this powerful and controversial debut book, author Baye McNeil (a.k.a. Loco of the influential blog Loco in Yokohama) 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 acknowledging and engaging one’s own racism.
Loco takes us on a scintillating journey from the streets of Brooklyn, where a child’s first playground was the frontlines of the Black Nationalist Movement of the seventies, to a period of black militancy, military service, interracial romance and corporate bigotry in the eighties and nineties. Following the traumatic events of 9/11/2001, Loco relocates to Japan where he learns that old adage -— you can’t hide from yourself -— the hard way. He finds the woman he was made to love; only she’s a member of a race he has come to loathe. In the name of this love, Loco confronts this 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.
Book review Baye McNeil
I currently live in Yokohama, Japan, where I put my English degree in English to use teaching junior high school kids…. But after serving in the U. Army and earning a B. And in the Land of the Rising Sun, he found himself subjected to a vicious brand of bigotry that made him feel like a social pariah. For instance, none of the locals would sit next to him whenever he rode the subway, even if the car was crowded. No matter how much he tried to ignore it, or play it down as merely the consequence of a homogenous culture, it still bothered him because it was clear that white Americans were being treated very differently.
He is a columnist for The Japan Times and has authored two self-published memoirs , Hi! McNeil was born in Brooklyn, New York , where he was raised by a single mother. My Name is Loco and I am a Racist, traces his life from Brooklyn to his current home in Japan where he moved in and addresses issues of race and ethnicity from his viewpoint as an African American. Among the events McNeil recounts concerning his life in the United States in the book are his experiences going to a pan-Africanist school, his membership in the Five-Percent Nation and the conflict this caused in his relationship with a white friend, his experience of racial conflict in the U. The experiences he writes about concerning his life in Japan include Japanese people refusing to sit next to him on trains, the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami , and a love affair with a Japanese woman that ends in tragedy. McNeil dedicates the book to this woman. The journalist and critic, Kam Williams included it in his list of "10 Best Black Books of "  and called it, "A really remarkable and thought-provoking memoir about a sensitive soul's most unlikely route to a life-changing epiphany about the true meaning of racial tolerance.
Kickstarter is a web-based crowd-sourcing platform that allows individuals to pitch their ideas to the public in hopes of receiving funding towards their project. My Name is Loco It is based on McNeil's personal brushes with racism in the U. He uses both humorous and deeply personal anecdotes and insights from his time in both countries to highlight the insidious nature of racism, and the dangers of responding to it with apathy. The book received high praise from readers and critics alike, was selected top 10 books by African American writers in , and voted top 5 Expat books. Then I met Nikki.