Daily News header

Hi! My Name Is Loco Book Review

By     get stories by email

"Hi! My name is Loco... I'm a native New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn. I currently live in Yokohama, Japan, where I put my English degree in English to use teaching junior high school kids...

My hobbies are reading, watching movies, taking pictures of trains and stations, social networking and playing basketball... but my passion is writing... And, oh yeah, I'm a racist.

[This] book is a selection of stories and reflections... Initially, I dismissed the idea... But as I wrote my way down Memory Lane, I noticed that there was a racial thread that had run through my life from childhood until the present; that race had not only played a significant role in my upbringing, but a traumatic one...

And that it might, indeed, make for an interesting book." - Excerpted from the Introduction (pgs. 8 & 15)

loco

Baye "Loco" McNeil is an African-American who took a most unorthodox path to discovering, confronting and eradicating the racism he found within himself. Born in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, he was raised by parents with a Pan-African ideology, which led to the lad's joining a cult as a teenager which preached black superiority.

But after serving in the U.S. Army and earning a B.A. at Long Island University, Baye ventured to Japan where he would teach English for 8 years. 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. In a chapter entitled "An Empty Seat on a Crowded Train" he recounts how an overprotective mother had hissed "Abunai!" (Japanese for "dangerous") while yanking her 4 year-old daughter back to her feet rather than allow the child to spend one second in the vicinity of a "gaijin" ("foreigner") with dark skin, thereby indoctrinating the impressionable young girl in the ways of discrimination at an early age.

Such routine displays of contempt on the part of fellow commuters day-in and day-out left Baye in a helpless state of "impotent hate" as if these strangers were spitting in his face. 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 knew that the Japanese had bought into a bunch of stereotypes about black people which allowed them to think things like: "We don't like you. We don't trust you. We think you're a bad person, a pitiful person, an inferior human lacking morality. You steal. You habitually womanize and rape. You commit violent acts against innocent people like us as a matter of course."

What is surprising is that Baye wasn't embittered by all the years of relentless ostracism, but rather he came to see the empty subway seat beside him as a gift. For, through introspection, he realized that he had to work on his own prejudices about whites, Asians and others, and he evolved to the point where today he takes on racism of any form every time he encounters 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.

To order a copy of Hi! My Name Is Loco and I Am a Racist: AMAZON

Hi! My Name Is Loco and I Am a Racist

by Baye McNeil

Hunterfly Road Publishing

Paperback, $17.99

392 pages

ISBN: 061558778X

Kam Williams is a syndicated film and book critic who writes for 100+ publications. He is a member of the New York Film Critics Online, the African-American Film Critics Association, and the NAACP Image Awards Nominating Committee. Contact him through NewsBlaze. Read more reviews by Kam Williams.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Book Publishing News

Besides focusing on family and his considerable achievements in Congress, Clyburn has deep roots in South Carolina. The black Southern experience is deserving of recognition and respect
The Small Business Book Awards celebrate the best business books that appeal to entrepreneurs, small business owners, CEOs, managers and their staffs.
Book reviewer, Kam Williams reviews the book, 'The Man From Essence' and shares it with NewsBlaze readers around the world.
Ernest Dempsey reviews a children's book. The unusual subject matter is grief management for kids. A child reacts differently to death than adults.
He masterfully demonstrated effective communication throughout his presidency, a perfect and historical example being his speech at the Brandenburg Gate, when he implored Gorbachev to 'tear down this wall!' Dan Quiggle explains that you can becom
While Toni's blossoming career would catapult her to the heights of superstardom in a matter of months, it also left her haunted with a sense of overwhelming regret.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month



Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2014 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site