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home : opinion : opinion May 24, 2016

3/5/2013 6:00:00 AM
Letter: A rare encounter with racism

It appears hate is alive and well in Kingman. For the first time since I moved here some seven years ago, and the first time in what is probably 20 years, I've been the target of a racial slur.

I was in downtown Kingman on Feb. 28 watching our children at basketball practice when I decided I would take a quick jog. I was nearly back to Palo Christi School (where the children practice) when, as I passed the City Administration building, a car pulled in and proceeded to put a bill in the night dropbox. As they pulled out and headed toward Fifth Street (and were some 150 feet away from me), the passenger rear window came down and a person yelled "Nigger!" at me. To be sure they had all of their racial epithet-bases covered - and in case I wasn't, in fact, a "nigger" (and since I am biracial and often confused for being Hispanic) - the driver-side window passenger stuck his head out and yelled "Spic!"

I must say, had I not been too busy enjoying the evening, I may have let it get to me. But as it was, I didn't even respond to the cowards and just walked on back to the school, sat down, and watched my wonderful children enjoying the innocence of childhood.

I share this story in hopes that those of you who think racism is a thing of the past will realize that it isn't, not even for a hard-working, educated local business owner (who just happens to be a hair too tan for some people) out for an evening jog.

Jason Marino


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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Anson's Nephew


“… after a few years at whatever community clown college you attended.”

And once again you denigrate those who attempt to better themselves through education. Pathetic.

And of course nothing of substance as usual.

Posted: Monday, March 11, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@ansons nephew

"I watched a small group (6 people) who used the “N” word repeatedly at a popular breakfast spot and the – son-of-gun – a black man walked in, joined the group and he was a “friend” and the “N” word was never uttered again."

Gee AN, that sure sounds suspiciously like what you would call "some apocryphal story".
Me? I'll just call it more AN made up BS.

It is about as believable as the letter writers story.

Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2013
Article comment by: Typical mixed race american

I am originally from Los Angeles. I come from a melting pot of cultures which I appreciated and learned to love. I was 19 when I made the move to Kingman and the experience was not so pleasant. I had NEVER experienced racism before. I am half hispanic but I LOOK white and because of that fact people seemed to speak freely about their hate around me. I was scared for people to find out I was Mexican. I worked for the school district and have been "warned" about the "dirty mexican kids" and their "diseases" and the "mixed kids"(refering to half black and half white children) and "how they like to steal extra food".

This happens in our schools!
Right in front of the children!

I was so scared to say anything. I am much older now and I know better. My parents raised me right. I am proud of my mixed american culture.

Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@Lori Hyphenated

"feels inferior to those they are trying to humiliate. FLS is well known for using this tactic."

Wow. Lori. I never knew that on top of becoming a expert on theology, you also became a shrink after a few years at whatever community clown college you attended.

Some time back you said, on Jan. 08, 2013 to be precise:

"You can try to ridicule me to your heart's content, I really don't care."

Apparently you do care after all. And I will continue to do so to my hearts content every time you type a ridiculous BS "fact", that is not a fact at all.

Keep the laughs coming Lori.


Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2013
Article comment by: Doing Research

So no one here seems to have figured out how life works....

Please correct me if I'm wrong here on either of these points Jason...

As I read this, the letter is not a victim spitting contest - it's more so shock that this exists and that these people feel comfortable enough to shout racist anything at anyone in town. Having not experienced this level of overtness, it's surprising to see it now in 2012, as opposed to maybe in 1992 or something.

Second, the reader's reaction here should not be to pick the event apart to try and excuse or blame anyone. The reaction should be to be aware of what is permissive and not in town, and when you see people behaving like racist jerks, let them know it's not OK.

Is this behavior permissible to you? Most people have said (or danced around saying) no, but social behavior only changes as individuals like this notice that this is not how people behave.

Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Speaking

@Lori Hyphenated

So let me get this straight, pointing out ridiculous things put forth by you as "fact" is "humiliating" you? Tough, Lori. Suck it up and deal with it. Or, if you can't do that, begin making a serious effort to nit right things that make you look so foolish.

Here's an example. When you recently wrote that people sell guns on ebay and Craigs List, did you even think of going to either one of those sites and check to see if its true? Nope, you did not,

Its called fact checking, Lori, and it will save you from being "humiliated" in the future.

Don't bother thanking me for educating you.


Posted: Sunday, March 10, 2013
Article comment by: Woe Is Us

The culprits should have had their mouths washed out with soap, since "brain washing" wouldn't work, the latter requiring a brain.

Blacks/African American (not certain what is currently in vogue, definitely not wanting to offend) do have an issue with some of their own race: Black comedians who profusely use the "N" word to regale their black audiences. Goes all the way back to the Richard Pryor era. I recently heard usage of the "N" word used loudly and frequently by a car-load of young blacks at a local service station when they were addressing each other. This self-denigration should not be considered funny, and, responsible blacks should challenge it and inform their youth that they don't help their cause regarding injustice and racism by crying "Foul!" on one hand and then committing the same offense.

Posted: Saturday, March 9, 2013
Article comment by: Oh Ya

@ anonymous anonymous

Thank you, your latter statement below just described some of Romney's right wing loons to a TEE but you forgot to mention some of them have non-white friends so they think it helps their cover.

Posted: Friday, March 8, 2013
Article comment by: Jay Armanis

Kudos Jason Marino for writing the article,I am also biracial and have encountered this miserable racism myself, am I white or black,um we cant tell?
How about just looking at me as a human being?
I was fired from a job here sometime ago, who they are is not important, but I know it was racially motived, as word got back to me.
All I can say its here, its ugly and its 'alive and sick'
as far as I am concerned,to make kids feel worthless because of their race, low,low.
I would leave this 'town' if I could, but like most folks, money is an issue, I know racisim is everywhere but in small towns we feel it more.
To all you 'racists' out there, look up your family tree, you just might get a surprise!!

Posted: Friday, March 8, 2013
Article comment by: From the Department of Homeland Humour .....

yeah, Lori, FLS is pretty good at throwing toxic mud from his own slime-filled crater. Rumour has it that the Miner has hired an additional crewmember, stationed in their basement out of view, armed to the teeth with laptop, law books, and the occasional sedative, to keep warring parties apart every time Frankie writes in. That must be why he is under the illusion that some of us haven't stepped up to the plate to answer his every fetid challenge (Frankie - we answered, but the Miner wouldn't print it - you might compare the Miner staff at this point to the late great Texas-based White House correspondent Molly Ivins, who infamously said at the height of Clinton's Monica Lewisnsky/transfer of America's critical weapons research to communist China period in office - "Even we can take only so much slop" - only she didn't say "slop").

Posted: Friday, March 8, 2013
Article comment by: Lori Gabriel-Dane

To Victim Bandwagon:

I am not the one spewing hate. There are, however, posters on this site that resort to spelling out their hatred very vividly. One such poster used the words, "brown savages." Is that not hatred andd racism in it's worst form?

I do voice my resentment on here toward people who call our president filthy names. They cannot tell me that it's Obama's policies that they hate, not the man himself, because from the day he announced he was running, bigots started spreading lies about him and calling him disgusting names. All this BEFORE Obama even won the election and proposed any policies.

Anyone who deems it necessary to be a racist is, in my opinion, lacking in their own self-esteem, and feels inferior to those they are trying to humiliate. FLS is well known for using this tactic. All these type people accomplish is making themselves appear to thrive on unwarranted hatred toward every one and every thing that doesn't coincide with their way of thinking, their life style, their religion, and their beliefs. To them, any one who thinks differently than they do, they feel the need to call them every derogatory name in the book.

Posted: Thursday, March 7, 2013
Article comment by: Nay Mama

I moved to Kingman almost 13 years ago and didn't realize the racism here for about 18 months. My son had a friend, who father is African American and mother is white, it was Christmas time and this friend has 3 other siblings and their mom tried to take them to a Christmas celebration at a local veteran establishment that was to open to all children. When they got to the door they were told their kind was not welcome. They ended up going to the Eagles lodge on Patsy where we saw them and we had a great time.
To this day, it is hard to believe that someone would say something like this not only in front of, but to the kids.

Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Article comment by: Desert Angel

I am sorry this happened to you in our town. I was raised around prejudiced people and as a child it was a traumatic experience, which I carry with me to this day. There is no excuse for making a child feel dirty for not being the same color or race as another.
Keep walking and pray for those who ignorantly taunt you.

Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Article comment by: Silent One

As a 12 year old living in Compton Ca and being white in the 1960's I experienced racism. I had never thought of any differences between the other kids before moving there. By being one of 3 white kids in Emerson Elementary School's 6th grade class I was "thumped on" (local parlance" because of my color. That time living in Compton (1.6 yrs) was hell. When we finally moved back to Long Beach which at the time was a "white" area it was like heaven. I am 58 years old and hate to think this crap is still going on. I'm sorry to say the people who find their fortunes in "racial issues, both sides" are the real perp's keeping us from moving on....

Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Article comment by: nnp .....

Actually, I remember my first week in Kingman a few years ago, when I arrived late for a church service one night and an elderly man was there in the parking lot. I asked him what sort of town this was, and he replied, "We're a Southern people here..." I can't remember exactly what else he said, but that was the drift, and it wasn't long before I noticed Confederate flags waving in Birdland and a couple other places (in a letter to U.S. President Franklin Pierce, Robert E. Lee claimed to foresee a distant day when blacks might properly gain some rights, specifying the time frame with reference to a Bible verse - "A day to the Lord is as a thousand years"). A thorough study of our history can help us to reach informed opinions. That's all I'll say here.

Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Article comment by: Bridget Lewison

Kudos to Mr. Marino for speaking up, and kudos to the Daily Miner for publishing the word "nigger" in all its ugly glory most newspapers sugarcoat it as "the N word." And yes, racism is a problem. I've heard "nigger president" come from the mouths of people I thought knew better. I've distanced myself from am entire family because I heard their 20-something son say that. I just shook my head and left. I didn't know what to say. I'm sad for this country.

Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Article comment by: K L

Wow my first job here I was called a "Cracker" for weeks. I had no clue I had never been called that before. But really I didn't see a need to write the paper about it. Racism works both ways and to me name calling isn't racism its just school yard attitude. Movin On......

Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Article comment by: Jamel Anderson

Wow I’m shocked it took you 20 years to find racism in Kingman. When I told my family I had found a job here and was moving, the first thing they told me was Kingman was the racist capital of the world. I didn’t believe them until not more than two hours after arriving I was called the N word, and a couple of days later I was called a wetback, and spic. What’s sad is somebody yelled at my wife and told her she need stay within her own race and called her a N-loving and that she should be ashamed to be white.

Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Article comment by: Crying Shame

I might say that Mr. Marino was 'wa, wa, wa-ing', to make a big deal out of being on the receiving end of obvious juvenile name-calling, but I WILL say he behaved a better man than those who yelled out at him from their car. The single most important thing that Mr. Marino accomplished by writing a news letter about his recent experience, was to bring a new awareness to the community that racism still exists, but that there appear to be many more people in the community who abhor it. The question is, will they put actions to their words and actively help defend victims of racial slurs? and maybe also teach their young respect for people who are of a different color or culture? We all need to stand together and not apart!

Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Article comment by: J L

I remember I got my first car, a Datsun B210 and the car dealership was in Compton California. I was driving right behind my mom's car. I was driving in the right hand lane and stopped for a red light. Another car stopped to my left. A huge wet loogie splat right on my window. Unfortuneatly my window was cracked down a little. I looked over to my left and it was two African-American men laughing at me. I was a little frightened. It was in the middle of the day. So I understand attacks on other races myself. It is not right that anyone take out their hatred on someone else of different race anywhere at anytime.

Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Article comment by: Nice Chuckle


"I'm so sorry that happened to you but you rose above it. Good for you. Glad you are here in our community. I can assure you, having been born and raised here, nothing of the sort happened here in the 1940's, 1950's 1960's, etc when I was here."

Jason, good for you for rising above the hate.

Linda, you have obviously sugarcoated the past. This behavior has been alive and well in this town for many, many decades. A certain sign that DID indeed exist comes to mind. You saying different does not make it true. I have seen a picture of it.


"Wow so two morons yelled something just to get attention and they get a news article written about them! It's articles like this, NOT moronic comments that KEEP racism "alive and well"."

Michael, this is not an article, this is a letter to the editor from Mr Marino. He has every right to relate his experiences. Had this been an article, it is still newsworthy to let people know that morons like the gentlemen in question are still around.

Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Article comment by: N A

I would need to hear both side of the story,
By the way I have been a victim of racism in big cities as a white.

Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Article comment by: Rick O'Shea

What I find interesting is, when it comes to a minority being a victim of hatred, racism or prejudice it is looked upon as an infamous crime or act but when a white person is subjected to it it is looked upon as nothing more than a day to day occurrence that deserves little attention if any. Many preach that we should all be treated as equals but in many cases today there is a lot of reverse discrimination, but that's OK because it's not directed at a minority right, so, two wrongs do make it right.

Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Article comment by: anonymous anonymous

Racists come in two key varities the ones who are proud of it, burn their crosses, wear their white hoods and robes, many sport them confederate flags on their autos, they sport them skin head hair cut looks, like the neo-nazi memrobilia stuff, then the second category hids it behind fake or phoney patriotism usually harping on someone they hate in either elected or non-elected office who is of non-white skin tone, make up lies,conspriracy theories about them, denigrate their character with nasty names with innunedo of communist, socialist, marxist, etc., I have more respect for the honest ones who admit what they are! The later is a coward and thinks no one knows but those of us who are old enough to have seen them in the 1960's spot them easily!

Posted: Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Article comment by: Jason Marino

@Michael Keith - By that rationale, it's the rape victims complaining about their rapes that keep rapes alive and well. Sounds kind of stupid, doesn't it?

I'm not comparing what happened to me to rape, but simply illustrating how ignorant it sounds to say "shut up and it will go away." It hasn't, it won't, and silence won't change that.

Me writing a letter to the editor isn't somehow teaching hate in the private home of the cowards who verbally assaulted me.

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