*I recall when I was growing up, the big word to spell was Mississippi.
Us black kids would line up in class, and that white teacher would be standing there with a ruler in her hand, ready to swat us if we couldn’t spell that word.
M.I.S.S.I.S.S.I.P.P.I. And then we’d have to say it: Mississippi.
I’ve hated that word ever since. And even moreso, the history of racism that stems from the state itself. So it comes as no surprise to me when I hear about the white Mississippian who owns an RV park — and had agreed to rent an RV to a couple for $275 a month after he’d met with the wife alone, then changed his mind when he learned she was married…
…To a Black man.
According to The Clarion-Ledger, Erica Flores Dunahoo thought the rental of an RV from Gene Baker was a done deal. She says when she met with Baker, he even invited her to join his church and sent her away with a hug.
But then she got a phone call the next day, and she was so shocked by the reversal of Baker’s tone, she had to ask “who is this?”
It seems Baker had learned that Dunahoo’s 37-year-old husband wasn’t white…like Baker assumed Dunahoo was.
Dunahoo is actually Hispanic and Native American.
According to NewsOne, Baker said she tried to reason with the man, who asked her why she didn’t tell him that her husband is an African American.
She said she replied that she didn’t realize it was a problem.“Oh, it’s a big problem with the members of my church, my community, and my mother-in-law,” she quoted Baker as saying. “They don’t allow that black and white shacking,” Baker told her. “We’re not shacking. We’re married,” she replied. “Oh, it’s the same thing,” she quoted him as replying.
And in a real example of poor-white-trash-ignorance, Dunahoo said Baker told her: “You don’t talk like you would be with no black man. If you would had come across like you were with a black man, we wouldn’t have this problem right now.” She said she replied, “My husband ain’t no thug. He’s a good man. My husband has served his country for 13 years. He’s a sergeant in the National Guard.”
Didn’t matter. Dunahoo was shattered, and even says she prayed for Baker, hoping he would change his mind. But when she tried to meet with him, he refused, and the family ended up renting at another RV park, where they pay $325 a month.
When Baker was contacted for comment by the Clarion-Ledger, he told them he had no problems with mixed race couples, and to prove it, he was shutting down his park so the situation would not even happen again.
And apparently, that’s what he did.
“I’m closing it down, and that solves the problem.”
Dunahoo said he told her they could attend their church but “we’re not allowed to be members.”
My mother had a saying when I was growing up. Damn! I wish I could recall it word for word, but I can’t so I’ll have to paraphrase. It was something like, “It’s one thing to have people assume you’re an ignorant fool, than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”
I believe the saying, in any form, suits Baker perfectly.
Here’s the video.