I saw my parents come over. They were immigrants, they had no money. My dad wore the same pair of shoes, I had some ugly clothes growing up, and I never had any privileges. In some ways, I think the person that I am now, I think it’s good that I had that kind of tough upbringing.
My parents were mourning the death of my sister. She was killed in a car accident before I was born, and I didn’t know she existed until I was 13 or 14 years old. I knew I was growing up in a house where people were angry and sad.
Growing up, my birthday was always Confederate Memorial Day. It helped to create this profound sense of awareness about the Civil War and the 100 years between the Civil War and the civil rights movement and my parents’ then-illegal and interracial marriage.
I was a Depression kid, growing up in Oklahoma.
When I was growing up, it was ‘Communists’. Now it’s ‘Terrorists’. So you always have to have somebody to fight and be afraid of, so the war machine can build more bombs, guns, and bullets and everything.