An observation on the death of black actor, Michael Clarke Duncan, the "Gentle Giant." An open letter to Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts
Leonard Pitts constantly harps on racism while seldom noting the lack thereof. Maybe this will help.
Dear Mr. Pitts:
Many mourn the untimely loss of this “Gentle Giant.” He got the movie roles that fit him well and was widely appreciated for his well-applied and practiced natural talent. He was able to make his avocation his vocation. When I heard of his passing, two thoughts jumped forward in my mind:
1. There has been an upsurge of wonderful black actors in film, television and even commercials since the advent of the Obama Presidency. Perhaps the highly opinionated leftist folks in Hollywood got the message that the typical American wasn’t as racist as alluded to by more than a few black public figures. This would include journalists and politicians whose paychecks seem to rely on keeping the racism pot boiling. As for the actors, they explode with talent and expression to bless us all.
2. Mr. Duncan’s Hollywood life as I knew it centered largely on being a bodyguard for established black actors. That is, until lily white Bruce Willis came along and recognized that he had more talent than some of the egos he was protecting. Tom Hanks and Mark Cuban also saw what was in Duncan’s soul. The rest is history. Duncan apparently didn’t fit into the West LA black elite no one ever discusses. He was way too black to fit into that caramel cavalcade. Gee, I thought only whites could be racist!
Maybe even Leonard Pitts could learn something from the short life of Michael Clarke Duncan. 50 years ago after graduating from University of Illinois, during a discussion on race, I told my Dad “I can’t afford your prejudices, and my kids won’t be able to afford mine.”
Jerry is a retired engineer with strong experience in environmental innovation which he still applies today with 2 clean water and energy saving technologies. His life avocation in writing and study of philosophical and biblical themes as they apply to the body politic's spiritual warfare. He survived stage 4 Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 2006; now in excellent health. A graduate of the University of Illinois (1958, Industrial Engineering), Jerry had post graduate studies at both the University of San Francisco and the University of Santa Clara in California between 1961 and 1963 (Logic, Marketing). As co Founder and seminar presenter he was awarded a Ph.D. in Philosophy at Valley Christian University operating under California private-post secondary statutes for mid career student, VCU was the pioneer external degree school for mid career students. Its course structures were picked up by several well known Christian colleges. Hosted local broadcast radio and TV shows, "Religion on the Line" and "The News Firm" (jointly with wife, Joanne), respectively. Jerry has published several books that are available at Amazon. Jerry is available to speak as a visiting lecturer at the high school, college or community organization level. Jerry is married 55 years to Joanne Dean Todd – 3 children, 8 grandchildren.