He grew up in Knoxville, TN in a three bedroom ranch home. He had two brothers, three sisters, and his two parents under one roof. His two brothers were lost at a young age. One was lost due to illness and another was lost when a baseball struck his chest and stopped his heart in little league baseball. As the remaining son, his parents cast him aside.
They couldn’t bear to lose another son, so they pretended they didn’t have one. He worked to pay for his own car, groceries, and school, like many do, though his sisters were provided for. His parents didn’t have much to give to begin with, being a white lower-class family living in what was then farm country.
But he was determined to provide his future family with more than he was given. He worked several jobs through high-school. He was able to purchase his first car. Although you could see the road beneath his feet, it would drive him to work instead of walking or taking the bus.
He was able to put himself through college, saving money and putting in his hours. He graduated and was able to acquire his first brokerage firm job in Chicago. It was apparent he had what it took and was taken on by a firm back home in Tennessee. He was soon sought after by many stock broking firms before arriving at one of the most prestigious private firms in the country.
He has been on the list of top 1,000 stock brokers in the USA year after year. But he is not the hateful, selfish, rich, white male that the media often attacks.
He is the Boys & Girls club sending lower class students, like he once was, to college. He is the new swimming pool in their recreational center that gives underprivileged youth a place to express themselves and interact in a positive way.
He is the brand new exhibit at the Knoxville Zoo and an advocator for captive animal welfare.
He is the $13 million dollar cathedral that was built for the city of Knoxville through his fundraising. He is the church that once kept him from losing faith and pushed him to be MORE. He is the giver that expanded that church so more like him could become more.
He is the benefactor behind the Children’s Hospital and the mentor of more than just his family.
He is the loving father that gave everything for his children so that they could have the opportunities he didn’t. He is the loving father that also taught his children respect and integrity. He is the father that taught them to give without asking for anything in return and to appreciate the value of a dollar.
He was once a lower class white male. Some would now call him a rich white male.
To me, he is just my Dad. He is not full of hate. He is not made of money, and is not selfish with what he has. He is not racist, a bigot, a sexist. He is kind, generous, accepting, and fair.
The rich white male is not the problem.
HATE is the problem