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Hi! My Name is Loco and I am a Racist

4.25  ·  Rating Details  ·  112 Ratings  ·  37 Reviews
Born to Love — Taught to Loathe

In this powerful and controversial debut book, author Baye McNeil (a.k.a. Loco of the influential blog "Loco in Yokohama) vividly illustrates with unflinching introspection and candor, the birth and evolution of a racist, and in doing so makes the persuasive argument that the only way to cure this social virus is by first acknowledging and en
Kindle Edition, 392 pages
Published January 15th 2012 by Hunterfly Road Publishing
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 335)
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Jul 18, 2012 Baye rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
What can I tell you? Even though I wrote it, I love reading it. Writing, for a writer, is often as much a time of discovery as it is for the readers, so reading my book reminds me of how much I learned prior to writing it, during the writing and editing of it, and as a result helps me by giving me a hint as to where to go next with my writing. Every time I read a review of this book and the reviewer points out a particular part that made them laugh or cry, or scratch their heads or anything, I r ...more
Fran Pickering
Feb 01, 2014 Fran Pickering rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
It’s hard to describe this book – it’s a real one-off. Despite the provocative title I would classify it as an autobiography, by a black man who wants to reach out to other people sincerely and directly and demands that others respond in kind.

I say ‘black man’ deliberately because being black is what has formed Loco’s consciousness of himself and his relationship to the world. So, while he is funny and truthful about his sometimes explosive encounters in Japan’s homogenous society where even tod
Dec 27, 2012 Jblaustein66 rated it it was amazing
I finished Loco in Yokohama's book last night -Hi, my name is Loco and I'm a Racist! - and it was like following up a great meal with a delicious chocolate. It ended on just the right sweet note, but with a rich, complex flavor.

I was glad he went back strong to the empty chair. It was always a great analogy.

Throughout the book, the author used the perfect analogy for what it is like to be on the receiving end of racist attitudes here in Japan, the "empty chair". But it is more than just the emp
Aug 18, 2012 Ali rated it it was amazing
There are so many books available about living in Japan, and it would be easy to assume that 'Hi! My Name is Loco and I am a Racist' was just another one. I've read (or at least bought, or wish-listed) an awful lot of accounts of foreigners living in Japan. It was interesting before I lived in Japan to get an idea of what I might be in for, and it's interesting now to compare my experiences with others. Some stories make me nod my head and agree (yes, I had that experience too!), others make me ...more
Our Abiko
Jul 03, 2012 Our Abiko rated it it was amazing
Hi! My Name is Loco and I'm a Racist is hard to read.

Not because of the writing, far from it, Baye McNeil's prose is straight and true, with a playful turn of phrase and compelling immediacy that won't surprise anyone who has read his blog.

No, it's personal. Completely personal.

Enter Hi! My Name is Loco and I'm a Racist and you don't just enter the author's world, you enter his mind, heart and soul. This is no mean feat -- it's much harder to do than it looks. But it's not always comfortable for
Nov 27, 2013 Tasha rated it it was amazing
I typically do not read non-fiction books, but I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this one. First off the cover art is brilliant as it speaks to my love of video games, comics and graphic novels. Second, this book gave me so many emotions. Baye McNeil's woven tapestry of words pulled me in and made me want to shed tears of sadness, cry out in anguish and at times want to reach out and shake someone. I loved the way that he gives you the back story of his growing up in Brooklyn and it's juxt ...more
Dec 08, 2012 Shana rated it it was amazing
It was enlightening to read from the perspective of a black man living in Japan as it compares to my own personal experiences here as a white woman. I can honestly say I thoroughly enjoyed the book the whole way through. As a reader he intrigued me and left me wanting more. As a writer he inspired me to work more diligently on my own creative conquests.
Jan 29, 2012 Linh LE TRONG rated it it was amazing
It's simply a good book so anybody can appreciate it but for white people living in Japan AND for japanese people (who can read english), I think it is a must.
Feb 03, 2014 Dj rated it it was amazing
What a great and interesting read. Experiences with play by play detail of events make this book a must read for any dark-skinned person planning on living in Japan. The depth and honesty that is rarely shown in Japan from “Gaijin” (outsiders) is covered in this well written and accurately detailed easy read book about trials and tribulations inside the Japanese community. Living in Japan for over a decade, I have received an epiphany on “The Land of the Rising Sun” from this book. Thanks to Bay ...more
Patrick Sherriff
Jan 11, 2015 Patrick Sherriff rated it it was amazing
Shelves: japan
Hi! My Name is Loco and I'm a Racist is hard to read.

Not because of the writing, far from it, Baye McNeil's prose is straight and true, with a playful turn of phrase and compelling immediacy that won't surprise anyone who has read his blog.

No, it's personal. Completely personal.

Enter Hi! My Name is Loco and I'm a Racist and you don't just enter the author's world, you enter his mind, heart and soul. This is no mean feat -- it's much harder to do than it looks. But it's not always comfortable for
May 10, 2013 OOSA rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Baye McNeil ‘aka’ Loco hails from Brooklyn, New York, where he was born and raised, but now currently resides in Yokohama, Japan. Loco recounts various forms of racism he experienced starting as a child in elementary school where he studied Swahili and Black History during the Black Power Movement. He was part of boycotts, marches and demonstrations against that which was unjust. As a teenager he watched his brother become part of The Nation of Gods and Earths, otherwise known as the Five Pe
Jorge Figueroa
Sep 25, 2012 Jorge Figueroa rated it it was amazing
En primer lugar, esa portada, uno podría creer que está frente a un libro de comedia, y la verdad toca temas universales desde la experiencia del autor.

Loco es un seudónimo para Baye McNeil, quien entre otras cosas defiende la posición de quienes van a dar clases a Japón, que suelen ser vistos como lo más bajo de la cadena alimenticia, pero después de todo, ellos dejaron a la familia, los amigos y la sociedad que conocen, y en su caso, en los primeros días se sentían como embajadores.

El libro no
Jul 19, 2012 Ellen rated it it was amazing
Baye (aka Loco), of course, has his own blog about living and teaching in Japan. He took his life story and turned it into a memoir called Hi! My Name Is Loco and I Am a Racist.

I loved Baye's writing from the first post of his I ever read. Admittedly, initially, I thought he was a little angry. (Sometimes he was.) But he was never dismissive of someone else's ideas - he was always willing to consider a different point of view. I quickly found the discussion sections of his blog to be the most in
Ebony *LilKoalaBooks*
Aug 20, 2012 Ebony *LilKoalaBooks* rated it it was amazing
I won this book in the Goodreads Giveaway and I'm very glad I did. It was a great book. I thought the most interesting parts of the book were when he was describing his life and childhood in New York. I was absolutely surprised to learn about the group that Baye belonged to who called themselves Gods. His perspective from being within that group and how it affected his relationships outside of it were interesting as well as sad at times. He also talks about how race relations affected him at wor ...more
Mar 21, 2012 Kevin rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up after reading Loco's blog a bit and interacting with him on twitter minimally. Although he refers to himself as Loco he seemed like his head was screwed on right. I assumed he was just like the hundreds of other Japan bloggers talking about their experience in Japan. I expected to get a slightly different perspective of my own but nothing earth-shatteringly new.

I was very surprised upon digging into the book how wrong I was about my assumptions. Loco is a very descriptive w
Jul 12, 2012 Millychu rated it it was amazing
Once a professor told me that after studying medicine, psychiatry and becoming a doctor in literature, she discovered that the only place she found true humanity was in autobiographical literature. It unfolds in so many levels, and so many elements of fiction and reality meet in the craft, that it is the literary genre that reveals the most about the richness of human essence. Loco's book reassured that belief in a stronger way than any of the autobiographies I have read ever did. His narration ...more
D Mac
Feb 05, 2013 D Mac rated it really liked it
Firstly, I think anybody who has lived in Japan would find this book interesting and insightful, I think you should buy this book. However, even if you have no interest in Japan, this book has plenty to offer.

Baye's obviously a person who watches people and his environment with eagle eyes. Then, he churnes over the meanings that bubbles beneath the surface of life. His writing style is highly engaging, strong and straight forward which meant I finished this book in no time.

While Baye's book spen
Kathryn O'Halloran
Dec 16, 2012 Kathryn O'Halloran rated it really liked it
Shelves: japan
Loco is a damn good writer. I've followed his blog for a while and he knows how get people talking.

Part of this book follows his life in Japan, part his background in the States. I found the stuff he wrote about Japan a lot more interesting. To be honest, I skimmed over the section of his military career.

Having lived in Japan, I could identify with the racism he encounters. Sure, he's a black man from the States and I'm a white woman from Australia so we've experienced in different ways. I've ne
Jul 15, 2012 Judd rated it really liked it
Very well written and fun to read at parts, and hard to read at others. An honest opinion of life in Japan as a foreigner, which I think that anyone that has lived in Japan as a foreigner can empathize with to some degree.
I lived in Japan for a total of 3 1/2 years and shared many of Baye's experiences. Of course my background is much different from Baye's and this meant that I couldn't understand all of his reactions.
All in all, I enjoyed the book. The section that tells the story of his relati
Jul 06, 2014 Jaya rated it it was amazing
As a young black female I was very concerned with what my experience would be when coming to Japan. This book was a hilariously entertaining read and a wonderful look at one man's experiences in the land of the rising sun. I found it immensely helpful when preparing myself to fulfill my lifelong dreams of visiting Japan. While I definitely didn't condone all of his behaviours or agree with all of his insights, I definitely appreciated the raw honesty that fills this book. Great read, highly reco ...more
Mar 05, 2012 Molly rated it it was amazing
This book was amazing and eye opening. If you ever think about living in Japan, or you live in Japan now, check this book out. It's a no bullshit look at how life can really be on this tiny island. I love how Loco doesn't make any excuses. He puts it all out there and makes you see the real, hard truth. I laughed, cried, and thought a lot about what it means to live not just in Japan, but to live life. Please, do yourself a favor and check this book out!
Dec 01, 2012 Rushi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2012, non-fiction
Baye McNeil's autobiographical "Hi! My Name is Loco and I am a Racist" is a beautifully written, honest and illuminating book. It is a book I would recommend to anyone trying to come to terms with their place in the world.

If you are readers of McNeil's excellent "Locohama" blog, you will find much that is familiar here. For readers new to McNeil's work, you will find a thought provoking meditation on identity, race and personal growth.

May 12, 2016 KENNETH SPAULDING rated it it was amazing
Good Read

I enjoyed this book and following Loco's journey. It made me wonder why people act the way they do, but we are with a doubt products of our environment.
Sep 07, 2013 Caroline rated it really liked it
I picked this book for my memoir book club because the title seemed a crazy declaration, and I thought anyone willing to put that on the book's cover must be interesting. I couldn't have been more pleased with the choice. Highly recommend. Raw, honest, funny, sometimes vulgar, sometimes sad. Definitely thought provoking, engaging and timely. The incubating egg that just cracked revealing a baby alligator not a chicken.
Diarra Molock
Jul 25, 2012 Diarra Molock rated it it was amazing
McNeil really challenges the human mind to see the world through a different perspective. Very edgy. This book captures the hardships of life so clearly and realistically. Nothing is sugar coded in this book, and those who are too sensitive when it comes to the topic of racism should think twice before picking up this mater piece. Please have a very very open and understanding mind if you plan to read this book.
Jewel B
Jun 12, 2012 Jewel B rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This book is one of the most engaging reads I've enjoyed this summer! I am a huge fan of memoirs, and being unfamiliar with the author, expectations were a bit low. However, I haven't stopped recommending this book to all of my friends...those who travel, and those who don't, alike. Baye McNeil should do a promotional tour ASAP. :-) #CantWait4#2
Heather Meadows
Jun 11, 2012 Heather Meadows rated it it was amazing
This is such a powerful book--striking, passionate, and eye-opening. The stories are poignant and well-written. I learned so much about the cultures of New York City, things that I just never knew growing up in the Midwest and South. It was fascinating to view Japanese culture through this lens, and to find similarities across all the cultures involved.
Dec 07, 2013 Ali rated it really liked it
A diverse, personal, multi-perspective, account of racism in all its forms. Chock full of relatable events like 9/11 and 3/11, and just as full of unrelatable events (to me at least) of life in Brooklyn and an upbringing in Uhuru Sasa, this book takes up race issues in many new and old perspectives to relate with and learn from!
Sep 02, 2013 Shannon rated it really liked it
Very good book - author is genuine and unapologetic for his thoughts, which is exactly he should have been. My only gripe was that the timeline was bit jumpy and I wasn't quite sure that there was a reason for some of the organization. Content was definitely worthwhile and the perspective was well worth the time.
Jul 07, 2012 Matthew rated it it was amazing
I thought it was a book that could change history .

I think this book could be used in school , well some parts should be left out for school lol

If you are thinking of coming to Japan , this is a good first step.


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Baye McNeil (a.k.a. Loco) is an author, freelance writer and blogger from Brooklyn, New York. He currently lives in Yokohama, Japan.
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