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The spectre of race never really entered my sphere until I went into the Marines. I began to notice the Black recruits avoided me, and when they didn't, they were openly hostile. It came to a head one day during kitchen duty.  "You call me Boy again and I swear I will beat your ass. " I did not, until that day, know the significance of that word to the twenty-odd Black recruits from the South, who apparently thought I was a Confederate-flag waving, pillowcase-wearing racist.