What do those Black People Want Anyway?

Two White men overheard talking at a coffee shop (Read while listening to Glory from Selma)

Ron:  You know it seems all we hear about are Black problems these days.   What do they want?  Christ’s sake, we abolished slavery over 150 years ago now.

Jack:  Yeah, then they got to join the military in WWI and even fight in WW II.

Black-unemploymentRon:  Yep, then all they did was complain even more.  Selma and Bama marches!

Jack:  Right, so we gave them the Civil Rights amendment.  Thought that would make them happy!

Ron:  Nope, they just complained even more.  Watts riots and all.  So what did we do?

Jack:  Created Martin Luther King Day.

Ron:  Just so.  Did that make them happy?

Jack:  Course not.  They just whined even more.  Especially after that white guy shot MLK.

Ron:  So what next?  Did we quite trying to make them happy?

Jack:  No, you must be thinking about Obama.

Ron:  Right.  We even elected one of them as President of the United States of America.

Jack:  Does this make them happy?

black RacePrisonRon:  Course not.  Then we get the Ferguson riots.  Nothing ever makes them happy.

Jack:  I wonder why they all don’t go back to Africa?

Jack:  They think it’s bad here. I would like to see how they like Africa.

Ron:  Maybe we could get the Republican Tea Party or the NRA to sponsor a bill that would allow them to go back and give them some kind of stipend to leave?

Jack:  Not a bad idea.  I don’ think the NRA or Tea Party likes Obama so much.

Joan:  (A bystander on a nearby coffee seat.)   Are you guys prejudiced?

Ron and Jack altogether:  Course not!  Some of our best friends are Black.

Joan:   You sound like you are pissed off about Black people in this country.

Ron:  Well, they got Affirmative Action, Obama Care, Gun Control, Drugs, but they still are not happy.  Now they got this new movie Selma bringing up all that old crap about prejudice and discrimination in the South.  Why can’t they just move on?

Jack:  I have heard they want financial reparations for their years in slavery.

Ron:  None of them living today were slaves.

discrimination_image_1Jack:  My family did not own any slaves.

Ron:  Neither did mine

Ron:  The problem is they just don’t have the same values as White folks.

Joan:  Like what would those be?

Jack:  Well like Christian Values for one.

Joan:  Did you know that most Black people belong to a Christian Church?

Ron:  Well, they don’t seem to value education.  Look at the dropout rate of Black students.

Joan:  Have you ever looked at the relationship between poverty and educational attainment?  It is hard to concentrate on school when you are hungry or cannot afford housing.

Jack:  Hey, whose fault is that?  They can work hard like the rest of us and get ahead.

Ron:  I don’t see no ball or chain on their legs.

Jack:  They got Affirmative Action and they still can’t finish school.

Ron:  Maybe they should concentrate less on sports and more on education.

Joan:  Funny you should say that, did you know that the Super Bowl this year was the most watched TV event in history.  Lots of White people concentrating on sports as well.  Sports is one area where you can make big money if you stand out.

black educationRon:  What about NASCAR racing.  You don’t see too many Blacks in that.

Jack:  Look lady, this isn’t about prejudice.  It’s about fitting in.

Ron:  Yeah, we would just like them to fit in like the rest of the immigrants did.  My grandparents came over and learned the language, got jobs and eventually fit right in.

Jack:  Mine too.

Joan:  Did your grandparents come over voluntarily or where they chained in a ships hold without adequate food for water for days and then sold to a plantation owner?

Jack:  Very funny.  That’s the past lady.  What’s that got to do with today?

Joan:  Have you ever heard the comment, “Those who forget the past are condemned to repeat it.”

Ron:  What does that mean?

Joan:  It means that we must remember our culture and ancestors and learn from the mistakes of the past.

Ron:  Well, what are Black people learning from the past?

unemployement ratesJoan:  You say you have some Black friends.  Do you ever talk to them about their racial history?

Ron:   I don’t bring up such stuff.

Jack:  What’s the point in bringing back the past?  Why can’t we all just live together in peace and harmony?

Ron:  I got nothing against Black people that want to work hard and get ahead.

Jack:  Same for me Lady.

The End:

[This blog was provoked by a conversation I was listening to this morning on Public Radio describing the Selma marches and discrimination.]

I would like to send this blog to a Facebook website I belong to and get reactions to it.  I will post reactions in the section below from African Americans who belong to –  Real TAUK:  African American Issues.

Comments from Black Folks regarding this blog: 

Time for Questions:

Do you think prejudice still exists against Black people in this country?  Do you think White folks have a right to be prejudiced against Black folks?  Why or why not?   What do you think White people’s role should be in helping to overcome prejudice?

Life is just beginning:

Life is too short to hate.  When you hate, you kill your soul.  What good has hate ever done the world?


6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Robert W REYNOLDS
    Mar 03, 2015 @ 02:38:51

    An excellent summary. The omission of a direct comment regarding people’s lack of understanding of the unknown or people with a difference. Blacks cannot assimilate into the white majority of the US.



    • johnpersico
      Mar 03, 2015 @ 13:45:10

      I hope you did not take my writing the wrong way. I think assimilation is vastly overrated but I think we can all learn to live together and respect people who are different than we are.



  2. narayank991
    Mar 06, 2015 @ 09:15:08

    Hi Dr. Persico , Statistics are all fine , but they are an output ; what according to you are the real reasons for why African Americans are lagging behind on all these indicators ? What do African Americans think are the reasons ? What have they , as a community , done to change American society ?

    Is education the problem ?

    What are the relative statistics about the growth in educated African Americans over the years , at different levels , such as primary , secondary , college ?

    Where can I get more information ?



    • johnpersico
      Mar 06, 2015 @ 19:36:17

      Narayank991. You raise some good questions. I am going to post them on a website that I belong to and get some replies. I will post the replies in the content of this blog if and when I receive any. As for more information, I would advise you to join some African American websites on Facebook and participate in the discussions. You will learn a great deal.



  3. Jeanine
    Mar 07, 2015 @ 15:33:27

    Unfortunately, there are still far too many people who are prejudiced against blacks and vice versa. It is not a perfect world as much as I pray that people could just see beyond color and realize that a person should not be judged on their color but their character. While I believe we have come a long way, we still have a good distance to go.



  4. Dr. John Persico Jr.
    Jun 05, 2020 @ 06:24:59

    Reblogged this on Aging Capriciously and commented:

    Wrote this five years ago. More relevant now than ever before.



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