Writing this column has come with some thought. Not knowing quite how to approach it without offending the wrong people may be a task too much. Instead of a broad-based racial analysis from history and current events, I'd rather delve into personal experiences and let the reader reflect on theirs.
We moved from the South Side of Chicago to the northern suburb of Skokie, one of the places Jews came to live during the 50's and on. We lived right on the border of Evanston, whose schools I was now under the jurisdiction of. The Evanston School System was in proportion to all race and religion population averages in the USA about that time.
Below are some of my personal experiences with blacks I grew up with:
1. In 1961 when I was thirteen, I participated in a gym period basketball game. I didn't know much about basketball then, so I wasn't sure what to think when a black kid named Archie stuck his arm across my throat as I was racing down the court—slamming me to my back with my head hitting the hardwood. As I lay on my back, more in shock than in pain, I observed the white coach who was in full view of this attack. He ignored it. Lesson learned!
2. In high school, there was a competition for some blacks to get street cred by bullying white kids. Most of the kids the blacks picked on looked like me—small, white and/or defenseless. As bullies often do, these blacks weren't about to go after the huge tough-looking kids. I was a 5'1" 108 lb. freshman. A black kid named Leon tried to push and/or trip me every chance he got, but only when he had a crowd. Not that much bigger than I, Leon seemed obsessed with making his reputation at my expense. After I objected to Leon's persistent attacks, he told me if I didn't like it he would meet me after school where I was welcome to do something about it. I think he was a little surprised when I showed up alone, ready to meet his bluff. In light of the fact that he brought about 20 of his buds, it must have confused him a bit. After some dazzling footwork, Leon came at me as if nothing could harm him, making the mistake of dropping both his arms while he raced face first into my left fist. As the blood immediately gushed from his nose accompanied by tears of embarrassment and fear, Leon gave up. Much to my luck, there were no repercussions from his buds.
3. As an athlete in high school, I encountered very few racial attacks, even though the teams I was on averaged about 30% black. In fact, I got more anti-Semitic crap from the white Catholics and WASPS on the team than I did from the blacks both on the field and off. One black kid who I was blocking in football accused me for all to hear of calling him the "N" word. It simply wasn't true. Interesting enough, the black kids who knew me and all the linemen present at the time of the alleged remark defended me. I was acquitted by a jury of my jocks.
Page 2 of 2 - 4. Right around the time MLK was to give his famous "Dream" speech in 1963, I took the El to the SS of Chicago where I worked in my father's grocery/liquor store. Missing my stop, I walked an extra mile back through the neighborhood to his business. You would have thought I was an invading army of one, as hatred emanated from the stares of everyone I could see as I walked briskly to my job. Now I understand why even Jesse Jackson gets nervous on the South Side.
5. About three years ago, I noticed a girl was taking my columns and other blogs and putting them in the center of her website. When I inquired as to who she was and why she seemed so enthralled by my material, I found out that, other than age (she's young) and color (she's black), we have so much in common it's amazing. There ARE conservative blacks out there and young ones at that—just not many.
One conclusion I've made is that those blacks who have bought into our capitalistic system seem a lot happier and less resentful of past wrongs. Those who take the time to read some history and see what systems have worked and failed are even more enthralled with the USA's economy than anything else that's out there or is buried in the books Barack Obama should have read while in school.
As an adult businessman, I've interacted with many fellow businessmen who happen to be black. The only thing that stands out to me is a blind following--almost a Messiah Admiration Diagnosis (MAD)--that has permeated most but not all supporters of President Obama and his anti-business policies.
I suspect that as things get deeper and deeper into Barack's second term, the economic downturn will finally convince them of his utter contempt for all citizens except for the Communists, Socialists and union thugs. As a side note, most of these same businessmen were positive OJ was innocent—until they changed their minds years later during the civil trial.
To all of us in business this really is about color. That color is green. Of all the people who you'd expect to support Obama, Louis Farrakhan has just berated him for the awful conditions his presidency has brought down upon the black community. If Farrakhan can rid himself of the Obama fairytale there's hope.
And as you know, I'm all about keeping hope alive!