Friday, December 4, 2009

Do You....Really?

The atmosphere at this particularly workplace was already tense in the days leading up to the historical presidential election of 2008. Situations came to a head the day after Obama won. It was a like a funeral, the white employees were absolutely stunned, shocked, dumbfounded whatever adjective you want to use to describe the way they felt. They walked past their black co-workers without so much as saying "goodmorning," "hello," or "nice weather we're having." Their stoned faces revealed what they had been thinking all along.
Fast forward to smoke break in a loaded dock area where most of the heated debates took place. Employees black and white alike gathered there and for ten, fifteen however many minutes it took they voiced their opinions. The blacks usually sided with Obama, the whites, sided with McCain and Palin. Well today, a white employee just laid it out there for his black co-worker. For five years they had been cordial to each other, gone out to lunch a few times, even met up with others during happy hour a time or two.
"You know," he began after taking a long drag on his cigarette, "I really wished you people would've gone back to Africa a long time ago."
The black co-worker laughed it off, "Aww, you're just mad 'cause we got a brother in the White House now."
"No, I'm serious." The white co-worker said emphatically.
The black co-worker blew out a cloud of smoke and listened as his white co-worker explained his reasons.
"If all black people went back to Africa today the crime rate would be lower, our system would be richer 'cause we wouldn't have to spend money on welfare programs and medicaid. We wouldn't have to worry about Affirmative Action and real estate values would appraise through the roof 'cause none of you would be around to bring the property values down. This would be a wonderful, safe, thriving society."
The black co-worker blew out another cloud of smoke, threw his cigarette butt on the ground and extinguished it on the heel of his steel-toed work book.
"Do You....Really?"
"Yeah, I wish all of you could get on a ship like Noah's Ark and go back and take 'Bama Boy with you."
The black co-worker was brimming but he kept his cool, he didn't want to stoop to the level of his white co-worker. As a Christian he was always taught to take the high road but he couldn't let an incident like this pass without giving a few choice words of his own.
"Imagine America without black people, the economy would shut down. It wouldn't be able to function without us. You know black in America people spend so much money that if they were living on their own country it would be the 9th wealthiest country on the planet? You wouldn't have all these black celebrities with wealth that you look up to like Oprah Winfrey, Bill Cosby, Jay-Z and Beyonce and you know how much money they have."
"So what?" Was all the white co-worker could say, "I don't even like Jay-Z."
"I'm not finished, just imagined if blacks hadn't came over as slaves at all, you wouldn't have traffic lights...your asses would be running over and killing each other. You wouldn't even have the city of Washington DC where all these bullshit laws are made if a black guy hadn't drawn out the survey for the city, hell half the inventions you take for granted around here wouldn't exist."
"I still say America is better off without y'all."
"That's sad," was all the black co-worker could say. Then more thoughts came to mind.
"Imagine right now if all black people went to Africa, today." The black co-worker began, "You wouldn't have all the popular sports that generate money for the economy, existing. You wouldn't have football teams, you wouldn't have basketball teams, boxing, all the big time money athletes would be in Africa. And you know...With all the black athletes in Africa, all the white women are gonna wanna come too."