Scene: continuation of previous entry.  Jordan and long-time friend Rock Man return from coffee break.  The conversation has been about the societal impact of removing the Confederate Battle Flag from most public property.  Suggest you first read entry #142.

More about author and the general content of the Blog, Entry #1.

010114_1941_20RockMans1.pngRock Man: “Now that I’ve had a break, I still don’t like this conversation.”

Jordan: “What don’t you like?”

Rock Man: “You must think I’m stupid, Jordan. You want me…and the black community…to change rather than the bigots, or racists, or whatever we call them, to change. Did I state your proposal correctly?”

Jordan: “Yes, you and the black community need to seriously consider changing.  Otherwise we are not going to make much progress.”

Rock Man: “What am I missing? I…we…are not the problem, why should we change?”

TurtleneckJordan: “You might think you are not the problem but…”

Rock Man: “So you think I’m the problem and not some a-hole bigot…racist?”

Jordan: “Relax.”

Rock Man: “How can I relax?  I’m still supposed to change even though I’m not really the problem?”

Jordan: “Let me finish my argument, OK?”

Rock Man: “Alright. But I’m having a hard time understanding your logic.”

Jordan: “You are not the problem. But that does not matter. You still need to change.”

Rock Man: “I’m…we…are not the problem but still need to change. What kind of back backwards-dayasswards logic is that?”

Jordan: “Rock Man, you know the reason why. You used to teach other people to use the same approach.”

Rock Man: “But the problems were easier.”

Jordan: “You and I both know that once you’ve learned how to solve a set of problems, the next set is always more difficult. Just like going to school. The problems get harder and harder.”

Rock Man: “Yeah, I know. I used to teach this stuff. So, I guess the old saying is true – the cobbler’s kids have no shoes.”

Jordan: “The idea of changing one’s self, when the other person seems to be at fault, is a tough lesson and one that is difficult to buy into. Nonetheless, my contention is if the Rantblack community begins to change its behavior, then the rationale of the bigot begins to make even  less sense. Over time the bigot’s rationale will become irrelevant.”

Rock Man: “You really believe that can happen. I’ve seen it happen with individuals…but an entire society? That’s hard to swallow.”

Jordan: “No, it’s not going to be easy and no, it will not happen in a single generation. But a change in the behavior of just a few people can have a powerful impact on society.”

Rock Man: “Give me an example.”

Jordan: “I think the reason the momentum against the Confederate Battle Flag built so quickly was not because of the shootings in Charleston…”

Rock Man: “…You don’t think killing nine people was a tragedy?”

Jordan: “A terrible tragedy. Ask yourself this, ‘How many hate crimes and multiple killings have there been in say the last 10-20 years…and how much has really changed?'”

Jordan: “Then what’s so different this time?”

Jordan: “The reaction of the families who lost loved ones.”

charleston-south-carolina-emanuel-ame-church-shootingRock Man: “Because the families forgave the shooter…that Roof guy…within a couple of days?”

Jordan: “Those families…those black families…showed the rest of us real courage. Those families ‘walk the talk’ of their religion.”

Rock Man: “I’m not sure I could do what they did.”

Jordan: “Not sure I could either. Their courage set an example for all of us, especially the weak-kneed politicians.”

Rock Man: “Looking back, the families were the true heroes in getting the Battle Flag profiles-in-courage-19553down, not the politicians.”

Jordan: “The black community could take a lesson from those families. And use that lesson as a foundation for change.”

Rock Man: “The lesson being no whining about circumstances, no bitching about being targeted, no feel-sorry-for-me attitude. Just take the bull by the horns, as it were, and get going.”

Jordan: “You know what needs to get started in the black community. And those families gave you a great reason to get going.”

Rock Man: “I know. We’ve got to get blacks off the bottom rung of the economic ladderladder.”

Jordan: “Folks, he does remember our conversations. Well, well.”

Rock Man: “How could I forget? You pounded those ideas into my head the last time I was in the States. But I don’t…”

Jordan: “Excuse me, Rock Man. To make the change happen, someone needs to lead the charge. The families in Charleston had every reason to look for an excuse…”

Rock Man: “But they didn’t.”

Jordan: “Exactly. There are a million reasons ‘why not to get involved.’ None of the reasons really matter. If you want…sincerely want the black community to start getting off that bottom rung…”

woman_parentRock Man: “Then one of us needs to lead the charge. I agree the time is right. And I’ve got a spouse with a great job.”

Jordan: “Gelly, could you come in here, please?”

Gelly: “Yes, Jordan. More coffee?”

Jordan: “No. Some place in the office is a bottle of cabernet from one of my favorite wineries in Sonoma County. Could you open the bottle and bring three glasses, please?”

Gelly: “What’s the occasion?”

122913_1337_14BringingU2.pngRock Man: “Your buddy, Jordan, conned me into leading…at least trying to lead the effort to get the black community off the bottom rung of the economic ladder.”

Gelly: “Something truly worth celebrating. Congratulations, Rock Man. I’ll be right back.”

(Earlier segments about ideas to help get the black community off the bottom rung of the economic ladder begin Entry #67.)