First-time readers, this blog is set in the future (sometime after the year 2020).  Each entry assumes there has been a 5th revolution in the US — the Revenge Revolution.  More about Revenge Revolution and author, Entry #1.  List and general description of entries to date.  Annual assessment whether Revolution plausible.

Note: most characters appear in a number of entries, with many entries building on previous conversations.  Profile of characters.  You’ll catch on quickly.  Thanks for your time and interest…and comments.

Scene: Jordan’s office, Washington, DC.  (Conversation begins #209)

Gelly:  “OK, I watched O’Reilly’s video.”

092615_2031_Characters7.gifJordan:  “…and?”

Gelly:  “No surprise that I didn’t agree with everything he said but his points were well taken.  We’ve got to start a conversation with the black community in order to start solving problems.”

Jordan:  “What do we do next?”

Gelly:  “I was going to ask you the same question.  Big set of problems.  Who’s going to take the lead?”

Jordan:  “Let’s make a list of people who might be good candidates.  Who comes to mind first?”

Gelly:  “For me, president Obama.  He’s been out of office a few years and stayed away from politics.”

TurtleneckJordan:  “Great choice, but I think he still might be considered too controversial.  You know who would be a good person to bounce ideas off of…and maybe lead the discussion before it gets too high-profile?”

Gelly:  “Someone who really understands the black community…like Rock Man?”

Jordan:  “Like Rock Man.  Been a while since we talked to him.”

Gelly:  “Want me to try to track him down?”

Jordan:  “Please.  If you find him, see if he can Skype.  In the meantime, I’ll make a few phone calls.”

(15 minute break in conversation)

Gelly:  “Found Rock Man.  He’s waiting for us to Skype.”  (Jordan’s makes Skype connection.)

092615_2031_Characters5.pngRock Man:  “Hey guys.  Long time, no talk to.  Gelly said you need some advice.  A big dog like you needs advice from me?”

Jordan:  “Yes, from you.  And who says I’m a big dog.  More like a fire hydrant.  Anyway, the challenge is two-fold: (i) how to get groups to take personal responsibility for fixing their problems; (ii) how to get groups to quit blaming someone else for their problems.”

Rock Man:  “And you’re calling me about…let me guess…about getting the black community to take more personal responsibility.”

Jordan:  “Gelly, he’s so perceptive.”

Rock Man:  “What do you want me to do?  I’m just one guy.”

Gelly:  “From my perspective, you’re an ideal role model for taking personal responsibility.”

Rock Man:  “In what way?”

Gelly:  “I don’t know the whole story but I understand you grew up in Eastern North Carolina, dirt poor with parents who had very limited education…”

Rock Man:  “…8th grade at best…”

college degreeGelly:  “…and yet all the children, what 6 or 7 of you, earned college degrees and several earned graduate degrees.  That just didn’t happen by accident.”

Jordan: “Gelly, Rock Man won’t tell you this part.  He started out in Charlotte at Johnson C. Smith, but after his sophomore year transferred to University of North Carolina-Charlotte in order to get tougher classes.”

Gelly:  “See, Rock Man, that’s exactly what I’m talking about.  You took personal responsibility for getting a better education.  Would have been easier to stay at JC Smith but you didn’t.  You are the perfect role model.”

Rock Man:  “C’mon, my shoes are getting brown.  There are much better role models basketball_player_06than I am.  What about Michael Jordan or LeBron James or a bunch of other athletes as role models?”

Jordan:  “You and I have talked about this before.  I think professional athletes are exactly the wrong role model for young black males.  How many black professional athletes, or for that matter all professional athletes, have a college degree?  Not just attend college but graduate?”

Rock Man:  “I don’t know but not many have degrees.  The problem among black teens is education isn’t sexy like athletics.  Plus education doesn’t guarantee big bucks.”

thimbleJordan:  “What percent of college athletes make it to the pros?  As small as that number is, what percent of high school students eventually end up in the pros?  Its miniscule — a thimble full at best.”

Gelly:  “Rock Man, your parents pushed education over athletics.  My parents were 1st-generation immigrants.  My mother was barely literate.  But you know what their goal was?  What they made significant sacrifices for?”

Rock Man:  “Same as mine?  Getting the kids through college?”

Gelly:  “The goals of my parents and your parents were no different from goals of most Old Man immigrant families.  Achieving those goals might take 2 or 3 generations and many will be grandparents or great grandparents before it happens.  But the goals of the parents were clear – get the kids through college or a comparable technical school.  So if families from Europe, Asia, wherever follow the same model, why shouldn’t black families?  Your parents did…and look how the family turned out.”

Jordan:  “Seems like the best person to start talking to the black community is someone who understands the hardships of the black community and the cultural norms.”

Gelly:  “Like I keep saying, someone like you Rock Man.”

Rock Man:  “Ok, you guys are persuasive.  How do I get started?”

Jordan:  “My view is the black community needs to: (i) take the lead in this effort; (ii) ask for help from other groups, even the police.”

Rock Man:  “Let me ask again, ‘how do we get started?’”

TrumpJordan:  “Since the Revenge Revolution, the political environment is less toxic that a few years ago…”

Rock Man:  “…you mean like the toxic environment when Donald the bomb thrower was running for president?”

Jordan:  “Yes.  Make no mistake, the atmosphere is still tense.  If I were you, Rock Man, I’d reach way across the aisle and ask for help from a perceived adversary to the black community.  Someone, who if you worked with, would cause everyone to turn their head.”

Rock Man:  “Like who?”

Gelly:  “Earlier today I looked at a short video from 2016 made by Bill O’Reilly.”

Bill-O’ReillyRock Man:  “Like the Bill O’Reilly?”

Gelly:  “I said exactly the same thing when Jordan asked me to look at it.  Let me tell you, O’Reilly listed some very good questions that would help start a meaningful dialogue.”

Jordan:  “So, why not reach out to O’Reilly and get his opinion?”

Rock Man:  “Can you send me the link to the video, please?”

Jordan:  “Take a look and then ask yourself, what’s really the downside of talking to him about the issues he listed?  You might be surprised.  He might be very helpful.”

Rock Man:  “Alright, I’ll review and get back.”