Growing up I was the different kid on the block. All of my buddies that I rode bikes with and played football and baseball in the street with, and splashed around in the creek with were all public school kids. They talked a little louder, a little rougher around the edges, used more curse words than I knew at the time, and didn’t have much of a command of the Queen’s, or any other facet of royalty’s, English. But I was fully accepted in the neighborhood kid flock because I was a good dude, had an Intellivision (which was the early 80’s version of the playstation, and I was a good athlete (though on the short side).
One day we were tramping through the woods on our way to the creek being mindful that we had to be very quiet since we had to go through someone else’s back yard to get there; Corey, who was the neighborhood clown or neighborhood bully depending on which day of the week it was, mentioned “we would all get in trouble if we got caught going through these folks’ backyard…not Carlton though, because he’s like a White boy.” To which everyone laughed heartily. Then the floodgates opened, I was too proper, I owned a Bon Jovi record, all my subjects and verbs agreed, you know, all the things that apparently made you White in the early to mid 80s, I was. Then I had a complex for a while, I tried to be more “hood”, more street, I tried to curse every now and again, but it was too late, I was the neighborhood White dude, even though there was a White dude or two in the neighborhood circle, I even out-whited them according to the pre-teen powers that were.
From where I sat back then being White wasn’t a bad thing but I loved being a Black kid, I had the pre-packaged tan, rhythm, and athleticism and as I’ve grown I’ve absolutely loved being a strong, intelligent, and loved Black man – but every now and again the thought of actually being a White dude, if only for a short period of time, has crossed my mind.
This morning for example…
Around 8:15 this morning I woke up and joined about 5,000 or so under or unemployed folks for one of Atlanta’s grand job fairs. I have blogged on the evil job fairs before and how attending them is the most collossal waste of time ever but like the proverbial train wreck I can’t look away, or in my case, I can’t not attend. So I got up, got suited up, turned on my best Queen’s English (much to the dismay of Corey from the block back in the day) and headed out.
First and foremost, the traffic was horrible. Seemingly everyone from a 150 mile radius even remotely thinking about a job was there. People walking, people in cars, people coming in on the train, people in jeans, people in suits, people with strollers, people with boxes of resumes, people people everywhere. But no White people. Beautiful Black people everywhere, in great tailored suits, hair freshly cut, shoes polished, attitudes adjusted, and outlooks positive and bright, sure there was the occasional “what the hell were you thinking” Black person there with sagging jeans and rainbow colored Nikes or a hoodie and oversized chain that no one in their right mind thought was real, but for the most part everyone was suited up and ready for employment battle.
But no White folks anywhere. Okay, there were 23 (I counted because there was nothing else to do in line before the door opened). So again, rough estimate was about 5,000 attendees, thats 217 Black people that you see before you get to one White guy or girl. Then my imagination, as it is prone to do, started to go haywire. The unemployment rate being what it is in this state, the untold other amount of people that are looking for something, anything, better than what they have, there are only 23 White people here? Then I wanted Corey to be right, I did for a while want to be White. I wanted to see the inner workings of White society, the Skull and Bones like activity behind the scenes at every corporation in America, and more importantly, where they hide the blueprints for the “Job Hookup Factory” that apparently exists because there are NEVER ANY WHITE PEOPLE AT JOB FAIRS!!! LOL
Then my imagination went even further. Perhaps the 23 White people that were in line with the 4,977 other of us of darker hue were, for some reason or another, out of the know with their White counterparts. Perhaps they didn’t get the memo that they simply weren’t supposed to be there. And the exchange went a little something like…
White Guy at Job Fair: *shakes HR reps hand* Hello, my name is Steven Randolph and I have extensive experience in…
HR Rep: *whispering* What are you doing here?
HR Rep: *whispering louder* What are you doing here. Didn’t you get your packet?
WGJF: What packet? I got this piece of paper at the door with the list of employers and…
HR Rep: *still whispering because Black people are around* No! the “White Man Packet” you were fedexed when you turned 18. Here, take this address, go there now, and knock three times, the password is “Manilow”, got it? “Manilow”. Your information will be taken upon entrance and a great job will be assigned to you.
WGJF: What? What is this? I’ve never heard of such…
HR Rep: *whisper bordering on a shout* Dammit, Man! You’re going to blow it for all of us! Can’t believe you haven’t gotten your packet. Job fairs aren’t FOR you. It’s for them! *motions with eyes* Now, go! Go now!
WGJF: *hurries out the door clutching his resumes and stuffing address in his pocket*
Perhaps this is the reason that I saw less White people milling around the fair than I did standing in line prior to the doors opening; of the 23 I counted I think I only saw about 7 on the inside. And it most certainly would explain the White guy that hurried past me in the parking lot on the way to his car; I think he called me a sucker under his breath but I can’t be entirely sure…maybe it was just my imagination.
So to all my White friends, if it won’t get your White People of the USA card revoked or make you a traitor to your race, would you mind sharing the secret. Some of us don’t like job fairs that profit us nothing and cost us countless hours of our day. I promise that all my subjects and verbs will agree and afterwards we can discuss hockey, Bon Jovi, and do Jager bombs in celebration when we’re done! Agreed? Cool , lets get after it then!!! *smile*