The song, "It's my party and I can cry if I want to," is going to play like an endless loop through my head for the rest of the day now. But this is a different rant. [The words of the song need to be changed in this instance. "It's my party and I can be late if I want to." I'm late to this party. Bloggers and everyone else all over have been covering the topic... I wasn't going to, but Dear Son brought up an interesting question...]
Warning: If you are going to be offended discussing "race," you should probably go somewhere else.
DS calls me every Saturday morning. He works in the restaurant / bar industry and does not get out of work until after midnight on Friday [way early Saturday morning, actually] - and he calls me when he gets home from work. So it is 9:30 or 10 in the morning here, when he calls. We had a most interesting conversation this morning. He is finally figuring out that he really was born and bred a card-carrying member of the GOP versus a water-carrying member for hopechange. He did not vote for hopechange - thank goodness - or we would have to write DS out of our Will. We have already taken out a niece and two nephews. They are not going to need anything from us; hopechange will take care of them.
Our "political" discussion was centered around Eric Holder's speech - which, like I said, has made its way around the interwebs and has been discussed and dissected. Eric Holder says that we are a "nation of cowards." Mr. Holder needs to speak for himself and not the rest of us, but that is beside the point. DS asked me what I thought about what he had said. And I told him, that although I disagree with Holder it has more to do with general principles, and that the man needs to audition for a local community theather getting ready to perform The Wizard of Oz, because the man clearly needs to be skipping down a yellow-brick-road looking for a brain! The only issue I have ever had with "race" is when I said "you people" to a group of women discussing braids and was immediately sent to "sensitivity training." [Pluheeze!] What did I know? I'm just a "typical white person."
DS said they were talking about it at work - and he works with the gamut of ethnicities. Profoundly, one of the black men he works with [we'll call him John] said to a bunch of young men [various "colors"] standing around, "What y'all* don't realize is that your great-great great-great-grandparents were sold into slavery by a black man, not a white man, and that there were white slaves, too." DS continued to relay the conversation that took place at the restaurant. I don't care to rehash the whole thing, but apparently a few zingers were thrown out. [*Y'all is a Southern thing. I use it!]
Here is what the gist of it came down to: Why do so many black people [African American, whatever the proper name is these days] treat their own so badly? Specifically in the restaurant business. Even the black servers do not want to wait on tables of black people. John himself said so. Why? They don't tip. Which isn't to say that none of them do, but DS, who has been in the restaurant business for a good many years started relaying some stories to me of how at one eatery the servers had worked out a system to make sure they got their tips - because otherwise for a table of four black people, eating full meals, they were only going to make a couple of bucks as opposed to another table of white people who would eat basically the same meal and leave their 15 or 20 percent. "Why do you think that is, Mom?"
Off the cuff, I said to DS something to the effect that it is just so much more convenient for white people to be blamed for every single wrong doing, now, even though the resentment is from something in the past that he and I had absolutely nothing to do with than to take responsibility for their own actions. And that John was right - with regard to the political aspect of all of this. It isn't white people that have the problem with race. One race seems to have a whole lot more advantages in many respects - and it isn't white. Advantages: affirmative action, rated differently for tests, more welfare, etc., etc., etc.
Since I worked in the restaurant business, for the most part only during my formative teenage years, at a Friendly's in Concord, New Hampshire, I have not had the opportunity to witness for myself whether certain people tip or not. But in our discussion, DS said, "You should blog on it, Mom, and see what other people have to say." Anyone? Just so that no one gets left out... DS also said that Northerner's tip more than Southerner's, and Eurpoeans tip - but leave the bare minimum. Oh, and smoker's are the best tippers. Apparently most server's in restaurants WANT the smoking sections because they know they can make the most money there.