Racial Pandering in the 1970s
Any Black person who grew up in the 1970s probably remember it as the era of racial pandering. It was common to be invited to a White friend’s party or social gathering just so they could show off their Black friend. I was often invited to parties by people who loved the way Black people danced. I was not a good dancer. Likewise, I seemed to get picked for all the ship’s basketball games because everyone knew that Blacks were good at basketball. I was lousy at basketball.
But this was also the era of tokenism. Every television show had to have at least one Black person in the cast. Sadly, that one Black was usually cast as a drug dealer or pimp. I hope we’re not going to see a repeat of these same misguided human reactions again. I still can’t dance and I’m still lousy at basketball, just a few years older.
My younger foster brother, Van, embarrassed my older foster brother and me at school when the school counselor asked him what he wanted to be after he graduated. “A pimp”, he said. The counselor got a strange look on his face and asked, “what?”. “A pimp”, Van replied. The counselor closed his notebook, stood up and walked out of the room.