Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Missing Blacks

In 1945 or so, a real-estate agent in Ridgewood, N.J., a very upscale community, was hauled before the real-estate board on a charge of...selling a house to a Jew.


There's a men's social group I belong to, called the Hobbyists. I run the Investors Club and a lunch club, called ROMEO (Retired Older Men Eating Out). Mostly older men, mostly Republicans. Retired businessmen.

Maybe 400 members.

We're sponsored by a Presbyterian Church.

No blacks. But Jews, Catholics, and Protestants.

Occasionally I have mentioned the missing blacks to other members. I was told that we had a black member at ine time, but someone jokingly called him our token black, to his face, and he left.

What seems to concern the presidents of our club is..."dirty" jokes told at monthly meetings. The dirty jokes are pretty mild, in my opinion.

But they sseem to have been a big concern of our departing president and -- alas -- our president being inaugurated on Thursday.

We have in our club retired doctors, lawyers, teachers, journalists, scientists. And a few prigs.

I would guess that 90% of the good jokes I hear deal with sex.

Anyway, the incoming president sends out a message to all chairmen, tell only clean jokes.

I write back: How about we try to get a black member?

He writes back: Propose one and we'll consider him.

I write back: How about you announce at the next meeting that we are looking for black members?

No response.

Anyway, two things. When I followed baseball as a kid, I never noticed that there were no black players. And I'm a little mortified that I didn't.

Asked about blacks in golf, Tiger Woods said that golf should be more like America.

The Hobbyists should be more like America, too.

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