I know a compliment when I get one. This is about two of those.
At Jim Murray’s Saturday night Karaoke, after I sang an old Whitney Houston number, two young black guys made it a point to find me and shake my hand.
Not just young, but decades younger than I am. I’m gratified.
Probably most of the people there didn’t notice that because my experience was not at all exceptional; the place was alive beyond description. With ages ranging from 20-somethings to old duffers (like me); male and female; and — straight to the point of this: about half white and half not white, together in song. Together is no exaggeration; I gotta emphasize it again: Those guys-&-girls/blacks-&-whites/hipsters-&-duffers were together. That’s why the place could be so alive.
It’s not unique. That same description fits the tennis courts where I try to hold my own against better players.
It just doesn’t matter who’s white and who isn’t. The same is true, by the way, at the gym where I work out. The subject came up at the Karaoke bar in a conversation with the wife of one of the other singers — what a contrast from TV scenes close to here. WHY is the news from Baltimore so disastrous ??
An engineer/wannabe-singer can’t know what the answer is — but I’ll venture to say what the answer isn’t:
It definitely isn’t because members of different reces can’t get along. It isn’t because Baltimore is hopeless. Our city is clearly in big trouble; we can’t pretend otherwise. At the same time we need to recognize an old statistic: a small percent of the people cause a huge percent of the major problems. Better minds than mine have struggled with that irony for ages. I’ll leave it to those heads-higher-than-mine to apply that now.
SO: The only thing offered here is a reminder of observations just stated. That’s about one percent of one percent of one percent of what’s needed to fix our city. But the importance of it prompted me to add this third blog, after five years, to this site.