Sunday, August 16, 2015

So... Where Were All the Black Folks?

Intriguing title?

Did it get your attention?

OK... so... Mary and I attended a free outdoor concert at West Point last night. This wasn't the "normal" brass band or full orchestra concert; no, last night's performance was by the Benny Havens Band - an actual rock and roll (plus!) band; electric guitars, drums... exactly what you think of when you think "band."

Last night's show was "country" - "Red, White, and Country" to be precise.


These extremely talented guys and gals - including a few "amateur guest stars," Colonels from the USMA Mathematics Department - kicked some serious country butt last night! Hell... I would have paid money to attend this concert! They were really good!

Covers... originals... BHB kept the crowd of hundreds entertained for over 90 minutes. Mary and I had our chairs... a picnic dinner... snacks... beer... and that's the way most folks who attend these concerts roll - a concert at Trophy Point is "tailgating" heaven!

But... here's what I'm curious about: Where were all the black folks?

Folks... West Point ain't America.

No... that's not right; let me clarify:

West Point is an idealized America. There's no poverty. There's no misbehavior. Everyone is respectful and friendly to one another. Children run around while parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles socialize... all is well... no one seems to have a care in the world.

To give you an idea of the atmosphere, think...


But we're all white!


No... not 100%... but close enough.


Staff Sgt. Jeremy Gaynor - lead male vocalist - is black. I'd love to know if he wonders what I wonder regarding this... lack of diversity.


Or... does he have an idea as to why these West Point concerts - be they band, orchestra, BHB - don't attract more blacks... more Hispanics? I'd love to hear his thoughts!

Again... these are FREE concerts!

And, folks... it ain't like we don't have lots and lots of black folks... and brown folks... up here in Orange County and the surrounding counties.


It can't be just social-economic factors; plenty of successful black and Hispanic families up here.


And, folks... it's not simply these West Point concerts where I notice the overwhelming "whiteness;" it's at sporting events... plays... even fireworks displays - to a lesser extent, but still noticeable.

Is it self-segregation? (At least in terms of "leisure?")

I just find it very... interesting.

Any thoughts, folks?

Eric Holder infamously accused America of being "a nation of cowards" where issues of "race" are concerned. While believe me... I hate to agree with Eric Holder... but the fact is... he was far more right than wrong in that accusation.

So, again... thoughts? Comments? Your own personal observations and theories?

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