Thursday, March 17, 2011

No matter how long you are Unemployed: NEVER WAX YOUR HOO-HA

Words to live by: No matter how long you are Unemployed: NEVER WAX YOUR HOO-HA

For many of us, unemployment has removed our ability to laugh. Some of us are so board we may even try doing things our common sense has ruled out years before. Please allow me to perform a little social experiment, you see if this does not make you laugh then you are in serious trouble. I know this is a major departure from my usual 99er political articles, but chalk this up to the "I want to really know if anybody is reading these articles anyway" department. Enjoy.....

All hair removal methods have tricked women with their promises of easy, painless removal - The Epilady, scissors, razors, Nair, hot wax and now...the cold wax method. If you are at least 18 years old please read on.........

My night began as any other normal weeknight. Fix dinner, watch the grand kids come and go.

I then had the thought that would ring painfully in my mind for the next few hours: 'Maybe I should get the waxing kit from the medicine cabinet, as I had my first job interview in months the next day.

So I headed to the site of my demise: the bathroom.

It was one of those 'cold wax' kits. No melting a clump of hot wax, you just rub the strips together in your hand, they get warm and you peel them apart and press them to your leg (or wherever else) and you pull the hair right off. No muss, no fuss. How hard can it be? I mean, I'm not a genius, but I am mechanically inclined enough to figure this out. (YA THINK!?!) So I pull one of the thin strips out. Its two strips facing each other stuck together.

Instead of rubbing them together, my genius kicks in so I get out the hair dryer and heat it to 1000 degrees. ('Cold wax,' yeah...right!) I lay the strip across my thigh. Hold the skin around it tight and pull. Whoooo Hooo.... It works!

OK, so it wasn't the best feeling, but it wasn't too bad. I can do this! Hair removal no longer eludes me! I am She-rah, fighter of all wayward body hair and maker of smooth skin extraordinaire.

With my next wax strip I move north. After checking on the family, I sneak back into the bathroom for the ultimate hair fighting championship.

I drop my granny panties (I know - I know, TOO MUCH INFORMATION) and place one foot on the toilet.

Using the same procedure, I apply the wax strip across the rightside of my bikini line, covering the right half of my hoo-ha and stretching down to the inside of my butt cheek (it was a long strip). I inhale deeply and brace myself.... RRRRIIIPPP!!!!

OMG I'm blind!!! Blinded from pain!!!!..... OH MY GAWD!!!!!!!!! Vision returning, I notice that I've only managed to pull off half the strip. CRAP! Another deep breath and RIPP! Everything is spinning and spotted. I think I may pass out.... I must stay conscious... I must stay conscious. Do I hear crashing drums??? Breathe, breathe.... OK, back to normal.

I want to see my trophy - a wax covered strip (the one that has caused me so much pain) with my hairy pelt sticking to it. I want to revel in the glory that is my triumph over body hair. I hold up the strip! There's no hair on it. Where is the hair??? More importantly.... WHERE IS THE WAX???

Slowly I ease my head down, foot still perched on the toilet.I see the hair. The hair that should be on the strip... it's not! I reach down and OMG, I am touching wax. I run my fingers over the sensitive area, now covered in cold wax and matted hair. Then I make the next BIG mistake ... remember my foot is still propped upon the toilet? So I put my foot down.

BAD MOVE.... Sealed shut! My butt is sealed shut. YEP, sealed shut! I penguin walk around the bathroom trying to figure out what to do and think to myself 'Please don't let me get the urge to go.. as my head may pop off!'

OK - What can I do to melt the wax? Hot water!! Hot water melts wax, right!! I'll run the hottest water I can stand in the bathtub, get in, immerse the wax-covered bits and the wax should melt and I can gently wipe it off, right ??? *WRONG!!!!!!!*

I get in the tub - the water is slightly hotter than that used to torture prisoners of war or sterilize surgical equipment - I sit. Now, the only thing worse than having your nether regions glued together, is having them glued together and then glued to the bottom of the tub.... in scalding hot water (which, by the way, does not melt cold wax).

So, now I'm stuck to the bottom of the tub as though I had cemented myself to the porcelain!!

God bless the AT&T man who had convinced me a few months ago to have a phone put in the bathroom!!!!! I call my friend, thinking surely she has waxed before and has some secret of how to get me undone. It's a very good conversation starter.

“So, my butt and hoo-ha are glued together to the bottom of the tub!” There is a slight pause. She doesn't know any secret tricks for removal, however she does try to hide her laughter from me (which I greatly appreciated). She wants to know exactly where the wax is located, 'Are we talking cheeks or hoo-ha?' She's laughing out loud by now and I can hear her clearly losing control.

I give her the rundown and she suggests I call the number on the side of the box.YEAH!!!!! Right!! I should be the joke of someone else's night.

While we go through various solutions, I resort to trying to scrape the wax off with a razor. Nothing feels better than to have your girliegoodies covered in hot wax, glued shut, stuck to the tub in superhot water and then dry-shaving the sticky wax off!!

By now the brain is not working, dignity has taken a major hike and I'm pretty sure I'm going to need Post-Traumatic Stress counseling for this event. My friend is still talking with me when I finally see my saving grace..... the lotion they give you to remove the excess wax.

What do I really have to lose at this point? I rub some on and OH MY GOD!!! The scream probably woke the family and scared the dickens out of my friend. It's sooo painful, but I really don't care. IT WORKED!!

I get a hearty congratulation from my friend and she hangs up. I successfully remove the remainder of the wax and then notice to my grief and despair....THE HAIR IS STILL THERE.......ALL OF IT! @#!$@#!!

So I recklessly shave it off. Heck, I'm numb by now. Nothing hurts. I could have amputated my own leg at this point and not felt a thing. Even the years of unemployment seem trite by now - even the last year struggling to survive with no UI benefits income at all.

I doubt I will be able to sit through the interview tomorrow but then if it is anything like the last several, I won't be there long anyway, right?

Next week I'm going to try hair bad can that turn out???
The purpose of this exercise is to try and convey that things could be worse. Take time to laugh every day as we never know what tomorrow will bring. Good or bad.

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99ers CAN Make a Difference Here’s HOW...

99ers can make a difference, and according to - here’s HOW:

Today I stumbled across a website called and noticed a good idea posted there on how we can possibly move the 14 week extension bill (HR 589) out of committee limbo and get moving on the path to making this law now.
Believing that one person CAN make a difference, I have updated information on how each of us can work to help Congresswoman Lee achieve a 14 week extension, to Tier I, that will give at least some relief to all 99ers.

Her bill to add these 14 weeks is on hold in the Ways and Means Committee.

I am getting very tired of hearing “The Republicans aren’t doing this, the Democrats aren’t do that” We are none of the above…..just AMERICANS!

This bill #HR589 is critical to millions of Americans in need of any kind of financial help, whether it’s to pay a utility bill, a mortgage payment to help avoid foreclosure, food for the table, gas in a car or countless other needs. With the billions of dollars being spent on foreign aid and targeted pet projects; HELPING AMERICANS should be a number ONE priority with our Congress/Senate. With all the mismanagement of funds over the years, in both houses, this is One expense that should be approved, by everyone of our Employees…
The US House of Representatives, the US Senate and the White House!!!

I’m calling on everyone to help Congresswoman Lee; it won’t take much of your time, but it will take a little effort.
Contact every Member on the House Ways and Means Committee, Democrat and Republican. Below is a list of committee member names/numbers. Let your voice be heard direct to the 1st line of battle
The main number for this committee office: 202-225-3625

Then, contact Speaker John Boehner; 202-225-6205 and ask that bill HR589 be brought to the House floor for an approval vote and ask him to stand behind this bill and vote yes.

Why should he vote yes with all the other pressing issues in play? Just as we need a balanced budget for our future, we need immediate help for our countrymen, NOW.

The future is important, but the path to get there is NOT TO LEAVE ANYONE BEHIND. America is the first to be called when a foreign country or a local community is in trouble. The 99ers are in trouble and calling on America for help! If they need a reason to send in the financial troops-here it is:

This is a Nation Wide epidemic; affecting every community, town, business, city and state. It was created by bad government choices in spending our money. If the auto industry, banks & wall street can be saved with Billions of Americans hard earned money-TARP, and are now showing profits, then it’s time Congress use that return on their “investment” - To reinvest in Americans!

Since the government hasn’t been able to help increase jobs at the same pace they helped loose them, then it’s their responsibility to offer this temporary help that’s desperately needed. It’s painfully obvious that job creation is going to take a very long time, but this small amount of help can go a long way to raise the spirits of so many in need, that continue their search for a new line of work.

These are the members of the House Ways and Means committee represented by both Democrats and Republicans…Americans; it’s best to call the Washington DC offices; you get more help and reaction there; so start calling; there’s no time to waste:

Committee Chairman
Dave Camp (MI) 202-225-3561

Wally Herger, CA 202-225-3026
Sam Johnson, TX 202-225-4201
Kevin Brady, TX 202-225-4901
Paul Ryan, WI 202-225-3031
Devin Nunes, CA 202-225-2523
Pat Tiberi, OK 202-225-5355
Geoff Davis, KY 202-225-3465
Dave G. Reichert, WA 202-225-7761
Charles Boustany, LA 202-225-2031
Dean Heller, NV 202-225-6155
Peter J. Roskam, IL 202-225-4561
Jim Gerlach, PA 202-225-4315
Tom Price, GA 202-225-4501
Vern Buchanan, FL 202-225-5015
Adrian Smith, NE 202-225-6435
Aaron Schock, IL 202-225-6201
Lynn Jenkins, KS 202-225-6601
Erik Paulsen, MN 202-225-2871
Rick Berg, ND 202-225-2611
Diane Black, TN 202-225-4231
Sander Levin, MI 202-225-4961
F. Pete Stark, CA 202-225-5065
Jim McDermott, WA 202-225-3106
John Lewis, GA 202-225-3801
Richard E. Neal, MA 202-225-5601
Xavier Becerra, CA 202-225-6235
Lloyd Doggett, TX 202-225-4865
Mike Thompson, CA 202-225-3311
John B. Larson, CT 202-225-2265
Earl Blumenauer, OR 202-225-4811
Ron Kind, WI 202-225-5506
Bill Pascrell, Jr., NJ 202-225-5751
Shelley Berkley, NV 202-225-5965
Joseph Crowley, NY 202-225-3965


I will be making my calls first thing tomorrow morning. How about you?

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NY Times #NYTimesNews Paywall Slammed On Twitter: Social Media Idiocy

The New York Times obviously didn't think twice about purchasing the hastag #NYTimesNews on Twitter, and in the process showed a new, high level of Social Media idiocy. As of this writing the vast majority of Twitter tweets are in protest of the New York Times plan for an online digital subscription process, with many tweets explaining that once the free 20 articles offered is done, that's it.

No paywall money for the New York Times.

But what gets this blogger is why the NY Times would be stupid enough to use Twitter for such an announcement? Buying that hashtag, thus insuring top Twitter Trend placement, was a direct route to criticism and hammering on Twitter. It's like PR suicide: the Times of New York serving itself up for lunch, to be eaten over and over again.


Check out some of these Twitter tweets:

Phitter Japhet
Interesting how #NYTimesNews has triggered larger discussion about value of journalism instead of attracting new subscribers. #CartB4Horse
1 minute ago Favorite Retweet Reply

Paul_Conrad Paul Conrad
My suggestion to #NYTimesNews, don't punish your loyal readers with a subscription fee when you're giving your stuff to Facebook for free.
1 minute ago Favorite Retweet Reply

jbrianhouston J Brian Houston
NYTimes porous paywall: Won't generate much $, so maybe just a "we must be paid" statement? #NYTimesNews

hirshsandesara hirshsandesara
@brianschwab time to become intimately familiar with the @newsobserver. This blows. #NYTimesNews
3 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply

jerseyblueboy Karim Walker
#NYTimesNews will lose a lot of long time readers because of this new subscription plan.
4 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply

Esotericus J. Leif Johnson
$15 is too much for #NYTimesNews when you can get news for free elsewhere. Five dollars is reasonable, but not $15.
5 minutes ago Favorite Retweet Reply

Yes, $15 is a price per month that gives a number of people pause. That's a week's bus ride money for a lot of people. To charge that much is sheer arrogance, not to mention complete stupidity. (Of course, the two tend to go together.)

In "A Letter to Our Readers About Digital Subscriptions," issued on this St. Patrick's Day, and leading this blogger to wonder how much drink was already consumed at the New York Times, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr., the NY Times Publisher (and hater of this blogger's constant jabs at his new media efforts and particularly his fear of Google - word travels) writes:

This change comes in two stages. Today, we are rolling out digital subscriptions to our readers in Canada, which will enable us to fine-tune the customer experience before our global launch. On March 28, we will begin offering digital subscriptions in the United States and the rest of the world.

HA! Dump it on Canada first! Nice. I'm sure the Canadians will appreciate being used in such a direct way. So, if the paywall doesn't work, look for Mr. Sulzberger to blame Canada!

Really, he should blame himself.  Whatever online good press the NY Times could have gotten was dashed by thousands of Twitterers, nastily tweeting about its paywall effort.

I'm reminded of my conversation with Salon's Scott Rosenberg, where he explains that journalists are just trying to pay the rent or mortgage.   I know, but this paywall isn't the way to go about it.

Follow Zennie62 on Twitter for re-tweets on this.

Happy St. Patrick's Day: Corned Beef and Cabbage In Oakland

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone, and it's a lovely one at that in Oakland and in San Francisco. Which should make it all the more easier to enjoy the festivities. And before I mention them, please remember that everyone's Irish on St. Patrick's Day, even us black guys, so have a heart!

Speaking of heart, get down to the Oakland's City Center in the heart of Downtown Oakland between 12 noon and 1 PM for a special performance by Driving with Fergus. And it's certain Max's City Center will have some special St. Patrick's Day menu (and if they don't, they've really fallen off the way!), so check them out.

Also visit Crogan's Montclair in the Oakland Hills for a great time. It's at the corner of Mountain and LaSalle in the Montclair District. Crogan's has a great kitchen and a good version of Corned Beef and Cabbage!

In the evening, The Alley, at 3325 Grand Avenue, is all done up for St. Patrick's Day. While they don't have a special menu, there are a lot of four leaf clovers around as decoration.

There's also the "St. Patrick’s Day Rockridge Walk n’ Drink Oakland," where you are asked to "Meet at McNally’s at 6pm. Walk up Manilla Ave to stairways around Margarido Dr. Return to McNally’s around 7pm. Drink."

They don't tell you where McNally's Irish Pub is, so I'll help: it's at 5352 College Avenue.

With that, Happy St. Patty's Day, follow Zennie62 on Twitter, and watch for tweets of photos!

Congress Says “99ers are NOT an Emergency” - But Defunding NPR is?

Congress says “99ers are NOT an Emergency” but apparently defunding NPR is?

House Republicans escalated their war against National Public Radio, calling an "emergency" meeting Wednesday to consider a bill that would strip the organization of federal funds.

NPR, which operates 797 radio stations across the country, gets less than 2% of its annual budget directly from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which receives more than $400 million a year from Congress. But the CPB also gives money directly to NPR member stations, which proponents of the organization fear could be shut down without public funding.

According to a spokeswoman for Lamborn, Catherine Mortensen, the new standalone bill would only target NPR. And unlike the CR amendment would have defunded public broadcasting through the 2011 fiscal year, HR 1076 would permanently prohibit all federal funding to NPR and affiliate stations.

The House already passed a similar bill to defund both NPR and the Public Broadcasting Service through September, but the Senate defeated it.
The latest bill, spearheaded by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-Colo.), is not likely to pass in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

House GOPers scheduled their “Emergency Meeting” to cut the miniscule amount of federal funding to NPR - yet Congress has allowed jobless 99ers to languish without any source of income for over a year now.

UI benefits accounted for 100% of the necessary income to survive for millions of UI exhaustees called “99ers” but it would seem that 2% of NPR funding is far more important to the FAT CAT Republicans and obviously Democrats as well.

This is the sort of CRAP that Congress gives “EMERGENCY” status to? I cannot believe that every American with a brain is not hounding Speaker Boehner with calls and emails demanding he get off of his ugly orange, golf playing, lazy butt and get to the business of the American people - NOW.

Tweet Him: @speakerboehner

CALL SPEAKER BOEHNER TODAY and let him know that survival of 99ers/UI exhaustees is an EMERGENCY - defunding NPR is NOT! His West Chester OH office number is
513-779-5400, and his DC office number is 202- 225-6205.

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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No Leprechauns Need Apply

On St. Patrick's Day it's tempting to lecture about stereotypes, discrimination, and the scorn that greeted Irish immigrants to North America, including how the Ku Klux Klan, in particular, reacted with violent prejudice, since there are now more people of Irish ancestry living in the U.S.A. than on the Emerald Isle. But the legend of driving the snakes from Ireland is a metaphor for conquering our fears.

It isn't about green beer and shots of Jameson's; the celebration of Saint Patrick's Day is about embracing those we meet - finding and recognizing our similarities instead of dwelling upon the differences.

When my grandfather's grandfather made the epic journey from Ireland in the 1860s to settle in Adrian, Michigan and establish a cobbler's shop, he had no idea his descendants would be able to watch events unfolding some day in places as exotic and "remote" as Cairo, Haiti, Japan, or even New Orleans or Madison as though we were all right there let alone use cell phones to text financial support. But he'd have loved the idea of helping those in need, of standing with workers fighting for their rights, and walking like an Egyptian.

Because culturally the Irish are inclined to see us all as one family. Irish-Americans are glad to see the wearing of the Green, today, even among those who can't spell Leprechaun and never eat potatoes. We're clear on why some Scots and Brits select other colors, and that's just fine, too - we'll still be toasting and singing and embracing all who can, even for one day, see a bit of something different as part of themselves, and a bit of themselves in the goodwill of Irish blessings and humor.

Join me - we can always make room for one more at the table because it's easy to stretch the stew with potatoes to serve another new member of the family. Guinness optional.

Thomas Hayes is a Irish-American Entrepreneur-Journalist, and former Congressional Campaign Manager; he's a communications strategist-consultant, photo-videographer, computer-geek, hyphenated-scoundrel, and union-supporter who writes on topics ranging from economics and politics to culture and community.
You can follow Tom as @kabiu on twitter.

Being The Only Black Guy In The Room Sucks

I was at an event last night that was a lot of fun, save for one fact: for much of it, I was the only black guy in the room.

Now, I'm not going to name the event, only say that it was for a good cause. But after one conversation, with a sister (a black woman, for those of you who don't know what I mean), that went a little off, but that was quickly replaced by three cool women, one of them also a sister who was really just "normal," I happened to take stock of my surroundings.

No brothers - no black guys.

OK. Now, I have to explain what happened with that first conversation with the first sister (not to be confused with Michelle Obama, who I'm sure would be more pleasant to talk with.) I simply went over to introduce myself, but talking with her felt icky. Like wading through a classist mine field thrown up by someone who seemed bent on implying you didn't belong in her World.

You see, she sells a very expensive item that, if I mentioned it, would give away her. That's not my intent here at all. And my objective at that point was to introduce myself, as one does at parties, and because we knew the same people. But I realized, as we were talking that had I took my leave of her, she would have been standing there by herself. So, I tried to at least have a conversation with her so she would not feel left alone. Mistake? No. Regardless of the outcome, I'd do it again; it's just the right thing to do.

At any rate, her desire to issue her little put downs was so intense I had to finally break through it. I know she's having a hard time selling this thing because she implied as such, but I didn't say so at all. But after being peppered with comments about how many rich people are "out there" and that they "can afford it," and her constant looking around, and not in my eyes in response to my questions about the economy and with respect to the economic climate five years before, I'd had enough with the bullshit and peppering, and just said "Can we talk? I am a human being."

That did break through the ice, and there was a lot of it, but it revealed someone who has obvious issues with black guys that no conversation with me could ever cure. The bottom line is to assume a person's not in your social space because they are black and male is off-putting. To have it done to you by someone who's black is more hurtful.

Fortunately, I was saved when the more well-adjusted sister asked me if I would buy a raffle ticket. I saw an opening for a more pleasant conversation, and took it faster than you could say "Run!"

That was when I looked around.

Groups and groups of white people, mostly women. The female part was cool; I'm used to that. But after a while on this earth, you can't help but wonder (and I know this is something that goes through the head of every black guy in this situation), do they have any black friends?

Now, the people were nice and willing to talk, once the cocktails flowed. And being a video-blogger is a great way to start a conversation with anyone, especially if you want to get them on camcorder for an interview. But absent that, you have the man who comes up and is stupid enough to mistake you for the help.

There was a black guy holding a sign that pointed the way to the party. He was never in the room afterward. Later, as I was talking with a good friend I'd not seen in a while, this guy came up, didn't bother to say "excuse me," and just asked "Are you the person who helped me up here."

Now, that black guy and I not only don't look alike, he had on a white shirt and red tie; I'm dressed entirely in black, from neck to feet. Plus, I'm at the business of chatting and swigging a martini, so you'd think he'd at least act like a gentleman, let alone get a clue that I wasn't the help. All that went through my head in two seconds, and I answered "No," and returned to my conversation.

Eventually, he realized he really screwed up in the manners department, and we wound up having a brief conversation about camcorders. But for me, it was just to rid myself of the annoyance.

Whatever's going on in the Bay Area, the declining black population is part due to the passing of families, as it is lack of economic opportunities. But also, I think, it's social. We're too used to seeing clumps of white people together, so we think it's OK. Really, it's not OK.

It's not healthy for anyone to have friends and associations all of the same skin color. And I think what happens in The Bay Area, and for anyone who's a black guy and runs in circles where they wind up being the only black guy in the room, is the desire for a more welcoming society eventually pulls them away to another city.

I think that's why black population numbers have increased in the South. It's more than jobs. In the South, my view is that whites and blacks have gotten over a lot of crap and just move in the same circles. Interracial relationships are far more common in metro areas. In that way, the society, at least to this outsider, seems more advanced than in the Bay Area. If a person has a "race issue" in the South, at least you know that, and can avoid the nutcase. In the Bay Area, that's much harder to do.

Here, whites who have race issues don't act that way, they just shield themselves with other white people they call friends, and satisfy themselves with the idea that as long as someone black walks by them, they're in a diverse community. That's the biggest joke of all.

It's too much effort for black guys to have to battle someone's race issues by being friendly and absorbing a person's issues. In the Bay Area, it's all so subtle that it kind of builds and sneaks up on you. From people mistaking you for "the help," either accidentally, or - as it happened to me at The Balboa Cafe recently - intentionally. (And in that instance, I openly told the person, who I was already familiar with, to knock it off, as she was being a jerk-off and not in a pleasurable way.) To how some white people don't even bother to say "hello" to you first, because they expect you to make the first move all the time.

If you're black and male in The Bay Area, and reading this, try it sometime. Instead of being the guy who makes the first move in a greeting, try saying nothing and see if the same people approach you first. More often than not, they won't. I've seen this for years here. I call it the racial pecking order and I've seen it play out again and again: my experience is if you're white, someone else white isn't as likely to treat you that way. They will seek your company.

And that, for whatever weird reasons that boil down to racism, is why there were clumps and clumps of groups of white people. For all of those clumps, I'll bet there's a story of someone who knows a black guy, but just treats them as window dressing: someone they see but don't let in to their social circle.

For me, in large part because of my objective of calling out such behavior, I have a set of friends who are white, who just don't act like that. In fact, that's why I was at the party: they invited me.

Eventually, though, I wasn't the only black guy in the room. Our ranks increased by two - making it three black guys out of 200 people. One of the brothers I already knew; he puts himself out there socially, friendly to all, and to the point of grabbing someone away from a conversation in a fashion I'd never copy. He's done it again, and again. And with all that, he showed up alone, as the party was winding down.

The other man was the head of the organization. Smooth, cool, but apprehensive, too (and I think it was because he was concerned with the event itself, which went well, I think). In a way, he the best example of what I'm blogging about. So used to being in mostly white social circles, and mostly because of education (Hey, going to college at a big university and gaining great friends of different backgrounds can prep you for these situations), that he rose to become the boss of a large local Bay Area company.

For some of the whites in the room, his assent was perfect, but it's got to be lonely for him. I know it is. They get to maintain their social circle as devoid of black men, yet have one black guy just close enough for them to say "I'm OK and don't have race issues." But he's not really a friend at all; in an odd sort of way, he's still just the help.

Being the only black guy in the room sucks. But, if the people who aren't black take the effort to reach out and gain black friends, and blacks in that environment can just relax and enjoy themselves, we can make our society a little better for everyone. And maybe stem the tide of black folks leaving the Bay Area, just a little bit.

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