Bob White new
Money, politics, race and repercussions… People are taking a stand in a changing world

It was another hot, humid, Montreal day. But for some unknown reason this particular day was extra hot. Maybe because it was approaching the end of August and life was getting back to normal.
They call this time of year the ‘Dog days of summer’, and everyone was coming into the barbershop perspiring. One of the regulars of the Ways and Means Committee came in with some sad news that a lady named Maude Christopher Johnson had passed away.
Just Chillin’ said, “Amen! Maude is gone to a better place.”
Ole Timer said he had a private invitation to the birthday party of Carol Eckles, and people will be talking about it for a long, long time because guests came from all over Canada and the USA. Invitations were very difficult to come by. It was easier to get a ticket to Drake who had a sold-out performance at the BELL Centre that night.
Singer Skipper Dean had some out-of-town engagements, but returned to Montreal to do a gig for his friend Carol Eckles. New York-style DJ Maurice Grays, aka “DJ Race”, provided music.
An SUV pulled up in front of the barbershop; it was Hampstead Harry. He walked into the barbershop smiling, took a seat and said, “I haven’t been to the shop for a while. I was busy, so I sent my son to pick up the rents in the area, something you people should’ve been doing years ago. And now that he wants to live downtown, I bought him a condo near the BELL Center.”
Money asked Hampstead Harry, “Since you’re bragging about your son and what you’re doing for him, tell us how much the condo costs.”
Hampstead Harry said the condo was pretty cheap compared to Toronto, Vancouver, Ottawa… It was only $700 thousand. The garage? 80,000. Curtains? $9,000.”
Dropout said, “Hampstead Harry, let me ask you a question. What is your opinion of what Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers who a few years ago signed a US$125 million contract?”
Hampstead Harry asked, “It’s o.k. to talk in here? Is it safe in here? Am I protected in here? Because sometimes I don’t know about you people. Because according to the white media, jails are home to a high proportion of you guys. But since you guys told me I’m safe I will tell you something all you people should know. You will not appreciate it, but I’m going to tell you anyway…
[…] I’ve been collecting rents from you people for years and years, and I know more about you people than you know about yourselves. I know all about your habits because collecting from you people is all [about] economics. Most of you people would never think about doing what Colin Kaepernick did. Or what John Carlos and Tommie Smith did at the 1968 Mexico Olympics. Or what Paul Robeson did in the 1950s. Check his biography Here I Stand. Or even what Jackie Robinson did.
Read his autobiography, I Never Had It Made. He writes, “I will never salute the American flag again. But because I know that you people don’t read books, maybe now you’ll go the library and look for it…
Also, I have no opinion on Colin Kaepernick; I have the facts. And my opinion is rooted in facts.
But here’s the deal, Colin Kaepernick was raised by adoptive parents who were white; his sit-down protest was done in two previous games and no one complained, no one said anything. Just like when two men went to the BELL Centre one time in blackface and no one said anything. And the culprits were not thrown out of the Centre.
Also, just like when fans threw bananas on the ice when Black goaltender Kevin Weekes was in nets for the opposing team at the BELL Centre. Nobody was thrown out. They went to the grocery store to buy the bananas, brought them into the BELL Centre, threw them in front of Weekes and nobody was thrown out…”
[As you can see] I’m white, I live in Hampstead, but I know that when the Expos were in Montreal and Atlanta Braves came to town for a series, legendary homerun hitter Henry Aaron, who broke Babe Ruth’s [homerun] record did not travel with the team; he had two secret servicemen with him all the time. Why? Those white folks in the USA threatened to kill him if he broke Babe Ruth’s record, which he eventually did.
Now, I’m giving you people too much information, and information should be sold, not told. So next time I need your services I’ll stop by.”
Dropout said, “Do you know that singer Mahalia Jackson used to tour with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and that when he spoke those famous four words, “I have A Dream,” Mahalia became tired of hearing them and shouted from the wings of the auditorium, “Martin, tell them about the dream…” However, she should’ve been there when he spoke at the 92nd St. Church in Harlem. And because of the Vietnam War he said, “I have a dream, but my dream is turning into a nightmare.” When U.S. Defense Secretary Robert McNamara came to lecture at Concordia University several years ago, he said the Vietnam War “was an illegal war, we never should’ve gone there.”
Just Chillin’ raised his hand and said, “Did you know that when Spike Lee did his movie, Do The Right Thing about 27 years ago, quarterback Colin Kaepernick was just a year old?” So what did he really do?
Remember Kent State, four white students in a non-violent protest… what happened to them?”
What did ‘the greatest’ Muhammad Ali do? What did he really do? They took away his boxing permit, denying him the right to make a living for years then gave it back to him when the Supreme Court concluded that he was (only exercising his Constitutional) right.
Somebody had to be talking to Kaepernick, because he took a high moral stance. He signed a massive contract, got up front money… didn’t have to do what he did, but did it. Yes, he took the moral high ground.
And people are walking around poor and broke, and collecting a welfare check. Some are Yardies, saying that [he] Kaepernick was a fool for doing what he did. But he’s rich… wealthy; they’re broke and poor.”
People in the barbershop were in a frenzy and shouted,
Just Chillin’ said, “You keep asking me why I’m always talking about New York, New York? I’ll give you one reason: Check the June 26, 2016 New York Post. NY mints millionaires. Tops in US for richest. “The super-wealthy – those with many millions in assets – are often New Yorkers. The Big Apple has more multimillionaires than any other place in America, and has one of the biggest concentrations of the well heeled in the world, according to a new study. It found that only London, Tokyo and Singapore have more multimillionaires than New York City. “While New York has the fourth-largest population of multimillionaires… It is also the city that is home to more billionaires than anywhere else in the world…” according to one Oliver Williams, head of WealthInsight.
Everybody in the barbershop shouted “Amen!”
Money put up his hand and said, “Did you ever hear of Mayann Francis, Nova Scotia’s first Black lieutenant-governor? She recently stated in a National Post article that “the province is in a state of denial when it comes to racial profiling, saying she has often been the victim of “shopping while black” since she left her vice-regal post four years ago. She said she “decided to speak out … after a Nova Scotia-based grocery chain, Sobeys Inc., announced it will appeal a human rights inquiry decision that found one of its Halifax stores discriminated against a black customer … Francis, who served as CEO of the human rights commission until she was appointed lieutenant-governor in 2006, says hearing about the case motivated her to attend a protest outside a Sobeys store and talk publicly about here experiences … “It does not matter how successful you are,  it still can happen to you,” Francis said in an interview. “It’s just so wrong and so hurtful and I know how I fell when I’m followed in the stores… They have no respect for black women … because Nova Scotia is still rampant with racism.”
Money raised his hand and said, “When you owe the bank remember this, if you owe them a hundred dollars you’re in trouble. But what Hampstead Harry told me a long time ago is this, if you owe the bank a million dollars they’re in trouble.”
You know what I don’t like Money continued? It’s when you go to those fast food restaurants and say, “gimme four hamburgers, four soft drinks, and four apple pies, and the cashier asks, Is that to go?”
Or when I’m waiting in line at the bank and some nut walks up to me and asks, “Are you waiting in line? I say no, I’m waiting for the bus. Or they stand at the counter doing a transaction and their eyes are all over… Or dealing with the teller while on a social call…”
Just Chillin said, “Did you hear that the concierge that took John Lennon’s blood-stained shirt at the hotel where he was shot sold it for $41,000.
And what about all those Bible-thumping people in the church who tell you to be honest? Well a Boston taxi driver is complaining about someone who left $187,000 in his cab, and just got a $100 reward for returning the cash. “I thought maybe he would give me $500 or a $1,000, maybe one of those bundles. He had fifty of them,” he said.
Everybody was standing in line last Saturday morning at Brossard Bagels talking about Jamaica, a country the size of Rhode Island. Jamaica embarrassed Canada and the USA by winning all those gold medals…
That was all wonderful. Now get out there and just “Do the Right Thing!”