Once Upon a Fearful Time

For a decade after the fateful 2016 elections these headlines screamed out for attention that never came: Black-White Unemployment Gap Widens In U.S. Under Obama, black unemployment went back to twice the white rate. In Better Economy, African-Americans See Minimal Gains. This was mostly because the headlines were too busy welcoming the American manufacturing jobs which were “finally coming home.”

Fast forward to October 15, 2026. You are a fly on the wall. Keep your eyes and ears open — watch, listen and keep your mouth shut. The action is taking place in the Personnel Office of the Acme Motors Corporation. The small office consists of a line of chairs along each wall and a secretary’s desk guarding the door behind her marked “Private.” On one side of the office sat a young man with blond hair and blue eyes. On the opposite side sat Richie Ashburn, with black hair and brown eyes. They were both waiting to get around the secretary and in for an interview with the man who was “Private.” After thirty more minutes of waiting the secretary’s phone rang, she answered and hang up, then announced that Mr. Hawkins. aka “Private,” was running late.

”If you want to make the best use of this down time I could answer any questions you may have abut the project you are applying for,” the secretary explained, looking at and talking exclusively to the blond one.

Richie waited for her to turn to him with the same or a similar offer but she never turned her head his way. She acted as if the blond fellow was the only applicant in the room and it was her job to get him ready for his interview.

“This project actually started six years ago when it was THE issue of the 2016 presidential elections: what must be done to resurrect the manufacturing careers of lesser educated white men in America? It is important to note that this was the first time that needs of this forgotten group — unemployed white men — was so openly addressed by politicians of every political stripe and color without anybody risking being called a racist for doing so . Both parties competed like mad to see which could make the biggest promises to this key constituency. The winner came up with the idea of the Reemployment Act to be based on bringing all those car manufacturing jobs back from China. It has taken six years to snatch the jobs back,” she proclaimed, “but it is finally happening and we at Acme Motors are hiring again.”

“Great,” the applicant told the secretary. “When can I start?”

She laughed and then answered. “You might well be getting one of these jobs, but first certain things have to happen. The company has to get the jobs ready for you by reverse engineering the car returning from China. We have to get rid of the production robots and return the jobs to tasks that human beings can perform efficiently.”

“Will the robots teach me to do the jobs?” he asked.

“Not really,” the secretary answered. “Engineers who have been working with these particular robots will be supervising the undoing of the tasks Chinese robots now do and training American workers to replace them.” She started to say more but her phone rang — it was Hawkins calling for her to send Richie in for his interview.

“Give me a chance to review your application,” Hawkins suggested, as if this was not the umpteenth time he had studied Richie’s application looking for soe disqualifier. A minute later his phone rang, he answered and the voice on the other end of the line said “Don’t you say a word. You just listen,” Hawkins did not need to say a word because he recognized the voice of Clyde Thomas, Acme Motors General Counsel. “You just stall this fellow you are talking to,” the General Counsel directed. “You just stay in neutral gear. Do not hire him and do not refuse to hire him. We have been waiting forever for the Supreme Court to settle this issue and we can wait a bit longer,” he said before hanging up.” I gather you are interested in our General Engineering Program?” he asked Richie.

“No,” Richie answered. “I am interested in the reverse engineering program under the Reemployment Act. In addition to my degree in Engineering I published a paper on reverse engineering in the World Auto Technology magazine.”

“That’s interesting, but the Reemployment Act seeks to resurrect the manufacturing careers of white males — which you are not. This issue was debated in the 2016 elections and supported by both political parties and by politicians of every race, color or political persuasion — including all the black ones. You people either supported majority rule on limiting this to white males or you remained quiet. Then as soon as Congress passed legislations to keep the promises of 2016 you all went running o the courts hollering about discrimination.”

“And that’s exactly what it is,” Richie declared.

“No. NO!” Hawkins shot back. “This was just the first time in American history that a promise made in a political campaign was approved by the electorate and actually carried out to the letter of the law. That’s what democracy is all about.”

Richie made his case: “I was in high school in 2016 when all this went down. I had no voice myself and, I’m sorry to say, my parents, aunts and uncles let me down by the way they behaved during the campaign. I cannot and will not be punished by their stupidity.”

Richie had more to say but the phone rang and Hawkins had to answer it. It was another “you just listen and say nothing” call from the General Counsel. This time however, he added “just flick on your office television right now.” Hawkins hung up the phone, reached for his TV controller and turned on the set.

The giant wall size screen came on with blazing red twelve inch letters announcing BREAKING NEWS — SUPREME COURT APPROVES RACIAL PREFERENCES IN REEMPLOYMENT ACT.

The written message was followed by a large talking head explaining the Court’s decision.

“The unanimous decision of the Supreme Court comes as a shocking surprise only because most experts had predicted a split five to four decision and some even feared that a single abstention would result in a four to four tie, leaving the Court and the Nation as divided as ever. Some constitutional lawyers see today’s decision as having more impact than the Brown versus Board of Education decision and maybe equal to the impact of the Dred Scott Decision, which ruled that a black man had no rights that a white man was required to respect.”

Richie was stunned speechless by the broadcast.

Hawkins was relieved, telling Richie “there’s the answer to all your questions.” He paused and added: “This interview is over.”