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News and Events

by Brian Weilert

Story takes place at a Southern University during the 1960’s.  Two main characters.   One is a young Jewish man with darker skin while the other is a light skinned African American.   The shades of their skin are not that far apart.

CHARACTERS: #1 Isaac (Jewish Male, White Doorman)    #2 Matthew (African American Male, Black Doorman)


Both begin by speaking at the same time.

#1:       I’m white, but not white enough.

#2:       I’m black, but not black enough. 

Both:  See this?  (hold up a paper bag to face)  This plain paper bag….see it? 

#1:       See?  Not white enough.

#2:       See?  Not black enough.


#1:       (blended with final word from above)  Enough already!  How many times do I have to tell you to get your black ass in gear?  The party started a half hour ago. 

#2:       I have four points.  One, why you checking out my ass, and two, look closer, it’s whiter than your face, three I can’t find my other shoe…..and my fourth point is…. point number four is ….Jew. 

#1:       But we’re already…(interrupting himself) Jew?   Really?  That’s a point?   

#2:       Got it!  (finds shoe and starts putting it on)  Yeah, kind of locked myself into four points and ran dry.  Man, Martin said there was going to be A LOT of chicks there. 

#1:       Martin?  The math geek? 

#2:       Yep, even gave me the ratio.  3:1 baby, 3:1.    

#1:       Great.   Three what to one what is my concern. 


Both:  (blended with final words from above)  My concern is that who I am is determined by the hue of   this…thing. (hold bag up again) 

#1:       I highly doubt there is much consistency in color… 

#2:       After all, its primary purpose is to support the weight of all the grocery items included. 

#1:       Not excluded... (folds bag)…folding under the weight of Racism. 

Both:  Jim Crow South….Alive and well. 


#2:       (blended with final word from above)  Well, I’m assuming ratio of Girls to Boys but you’re right…with Martin I should have checked.  Could be parabolas to algorithms.   Whose house we going to anyway?  

#1:       A friend of a friend of a… 

#2:       Got it, you don’t have a clue do you? 

#1:       I have an address and from what I hear….3:1 baby….3:1. 

#2:       How do I look?    

#1:       Like an anti-Semite.  Is that my tie? 

#2:       Allow me to paraphrase a famous quote by  Moses, “Let my Jew comment go!”  And, no, it’s not your tie.    (after a look)   Yes!   Come on.  Let’s go.  No time… 


Both:   (Blended with final word from above)  No time like the present to speak the truth about what’s going on around us. 

#2:       My black friends are dividing themselves… 

#1:       The pigment in my skin determines… 

#2:       …determined to decide who gets to call themselves black 

#1:       Black.  Someone actually said I was black.

At same time  

#1:       (points to self) I’m not black (points to friend), you’re black.

#2:       (points to friend)  You’re not black,  (points to self) I’m black. 

Both:  Black.  (hold up hands and look)  I’m not though…. (look at each other) Am I? 


#1:       (blended with final words from above)  Am I lookin’ good or what?  Knock on the door…WAIT!  You have to knock the code;  three quick then one slow...

#2:       (saying it for the rhyme) Just like the ratio.   Get it?  3:1? Man, am I a poet or what? 

#1:       Or what.  (starts to knock)  I feel Langston Hughes’s job is secure. Get out of the way, I got it.  (knocks three then one.   As he knocks he changes to the other side of the door and plays the doorman for the party) 

    #2:       (begins spouting Hughes poetry)  I am the darker brother.  They send me to eat in the kitchen when company comes…(interrupted by opening of the door)  Hey man, we’re here for the party. 

#1:       (as the doorman) This party isn’t for you. (goes to shut the door) 

#2:       (puts foot in the door)  Whoa, hold on there buddy… 

#1:       (as doorman)   Boy!  You better move your nigger foot before I have to do something you really don’t want to happen. 

#2:       (getting an attitude)  Like what? 

#1:       (as the friend)  Hey, hey…he’s with me…he’s cool. 

#2:       (angry)  Yeah, I’m cool! 

#1:       (as doorman he reaches back for something then unfolds a paper bag next to their faces)  This here bag tells me we have ourselves a couple of nigger, porch monkeys, and the bag never lies.  (turns as if talking to friends at party as he shuts the door)  Right Boys?! 

Both:   (to themselves but say it for different reasons) Nigger?  Porch Monkey? 

#2:       Screw them man, I know of another party on the other side of town. 

#1:       What was that? 

#2:       What?!  That?! What was that?! That was racism man!  That’s what I deal with man.   You think everything is all great…News flash man, it’s NOT!  We’re not all equal…it’s all about the color of your skin.  This isn’t any damn democracy…it’s a pigmentocracy! 

#1:       Why you screaming at me?  I didn’t get in either…I wasn’t holding the bag! 

#2:       Yeah but you’re white! 



Both: (blended with final word from above) ENOUGH!    (calmer)  Just, enough. 

#2:       When I was young old I over-heard my daddy, who is blacker than a moonless night, accuse my mom of sleeping around.  Said, “No way he’s mine…no way!  You humped some cracker!”  He left that same year.  As I grew I knew it was just an excuse to leave.  

#1:       “He has the old country in him,” my grandma would say as she pinched some part of my face.   “Look at his beautiful skin.”  She went on and on about how Noah’s wife was a dark Hamitic Jew too.  It made me very uncomfortable.  Because of it, I never could quite fit in the neighborhood.  As I grew I knew it was just an excuse for me to leave. 

#2:       My ex-dad may have had a point, though I would never bring it up to Mom.  My whole family was dark, Africa dark…blue-black I heard others call them.  For some reason I was just lighter.   

#1:       Not sure when I first consciously understood how my darker skin made me less…I was just not treated the same.  

#2:       At reunions my family treated me different, called me an uppity negro. Stuck up like I thought I was better somehow.  But, I wasn’t even upset, ‘cause I was just glad they still considered me a negro. 

#1:       At a store once, in a prominent Jewish neighborhood I was followed around by a little old lady in stealth mode…peeking around the corner, finding reasons to mess with items on the shelf in the row I was shopping…glancing away suddenly when our eyes met…

            Looking back, she thought I was black…or at least not white.   I didn’t like how it made me feel so, I shoplifted a candy bar and left.


#2:       I sat down and ate a hamburger on a bet.  It was June’s diner, white only, and I was eating a hamburger.  I didn’t dare turn and look at the stunned black faces staring in at me.  I would be lying if I said, it didn’t feel good.

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