Black and White Day

Two topics today. The first is Black History Month - I love it. And I have a suggestion for an add-on.

The month symbolizes incredible progress we have made in race relations.

A tribute like this was not possible when I was a kid. A national holiday for a black hero, like Martin Luther King? Utterly unthinkable.

During the month we get to read and hear and see a lot about achievements of black Americans over the years. So many of their achievements were ignored for too long. Good that we no longer hide such history.

Some black leaders look forward to the day when there is no Black History Month. Even the man who originated the idea - Negro History Week in 1926 - hoped it would someday no longer be needed. He hoped for a day when black history would be integrated with American history.

It won't be in my lifetime. But I hope the day comes. Perhaps we could create a footbridge to that future by creating one special day in Black History Month. Call the day Black and White Day. It would be a day to celebrate how blacks and whites (and others) worked together to gain equal rights for all.

So many blacks laid stood up to fight racial tyranny. But an army of whites did too. There was a lot of courage on both sides. On Black and White Day we could recognize this. And try to push America toward the day when there are no "sides".

Blacks organized and sacrificed. A lot of whites put their jobs and lives on the line to help too. Jackie Robinson showed the world what courage was. But Branch Rickey, who hired him, exhibited courage too. I don't want to compare the two types of courage and I don't think we should. The point is that both, together, made the breakthrough. If you belittle one, I believe you belittle both.

And remember, that savage bigotry against blacks was often as savage against whites who supported the civil rights movement.

So here's to Black and White Day, whenever it may arrive.

Second topic is profit. Why is it such a dirty topic when it comes to oil and natural gas companies?

One reason is that lazy media types look at the dollar amount of profit the oil companies make. They see huge amounts of profit. They tell us, then, that to earn this much profit is immoral.

In other words, they do not understand profits.

Suppose a store has sales of $10 million. It makes a profit of $800,000. The store next to it has sales of $1 million. It makes a profit of $100,000. Is the bigger store immoral because it makes so much profit?

No. It makes only 8 cents profit on each dollar it takes in. The small store makes 10 cents on the dollar. It is the small store which is extracting greater profit.

Our oil and natural gas companies make 8.7 cents on the dollar. And that dollar does not come easily. Nor does it come without risk. Our manufacturers average 7.6 cents profit on the dollar.

Many other industries make more than 8.7 cents on the dollar. Certainly the media companies do. The same media companies that employ the people who chastise the oil companies for making obscene profits.

Yes, we have guys on tv networks who tell us oil company profits are immoral. Yet their own companies make twice as much profit per dollar of sales. They are hippocrites. But they don't know they are. That would take some basic knowledge of business and profits. Which clearly they don't have.

From Tom ... as in Morgan.

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