The recent widespread reaction over Scott Adams, the creator of the cartoon character Dilbert, makes me think about an issue that I frequently discuss with my wife and daughter: the role of Black Americans in American society. Since the three of us are foreign-born American citizens, we have a more balanced view of this difficult issue.
We came to the US in 1971, when our daughter was only 2 years old and have lived in New York ever since. This not only has been a wonderful life experience, but because of our natural curiosity has allowed us an understanding of American life that sharply differs from the opinion of Scott Adams.
While the creator of Dilbert calls Black Americans a “hate group,” my relationship with African Americans showed that they are anything but that racist characterization. Over more than five decades of living in New York, my experience shows that Black Americans are more helpful than Whites towards other people in times of need.
Because my wife has had a serious health problem that makes it difficult for her to walk without aid, if for any reason I am not with her the first ones to offer help are African Americans, even when sometimes they are the ones that seem to need more help themselves than her. And often, Black Americans are more easily open to friendship than Whites.
I don’t need to remind Mr. Scott Adams that the history of racism against Black Americans is a stain in the history of this country. The innumerable criminal acts of violence against Blacks cover the whole gamut of physical violence to outright criminality. It gives a lie to Mr. Adams’ assertion, “If nearly half of all Blacks are not OK with white people…that’s a hate group.” I wonder how White Americans’ behavior towards Blacks would have developed if they would have been at the other end of lynchings, outright assassinations, false accusation and life incarcerations. He said, “And I don’t want anything to do with them.” He doesn’t seem to realize that most probably Black Americans don’t want anything at all to do with him.