Every White person should have one token black -- friend -- and every black person should have one token white friend.

Then, if your're a white person you can call up your TBF and say, "What do you black people think about nuclear energy?" Or if your're black you can call up your TWF and ask, "Do your people really think Cheryl Tiegs is good looking?"

My TBF is Harold Random, and I always hear from him when he's upset about something that has just appeared in the newspapers.

I got the call the other day. "I just saw a headline in the paper this morning which said "Blacks Seriously Split on Middle East," he told me.

"What's wrong with that?" I wanted to know.

"Well, in the same paper there were several stories on reaction to Gov. Connally's speech on the Middle East and not one headline said 'Whites Divided on Connally's israeli Solution'."

"That's different," I explained. "We expect the blacks in this country to be in agreement on everything . If your're not, it's a news story. But it isn't news if the whites are divided. It only rates a headline if we agree."

"I don't understand that," Harold said. "Why can't blacks have the luxury of fighting with each other just like everybody else in this country? Can't we disagree without someone making a federal case out of it?"

"It's not that simple, Harold," I said "If you recall, what precipitated this whole thing was Andy Young's firing. Then the press wrote that all the blacks were mad at the Jews. This was followed by Rev. Jackson's kissing Yasser Arafat in Beirut. As far as we white people were concerned, all the blacks in the United States were for the Plo. Then Vernon Jordan and other black leaders announced they didn't know where the black people stood any more. It's much easier for us to deal with a problem if you all think alike."

"Bullwhip!" I thought I heard Harold say. "You white people can have a hundred opinions on anything. You're as mixed up on the Middle East as we are. Even the Jews in this country are fighting among themselves. Why aren't we entitled to be as confused as you are?"

"Look Harold, I know what you're trying to say, but life isn't that simple. We've given you busing, lunch at Woolworth's and desegregated schools. But we're not ready yet for your race to have valid disagreements among yourselves. The time may come in our lifetime when the headline writers might say, 'Vernon Jordan Attacks Jesse Jackson,' but it isn't going to be tomorrow. This country likes to put everyone in a pigeonhole. If we can deal with you as a racial entity, then politically it makes life so much easier for the press. It's very difficult for us to deal with the blacks if they all decide to march to a different drummer."

"If you think you've got problems, what about us?" Harold said. "You people are messing up inflation, unemployment, energy, and you're not doing so hot in Cuba, either. Why can't we ever see a headline that says 'White People Send Stock Market Prices Tumbling on Wall Street'?"

"That would be a racial slur, Harold."

"That's what I thought," he said. "Have I made my point?"

"You have, Harold, and it's valid. I admit it. Oh, by the way, while I've got you on the phone. What teams would your people like to see in the Super Bowl?"