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None of this is literally true; only in the important sense.

A non-violent sadist loved to mess up people’s heads in nursing homes. He learned of one where he could score double-demolition with one visit. His two favorite targets resided on neighboring floors. First, he visited the retired World War II veterans, tired old men in their late 80s and mid-90s, and called a “meeting” in the lounge.

“So you’re the ‘Greatest Generation’!” he sneered. “You must feel pretty good about yourselves. You did look good for a while; a good while; over half a century. You hit those beaches at Normandy. You stopped the Germans only a couple of football fields away from the gasoline they needed to throw you back into the ocean. You accepted the Nazi surrender. And, yeah, sure; you made the world safe for democracy.” The sarcasm was dripping faster than the intravenous feeding fluids.

“Would you care to take a look at your ‘great accomplishment’ today?” the misanthrope continued. “You’ve got another dictatorship, your great Russian allies, dress-rehearsing a new cold war. Hitler’s Germany was the size of Texas; Putin’s Russia is the size of the moon. You never even heard of Islamic extremists back then, did you? Well, every European country you helped liberate stays busy now surrendering to those guys on a daily basis. Except now they call it ‘tolerance.’ England’s about to enact their Shariah law. All traffic in France stops when they decide to pray in the streets; illegally, of course, but who cares? Spain, Portugal: the Islamists owned all that before, but back then they never dreamed of owning Norway and Sweden, too, plus Denmark and Finland. They’re on the northern side of the continent. Oh, did I forget Holland and Belgium? And all the rest?

“Confidence in your NATO has been shredded by Afghanistan, probably the most primitive country in the world. And what about America? Have you seen any evidence America is willing to stand up for its values? We’ve heard Obama reassure the Russians that after his re-election he can make them a little happier than he has so far. And didn’t the ‘Greatest Generation’ have something to do with saving the Jews? The Jews are more threatened today and anti-Semitism is higher and hotter than the day Germany caved.

“And Obama is terrified, not that Iran’s going to get nukes, but that Israel might haul off and defend itself. And whoever’s going to smite the Jews this time won’t have to worry about all those boxcars. Now they’re almost all neatly arranged together on a sandbar called Israel.

“It’s what you get, fellas, when, instead of a five-star general, you pick a community organizer.”

OK. They were all in tears. Time to move up to the next floor and demolish the aging civil-rights crusaders.

“Serves you right, you self-righteous bastards,” he began. “Every one of you felt like God’s secretary of state. Truman desegregated the Army. Brown vs. Board of Ed did ditto for the schools. Frank Sinatra forced Vegas to let Sammy Davis perform there. For years you thought the gains of Martin Luther King were real. Then you got a black president and you felt you’d hitched a rope to heaven and brought it all down here.

“And that one bullet in Florida that took out Trayvon Martin showed you the truth your ego and your idiocy refused to face. You and your precious race relations haven’t gained an inch since the Civil War!”

This time the reaction was a little different.

“Sir,” one of the group said while the others gaped in anger and pity, “we know what we found and we know what we left. You seek to disparage our achievements? You may as well drop a honeysuckle down the Grand Canyon and wait for an echo. No other country in the world has ever tackled a problem as big and bad as America’s race-hate used to be and, without conquering invaders or blue-helmeted United Nations troops forcing us, we did it.

“The Trayvon tragedy, huge as it is, does not dismiss America’s deed. Our work is far from complete. But we’re even farther from the days of black people vacating the sidewalk when a white person came along. We have blacks elected to offices high and low across America at rates higher than proportionate to the black population. And yes, we have a black president, but we won’t consider our work done until black people learn to vote against him if they oppose his policies and love only the color of his skin!”

And he’s right. The emblematic black today is not Uncle Tom, Stepin Fetchit or Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. He’s the black buck private who presented his weekend pass to a military policeman on leaving Fort Dix. The Southern-accented MP pretended to have problems with the officer’s signature on the pass and threatened delay and possible cancellation of the soldier’s weekend leave.

The black soldier got in the MP’s face and said, “Look here, pal. I got a mother in heaven, a father in hell and a girl in Harlem. And I’m going to see one of them tonight!

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