Saturday, March 8, 2008

Relative racism

After brunch today I stopped off at the Rochambeau Library on Hope Street, browsing through their magazines and doing some last-minute manuscript preparation. A few minutes again, I saw her again. I don't know her name, but I guess the one she has in my head is "Zionist Lady."

Some people have subjects that send them off on tangents, regardless of external stimuli. I've gotten to know hers, and to expect certain kinds of statements. She, um, didn't disappoint. These are the highlights of what she was telling the library staff, as best as I can recall.

Have you ever seen that crummy little strip of land? This isn't about land, they just want to kill. The Muslims worship death. The Jews worship life.

Gee, when you think about it, when you kill someone who worships death you're kind of doing them a favor.

Not to make too much of this. Some of the other people in the library looked annoyed, although that might be because of the violation of general library shush rules. And for all I know the poor old gal's grandchildren keep close watch on the clock while visiting.

The thing is, she feels secure in near-shouting these things in public. She believes that it's acceptable to vent her hatred of a huge swath of humanity, then project the hate onto them. And she's right. If you're a Serb and you want to see all the Croatians dead, it's best to keep that desire to yourself, except in like-minded company. Using the word "nigger" in a genteel Providence library could get you kicked out. Talk about "ragheads" and you're on safer ground. Thanks, 9/11!

My grandparents were English emigres to Canada. Each was in their own way capable of mild jingoism, and they were certainly pissed about Lord Mountbatten, but never did I hear them spout venom toward the whole Irish people. (Nanna was a big Ryan's Hope fan.) Hell, then I'd be even more fucked up, and not in a fun way.

One of the three major party candidates is unacceptable to people who think like this, for various and sometimes specious reasons. I guess my hope is that if Obama makes it this nonsense will run its course.

A vague hope, at least.

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