The banderole in the New York Times read, “Olivia Hooker, 103, Dies; Witness to an Ugly Moment in History.” The deceased, we learn, was the aboriginal atramentous woman to admit in the Coast Guard and a assistant of attitude at Fordham University in New York. A arresting person, obviously.
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What about this “ugly moment in history”? Olivia Hooker was a six-year-old babe in Tulsa aback “white mobs stormed through the Greenwood District” of the city, “destroying homes and businesses in a beachcomber of violence.” (I accept quoted the Times.) A agency abounding years afterwards — 2001 — begin that 100 to 300 bodies were killed.
Apparently, it was adamantine to apperceive with greater accurateness at that remove.
I’d like to adduce added from the Times’s obit, and afresh adhere on a detail. In old age, Olivia Hooker
remembered that aback the attacks started, she saw men with torches affronted into the family’s backyard and her mother acting to assure her and her three siblings.
“Our mother put us beneath the table,” she recently told NPR. “She took the longest tablecloth she had to awning four accouchement and told us not to say a word.”
The marauders entered the abode and took an ax to the ancestors piano. In the business district, her father’s accouterment abundance was destroyed.
Think with me about the piano: Can you brainstorm how affronted the “marauders” charge accept been that this ancestors had a piano? The piano actuality a attribute of civilization?
Needless to say, animal lives are abundant added important than pianos. But this announcement fabricated me anticipate of Anthony Daniels, the British biographer and doctor who additionally works beneath the name “Theodore Dalrymple.” In the aboriginal 1990s, he wrote a book alleged “Monrovia Mon Amour.” It is about Liberia, obviously. This is a country that was in the affliction of civilian war.
Tony entered the Centennial Hall in Monrovia, area presidents of the country were inaugurated. He saw a Steinway admirable piano — apparently the alone one in the country — on the attic with its legs cut off. The piano was amidst by animal excrement. Tony saw in that arena a raw abhorrence of civilization.
Why allocution about pianos in the face of accumulation animal carnage! There is a connection, as Tony says: the abhorrence that abomination feels for annihilation college or added appropriate or good.
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• Krysten Sinema fabricated me anticipate of Earl Long. Sinema is a senator-elect from Arizona; Long (Huey’s brother) was governor of Louisiana in three altered terms.
By the way, accept you noticed how abounding variations there are on “Kristin,” “Kirsten,” etc.? Spelling is rather a nightmare. You accept to apprentice anniversary name, one by one, actuality by person.
At any rate, Sinema is a Democrat, and during her Senate attack she apprenticed that she would not vote for Charles Schumer, the New York Democrat, to abide as affair leader. As it happened, Schumer was reelected — re-chosen — by articulation acclamation. Sinema offered no objection. Thus, her critics are saying, “She went aback on her chat immediately.”
For her own part, Sinema wrote in a statement, “Had there been a amateur for Minority Leader, I would accept advised new administration and a beginning perspective.”
Okay, why am I cerebration about Earl Long? Once, Earl went aback on a attack promise, immediately. His columnist secretary was besieged by reporters, allurement for an explanation. He goes into Long’s appointment and says, “Boss, what’ll I acquaint ’em?” Earl responds, calm as can be, “Tell ’em I lied.”
(I’ve consistently admired that story. I abstruse it from David Brinkley, who told it on television, abounding years ago.)
• Let’s go to the added Democratic baton on the Hill — Nancy Pelosi, of San Francisco, who is set to be apostle again. I bethink aback she became apostle the aboriginal time, afterwards the 2006 midterms. Saturday Night Live beatific her up — and beatific up San Francisco ability at the aforementioned time. It was one of the funniest political send-ups I accept anytime seen. Absolutely wicked, and perfect, satire.
Have a look.
• Stay on the accountable of Congress — and accept a cheep from Senator Susan Collins (R., Maine): “It is a grave aberration for the Admiral to avoid the CIA’s broadly appear appraisal on the Khashoggi murder. If the Admiral does not amend what accomplishments our government should booty against the Saudi Government & MbS, Congress charge act instead.”
I accept heard “Reassert aldermanic prerogative!” all my life. But it has consistently been added of a cry than a accident …
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• Admiral Trump is a name-caller, as anybody knows. Some like it, some don’t. Lately, he has accounting of “Jeff Flake(y)” and “little Adam Schitt (D-CA).” Now, I’m abiding that Jeff Flake has been alleged “Flaky,” etc., back his amphitheater days; and I’m abiding that Adam Schiff has been alleged “Schitt” back his own amphitheater days. But did either man anytime apprehend to be alleged those things by the admiral of the United States, a man in his 70s?
For abounding Trump supporters, the name-calling is a feature, not a bug. I accept abstruse this over the aftermost few years. It is a actualization that makes millions of hearts go pitter-pat, which tells you commodity about the accompaniment of things. Conservatives care to point out to bodies why this is wrong.
• Admiral Trump additionally brand to say “loser.” He alleged April Ryan, a reporter, a “loser.” It seems to me that aback you’re president, you don’t accept to alarm addition abroad a “loser.” You’re on top of the heap. You’re America’s winner, in a way. You can allow to be a little gracious. “Loser” is an appellation of amphitheater bullies.
But again, a lot of bodies like it, absolutely adulation it.
They charge accept admired this, too: Trump said to addition reporter, Abby Phillip, “What a brainless catechism that is. What a brainless question.” What was it? Referring to the new advocate general, the anchorman had asked, “Do you appetite him to rein in Robert Mueller?”
In my view, that’s a acceptable question, not a brainless one.
• A aide of abundance beatific me an commodity appear in Smithsonian magazine. It’s alleged “Becoming Anne Frank.” And its aperture band is, “People adulation asleep Jews. Living Jews, not so much.”
I anticipation of Michael Gove, the British baby-kisser and writer. Once, in an interview, I discussed anti-Semitism with him. I said that I had empiric commodity in life: There are bodies who like Jews aback they’re anemic and vulnerable, but not aback they’re able and armed. Gove said, “Jews in tanks is not allowed.”
Unforgettable, that phrase, at atomic by me: “Jews in tanks is not allowed.”
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• I spotted a banderole in the Moscow Times: “Russia’s Third-Largest Burghal to Pay Tribute to Stalin With New Statue.” (That burghal is Novosibirsk, and the commodity is here.) Huh. I admired it a lot bigger aback they were affairs those statues down.
• Did you apprehend about Alyssa Milano, the actress? You can here, and elsewhere. She said she would avoid the abutting Women’s March unless it afar itself from anti-Semites (among them, Farrakhan).
Wow. Crush makes good!
• Let me active you to an abnormal book: The Sparrow and the Hall, by Donald Mace Williams. DMW is a longtime clairvoyant of this cavalcade and contributor with its author, and he is a actual aciculate and absorbing guy. A man of abundant cultivation. His atypical is set in 7th-century England. Accept you anytime apprehend a atypical with such a setting? Me neither, but I attending advanced …
• There is a adult in New York who mans the Grammar Table. I apprehend about her actuality — charming, abrupt article. Accept a sample:
About four times a week, she schleps a foldable table and a armchair to locations such as a triangular sidewalk capital alfresco a alms access off 72nd Street or central the underground expanses of Admirable Central Station or Times Square and sets up the Grammar Table. Its laminated assurance reads: “Vent! Comma crisis? Semicolonphobia? Conjunctive adverb addiction! Ask a question! Any language!”
A man — a customer, so to allege — complains about bodies who say, for example, “I am a acquaintance of John’s.” (The man happens to be a retired anchorman and editor for Reuters.) In his view, that has to be “I am a acquaintance of John.” I accept heard this over the years and generally acknowledge as follows: “If you say, ‘I am a acquaintance of John,’ you charge say, ‘I am a acquaintance of him.’ But you would never say that. You would say, absolutely naturally, ‘I am a acquaintance of his’ — and that goes with ‘John’s.’ See?”
Anyway, I’m captivated to apperceive about Ellen Jovin and her Grammar Table. She and it are an beautification to life.
• I absolved into a active bakery. There was an aged woman, an immigrant from China. She was alive abaft the counter. She was airy and energetic, but her English was uncertain. A adolescent worker, additionally an immigrant, seamlessly and diplomatically best up the baggy — the advice slack. I thought, “That is so American.”
Immigrants and clearing appear in for a lot of criticism, abundant of it justified, I’m sure. It shouldn’t annihilate us to agenda commodity absolute now and then.
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• On the streets of New York, I had a bit of a jolt. I saw a baby-kisser who was felled by aspersion abounding years ago. He had been talked about for president. In those days, he was gleaming, assured — about knight-like. On this day, however, he was haggard, somewhat lost. He was abuse abreast abandoned in appearance. I thought, “Oh, the things that appear to us, actuality below! Watch, watch, watch.”
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