Monday, November 3, 2008

Just a Thought

I read a great book called "They Thought They Were Free". Part of it has been quoted widely in the last few years. (With good reason).

But there was a sentiment expressed by one man that made me think. Of course, I was brought up, like every other American, with great scorn for the "good German", the German who didn't protest, the one who said that they didn't know what was going on. Milton Mayer asked one man why he didn't notice that the jews were disappearing, and he said that he thought they moved.

That made me think. I live in a town which has a substantial percentage of African Americans. I think it's about 1/3. They live all over, but there is one part of town that is almost completely black. Like the jews in Germany, they have their own churches, although we all use the same stores. (Except I won't go to WalMart). If they started disappearing, would I notice? Would I think that something diabolical was going on? Or would I think, if I noticed, that they had just moved?

After Katrina, I really wondered. A whole stadium of poor people, starved for three days, willing and eager to get on those buses out of town. And then the Astrodome, emptied in days. How would we know if they really all went to trailer parks? Just asking this question sets you up for ridicule, believe me. I have no reason to suspect foul play, other than a deep suspicion of the Bush administration, but just asking people the question upsets them. Now I can totally believe that any German who had suspicions would keep it to themselves.

There was a great Far Side cartoon, where a shocked looking cow says "I just found out how they make hamburger!" and the other cows say "Conspiracy theorist!"

Yesterday, I went canvassing in the projects near where my children's old junior high school was. The school has been torn down now, and rebuilt outside of town. They have plans to build a giant police station on the vacant lot. (This for a town of 26,000 people).

Anyway, the projects used to be full of people. I haven't been over there since my kids left junior high. They were almost empty! Where did everyone go? It wasn't obvious until we went up to each door which were empty and which still had people in them. If you just drove by, you'd still see black folks outside, but not nearly as many as before.

Just wondering.

1 comment:

Nader Enthusiast said...

I just watched a great foreign film called "The Lives of Others" about the German Stasi and life under a surveillance society. I cannot recommend it enough and the ending is wonderful.