Back in the 1960s, novelist Irving Wallace wrote a novel, The Man, about the first black president of the United States. America being the country it was in those exciting days, it wasn’t through an election, but through the novelist’s contrived deaths above him politically, thus bringing forth a man who had no ambitions in that direction into the White House.
It’s not a great novel, but it is pretty entertaining (I wish I could lay my hands on another copy) but one scene in particular has always remained in my mind.
At a cocktail party a writer - I’m a writer, why the hell don’t I get invited to cocktail parties? - is talking about his latest work, in which a county in the Deep South suddenly finds that the majority of the citizens are black, and the whites, who had been used to running everything, are now in a minority. And that’s all I remember about that, damn the bad luck.
I have been thinking about that scene a lot lately, especially since the news has broken that white people may become a minority in this country.
I had been hearing complaints of this news 20 years ago, when friends would tell me that white people weren’t having enough children, or to put it in less racially offensive terms, intelligent people weren’t having enough children.
Well, gosh, our minorities have always been so happy in this country! Just ask Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck. They have absolutely nothing to complain about. If white people become a minority, why, they’ll have nothing to worry about either.
Racism is a thing of the past.
Just like sexism.
But . . . but . . . but what if it isn’t? What if those who are screeching the most shrilly about whites becoming a minority are doing so because they know the ugly truth, and are terrified that that one day white folks may be at the mercy of an unforgiving system which has a long memory?
That they may have to sit at the back of the bus on day? And yet the ones who may be most horrified about being a “minority” are the ones at the forefront of stripping away minority rights in this country.
One last word about The Man
I haven’t seen the film version of The Man for a long time, but I’ll just leave you with this.
It stars James Earl Jones.
The screenplay was written by Rod Serling.
Ah . . .
Quote of the Day
No great artist ever sees things as they really are. If he did, he would cease to be an artist. - Oscar Wilde