Monday, July 6, 2009

An Open Letter to Roger Higson, or Mad Dogs and Englishmen Go Out in the Midday Sun

Hi Roger,
Ostensibly I'm writing to you, but in all actuality I'm writing to your readers (do you have any, besides me?). Having read your rants over the years, I have boiled down your issues with various groups to the following: You are stuck in a rural area where you interact with 3 categories of people: (1) Hispanic farm workers and their families. (2) rural African-Ammericans and (3) blue-collar WASPs a.k.a. rednecks & river rats.
What these three groups have in common is a deadly combination of lack of (a) education and (b) a culture of knowledge-seeking.
Roger, you need to move back to big-city L.A. so that you can hang out at your local Starbucks, in order to meet middle-class, educated Latinos and African-Americans. In other words, your sample is sorely skewed, my old friend. I clearly recall your polemic against the fundamentalist African American women who showed up at your school, and argued with you about your teaching "godless" evolution to their innnocent christian children. What you need to understand is those poor women get fed a bunch of baloney by preachers and politicians who cynically manipulate them. "Vote for me, and I'll get evolution out of your schools." Based on your limited, but highly homogeneous sample you have mistakenly formed the belief that all African Americans and Latinos believe the same things. Same goes for your perception of the drunken WASP hippies who show up each year, to party on the Colorado River. I know those party-goers: I x-ray them when they first get on the 10 Freeway in LA County, and start the road trip by drunkenly crashing their cars. Darwinian Natural Selection at work: the ones who make it alive to Blythe will pass on their genes. My cure for your dislike of drunken white people and all of your other targets is to invite you to hang out with me in Claremont in 'the village', sitting outside the Starbucks on 2nd and Yale. After the third black accountant, you'll beg for forgiveness.

As for the fire department's written test, that's complicated, and I think it's harder for you to understand, because you came to the U.S. as an adult. Unlike vicious Republicans I won't say "If you don't like this country, then why don't you go home where you came from?" (I love that phrase: where else would you "go home to", besides "the place that you came from"???). As a fellow immigrant (but I was a kid) from Europe, I can see deeper into your heart than the average reader. What I will say is that you grew up in Britain, where things are very different, and I think it's harder for you to sympathize with New Haven firemen than it is for others.
The Radioactive Birdwatcher
PS: You were supposed to put a link to my blog.

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