Phil was a combat veteran of Vietnam.
"I don't understand it," Phil would say. "We used to shoot those monkeys out of trees."
Phil wasn't talking about monkeys.
I don't know what Phil was doing before he was "shooting monkeys out of trees." I didn't know Phil before he went to Vietnam. Maybe he always saw monkeys like other people looking at the chimpanzee in the NY Post cartoon saw what wasn't there. Even an enlightened fellow like Keith Olberman saw what wasn't there.
More about xenophobic people. Nothing about monkeys below the fold.
"Basques are very poor sheep herders," my father told. "They are too much like Jews."
Seemed rather odd to receive that information even at a tender age. I already knew there was a quota on Basque immigrants of 100 per year. The Basques were brought into the country to herd sheep.
It took the Basques a year or two or three at miserable pay of lonely isolation facing gawdawful privation in often terrible weather to own their own herd.
Then more Basques were needed.
Maybe that was what Dad was getting at.
"The Basques are not like us Irish. The Irish watch over the sheep but do not drive them so hard," said Dad.
Dad told often of the great sheep dog he had that would sometimes be gone for a day or two during a terrible snowstorm as Dad was driving his sheep hundreds of miles to new pasture.
The dog was going back to retrieve a feeble old ewe. The ewe couldn't keep up. Finally the dog brought a leg from the ewe the dog had apparently killed to show he had done his best.
Maybe if Dad hadn't been driving the rest of the herd so hard, the old ewe could have kept up. Never know I suppose.
Truth be told, all those inferior people, even maybe we Irish, have enriched and enlivened the country with their sweat and genius, and often with their disability and untimely death. Indians might have a different vision of things but they never did account for much in this land of immigrants.
The Old Jail Museum in Jim Thorpe, PA, demonstrates the horrible conditions under which prisoners lived in another millenia. The prison was closed in 1995.
At least once the prison doors were flung open to the street so the happy viewers, who couldn't get inside, could see framed Irish miners hanged in bunches. The English mine owner had one of his supervisors killed and blamed it on the Irish miners selected as possible troublemakers. The thrifty businessman saved two ways. He saved on the wages of an unwanted supervisor and left a warning to troublemakers.
The audience no doubt richly enjoyed a great show.
We do not have to have lived in Pennsylvania in another century to enjoy a great show today. The handiwork of Sheriff Joe Arpaio is on diplay to any who will see and is mainly directed at another hated minority.The handiwork of Sheriff Joe Arpaio is on diplay to any who will see.
As Lou Dobbs would doubtless tell you, it is the American way. Why would anyone want to mess with a good thing?