An old man, probably pushing 80, was loudly saying he couldn’t understand how a black had been elected president. “Make Obama president of Africa, not president of the United States,” he said. “Africa is the worst continent, and it’s filled with blacks, so why would you put a black here.” He also couldn’t understand how America could even consider the idea of letting in “Muslims and terrorists, which are identical.” The weirdness was that he was expounding these views to a soft-talking Middle Easterner at the next table, who quietly said he was a Muslim.
He said his family would have been subject to severe persecution if they had not been allowed to come to the United States 20 years ago. “As the day of Thanksgiving nears, we should remember that America is a country built on the shoulders of the persecuted who came here.”
I thought this was going to chastise the old man, but he didn’t pause a beat as he said: “After 20 years in the U.S., the Muslim has been wiped clean off you, so you don’t really understand the situation like I do.”