The Corner

Choosing How to Be

In today’s Impromptus, I have a note on Reverend Wright — and how “them Jews ain’t going to let him talk to me” (“him” being the president). I got a quite interesting letter from a regular and sharp reader:


When I heard that the Reverend Wright said, “Them Jews ain’t going to let him talk to me,” my first thought was, “And this guy went to Central High!” Central High was Philadelphia’s elite public school for boys. It’s still an elite public school, but now it lets girls in. Wright’s mother was the vice principal of Girls’ High, Central High’s counterpart. He grew up in a beautiful, leafy integrated neighborhood. There’s no way he was ever permitted to say “them Jews” or “them” anything else, and certainly not “ain’t.” And when he went there, Jews were probably a majority at Central High.

It’s funny what kind of persona the guy has adopted.

Yup. So often, people choose what they want to be when they grow up. And sometimes they don’t choose wisely.


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