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The Bent Pin

The Defenestration of the Shmoo

by Florence King

It has hit me all of a sudden that Rand Paul might have been named after Ayn Rand. I’m too scared to Google him and find out, but just to be on the safe side I have decided to offer up my bona fides to the tea partiers so they won’t come and take me away in the middle of the night. I heard that they let you live if you can attest that reading Ayn Rand for the first time was an experience you’ll never forget. This I can do . . .

It was a hot spring night in 1950 and the segregated public schools of Washington, D.C., were embroiled in controversy. Citing the city’s growing black population, the school board transferred Central High School to the black system and renamed it Cardozo. Immediately, our foremost native Washingtonian and Central alumnus, J. Edgar Hoover, flew into a rage. Other prominent Central alumni entered the fray and the city became what is now known as “racially tense.”

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