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Go out with you? Why not... Do I like to dance? Of course! Take a walk along the beach tonight? I'd love to. But don't try to touch me. Don't try to touch me. Because that will never happen again. "Past, Present and Future"-The Shangri-Las

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Unnatural Marriage

My Mom used to work at an office. One of the salesmen there was an outspoken racist who said (bear in mind you're getting this thirdhand: my version of Mom's version of what this guy said) that "We keep the black people in their place in Nashville" and that we should handle the war on terrorism thing by bombing Mecca, as if that'd settle things down.

Mom was miserable there and didn't hang around long (for a variety of reasons, not just a loathsome coworker), but she befriended a nice woman at an office-related party. This woman was (per Mom)sophisticated, well-spoken, a professional writer who had numerous published books to her credit. I bet you can figure out the punchline: she was married to the racist guy.

I'm unlikely to ever meet this couple, but as my Mom told me more and more stories about them (each of which pretty much reenforced my initial impression: the Klansman and the college grad) I found that they inhabited my imagination to an unsettling degree. I think the key reason (aside from my guilty white liberal daydreams of retorting to bigots) is that they provide a sort of miscegenation nightmare for me; the sophisticate who marries an unrepentant bigot. This repels me the way race-mixing upsets Klansman. How could she mix her genes with a person of such inferior, degraded stock?

If someone could map the dynamics of their marriage it might provide a sort of Rosetta stone to the mysteries of human attraction.

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