Reposted: new link.

John Merrow recalls an anti-Semitic incident on the playing fields from his youth. He recently heard from the boys (men) involved and found that their views were unchanged, except that now the anti-Semite was now openly racist.

Remember the song in “South Pacific”? “You’ve got to be carefully taught” to hate. We aren’t born hating. At the time Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote that song, they were called Communists.

John’s post reminded me of an incident last week. I went to a splendid wine-tasting and dinner at Paumonok Vineyards on the North Fork of Long Island. I was sitting next to a very pleasant and intelligent young man. As we got into dinner, we inevitably reached the subject of politics, and he told me that he enthisuasically voted for Trump. He is certain that Democrats want socialism and the next step is Communism. I learned that he is the son of Italian immigrants and an engineer who went to a state university. He saw no contradiction in Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric or his contempt for public education. As we talked, he expressed resentment about the lazy people who were getting government benefits. Why should he be taxed to pay for them? The longer the conversation went on, the more I realized that he was expressing deepseated racism. When the subject turned to education, he made clear that in his view, teachers are ignorant, have an easy job, are overpaid, should not have unions or tenure or pensions. Nothing I said changed any of his beliefs. I wondered why he was so bitter. I never found out. He is a solid member of Trump’s base.