Dead Caterpillar

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A fire in government class

Saturday, Sep 18th, 2010

A fire spontaneously ignited in government class today. But instead of everyone running for the door and screaming for their lives, they all stayed seated. In good humor too.

How did this fire start?

Simple. A skinny black dude, sitting front and center, in a suit and tie, wearing Buddy Holly glasses, lit a match inside a propane tank.

“I voted for Obama because he was black,” said the skinny black dude, in a room full of young purebred conservatives, in a government class, at a major evangelical university, two months before mid-term elections.

The response was instantaneous. Feet shuffled. Eyes gazed. Hands raised. Everyone wanted to take a shot. Some did. Most were fair.

“Isn’t it racist to vote for someone on the basis of race?” The shot came seemingly from nowhere.

Skinny black dude was not deterred.

“Republicans haven’t done anything for black people,” he said, coupled with some other flagrant remark that drew attention to the fact that the past “30-something” (sic) presidents were white.

“I’m Jewish and I’m not complaining,” says the chairman of the college libertarians, speaking out of turn, with both hands on desk—neither one raised.

The room fills with jeering and laughter.

That’s when the professor put his firehat on and started the hose. No more speaking out of turn. No attacks. He did what he could to assure the skinny black dude’s survival. Even if that meant drowning us in a personal story or reflection. I don’t remember what the personal story or reflection was.

All I remember is that there was a fire in government class today.

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