Saturday, October 16, 2004
An American in London
www.frontpagemag.com: "Here is the background scenario: Exactly one month ago today, I was traveling on a London bus when a well-dressed woman boarded with her equally-respectable son in his school uniform. Ahead of her was an elderly American woman, who said, ‘I beg your pardon, I didn’t mean to bang into you.’ This prompted a tirade from the Englishwoman -- let’s call her Lady E -- that resembled a verbal assault by a brownshirt against a hapless Jewish pedestrian in 1933. The American -- call her Mrs. A -- sat down and cowered as the tirade continued: ‘I rejoice every time I hear of another American soldier dying! You people all deserve to die in another 9/11. You are destroying the world.’ Mrs A fought back: ‘I personally am NOT destroying the world.’ This only provoked Lady E more, and as the bus driver and passengers laughed, she screamed into the American’s face ‘I wish every one of you would leave this country and not set foot in it ever again,’ and Mrs A began to wince, crying. ‘Thank you for ruining my day and my trip.’ At this point Lady E lunged at the American and began to shake her. I jumped up and shouted at the top of my voice for the driver to stop and for her to leave the woman alone, prompting Lady E to come over to me and grab me. ‘Another bloody American accent! You come here and think you can strut about, well, you are scum.’ Thankfully, the woman next to me pushed her away. I left the bus as the American woman sat sobbing.
Did I imagine this? No. Was the Englishwoman a crazy? No.
A few weeks before, I had attended a party at which I was lambasted, intimidated and mocked by a group of people I had known for some twenty-odd years. It reminded me of a comment made to me by an American expatriate shortly after 9/11: ‘Now I know what the Jews felt like in pre-war Germany.’
Frankly, I don’t like what is happening in Britain and am shocked and dismayed at the level to which anti-Americanism has peaked in recent months. Does anyone say ‘George W Bush’ or ‘Donald Rumsfeld’ or Dick Cheney’ when they fly into these tirades? No. In fact, the visceral, hurtful and in-your-face America-hatred goes back long before the days of the Bush 43 regime."
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