We all know how a certain American politician was nicknamed “Pocahontas,” years after claiming to be, without foundation, a native American. This has often been tried. Sometimes, however, it backfires. “A friend got his son into a better public school by declaring he was tribal,” a colleague writes. “Unfortunately, they didn’t tell the boy, who was then invited to an after-school meeting for those interested in Indians. My friend attempted to correct himself, but he found that in that city, you can change your racial identification only once.” (Who writes these rules?)
During a recent encounter with the medical world I received a questionnaire with the inevitable question, “Race.”…
Winston Churchill: Urban Myths and Reality: Lies, Fables, Myths, Distortions and Things that Go Bump in the Night.
Not a day passes when Sir Winston Churchill, who proved himself indispensable when freedom needed him, is not accused of something, from alcoholism to war crimes—often without serious attribution, or through selective quotes, arranged and cropped so as to advance the preconceived notion.
“Very often the eagles have been squalled down by the parrots.” —Churchill, House of Commons, 18 January 1945
Some seasoned students of the man were of two minds about the January 2015 Winston Churchill death celebrations: gratified that people still remember; shock at the ill-considered assertions.
This is such a rote performance, and sadly typical. First, you tee up Churchill as the savior of 1940. Then you tear him down with the familiar litany of charges. I do wish they’d come up with some new ones; the old chestnuts are getting shopworn.…