Monday, April 20, 2009

What say, Mr. Nicholson?

In the first scene of "The Departed", Frank Costello (played by Jack Nicholson) the Irish mafia kingpin in Boston goes

"20 years after an Irishman couldn't get a f****n' job in this country, we had the Presidency. May he rest in peace! That's what the ni****s don't realize. If I've got something against 'em, the black chappies it's this. No one gives it to you, you have to take it!"

He was referring to the long line of Irish-in-origin US Presidents beginning with Andrew Johnson that achieved it's grandest success with JFK. The Irish rose rapidly in status from unwanted refugees in the mid 1840s to being one of the most influential communities in the USA. His hint was at making a grab for power, almost force it at gunpoint. In contrast, the African-American community really started getting their due rights in the late 1960s thanks to the Gandhian tactics of Martin Luther King. Forty years later, we have the first Black President and a largely peaceful USA which has voted him to power. So what that it did take 40 years instead of 20, but didn't this turn out way better for everybody involved?

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