It is only human to give our enemies a distinct territory in our memory, which is why we hear the buzz of summer’s first mosquito with alarm. We think only fools don’t remember their enemies, because remembering is preparedness. And, conversely, what we call preparedness is often really a readiness to remember the enemy, an openness to his memory-triggering buzz. Even today, changing planes in a southern airport, the sound of a white southern accent slips right past what I know about the “New South” and finds my memory of the Old South. Recently, in line to buy a newspaper at such an airport, I found myself carefully watching the white saleswoman whose accent was particularly thick. If she was anything less than g...
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