Saturday, January 07, 2012

Gone Fishin' by Walter Mosley (Tandem Library 1997)

A lot of people might not like how I acted with that white woman. They might ask: Why didn’t he get mad? or Why would Mouse be breaking his butt to get money out of a poor farmer when this rich white lady would be so much of a better target?

Mouse was just doing what came natural to him. But there’s a reason I wasn’t angry then, why I’m still not angry and why the people of Pariah didn’t rise up and kill that woman: It’s what I call the ‘Sacred Cow Thinking.’

Miss Dixon lived alone out in a colored community that hated her because she owned everything, even the roads they walked on. But Miss Dixon, and every other white person, was, to that colored community, like the cow is to those Hindus over in India. They’d all starve to death, let their children starve, before they’d slaughter a sacred cow. Miss Dixon was our sacred cow. She had money and land and she could read and go to fine events at the governor’s house. But most of all she was white and being white was like another step to heaven...

Killing her would have been worse than killing our own children; killing her, or even thinking of it, would be like killing the only dream we had.

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