BLACK AND WHITE
THE fresh air made me hungry and I suggested going in somewhere to eat. But my companion didn't show much enthusiasm. However, I managed to coax him into a lunch wagon. I ordered sandwiches and beer for both of us. The counterman took the order and said in a cold way: "It'll be two bits extra for him."
"Good," I told him, but I didn't understand what he meant by the "two bits extra". I thought perhaps my companion would be getting that much more to eat. But when he brought the order I could see no difference between my portion and his. In fact, my sandwich looked bigger.
I ate heartily. My comrade ate nothing. He barely touched his drink. As I paid, the counterman deliberately smashed my companion's glass. "The two bits extra was for this," he explained, as he tossed the fragments under the counter. "We don't use them after niggers."
"Now you know why I was reluctant to go to any of these places," my companion said as we walked out. "You seemed to be enjoying yourself and I didn't want to spoil your fun. But," he added consolingly, "you mustn't forget we're living under Capitalism, where discrimination and race prejudice are as necessary as wage slavery -- one could not exist without the other."
I recalled that we had learned in school that in the days of the Czars in Russia, Jews were segregated, persecuted and murdered. Race prejudice served to keep people apart and prevented them from joining forces against their oppressors. Anti-semitism was proclaimed an 'inherent trait' of Russians.
But all superstitions have disappeared with the Czars and all our one hundred and seventy-four nationalities now live in the greatest harmony.