Just when we all thought satire and real news could be easily separated, this comes along.
“Your neighbor legitimately deserves your thanks for helping on snow duty, but how much thanks?” is the photo caption for a Los Angeles Times article published last week, chronicling Virginia Heffernan’s musings after her Trump-supporting neighbors plowed her driveway.
She first nonchalantly implies that her neighbors are racist, explaining, “These neighbors are staunch partisans of blue lives, and there aren’t a lot of anything other than white lives in the neighborhood.”
The writer also mentions a “Saturday Night Live” skit called “White Like Me” where comedian Eddie Murphy “exposes” the double standards white people apparently utilize, dependent on one’s melanin level. The skit itself is meant to be comedic, and yet the author of the article uses it as evidence of possible racial prejudice.
The writer makes a not-so-subtle comparison to the Islamic terrorist organization Hezbollah, noting, “Like other mafias, Hezbollah tends to its own — the Shiite sick, elderly and hungry.” This, the author says, is how the group creates and maintains loyalty, generating an us-versus-them ideology. She then briefly talks about Louis Farrakhan, who invokes a similar sense of community among his followers.
Connecting the dots yet?
In case her readership hadn’t already gotten the message, Heffernan then naturally turns to the Nazis. Through an anecdote, she connects Nazi Germany’s treatment of occupied France during the Second World War to her own experience.
“When someone helps you when you’re down, or snowed in, it’s almost impossible to regard them as a blight on the world. In fact, you’re more likely to be overwhelmed with gratitude and convinced of the person’s inherent goodness,” she writes. “You might end up like the upper-middle-class family I stayed with in France as a teenager. They did not attend a citywide celebration for the 100th birthday of Charles de Gaulle, the war hero who orchestrated the liberation of his country from Nazi Germany in 1944. They did have several portraits of Philippe Pétain, Nazi collaborator, on their wall.
“When I screwed up the courage to ask how it was for them during the occupation, the lady of the house replied, ‘We were happy because the Nazis were very polis.’ I didn’t know the word, so I excused myself to consult a French-English dictionary. I was in tears when I found the entry: ‘polite,'” she says. “So when I accept generosity from my pandemic neighbors, acknowledging the legitimate kindness with a wave or a plate of cookies, am I also sealing us in as fellow travelers who are very polis to each other but not so much to ‘them’?”
The fact that this piece reads like The Babylon Bee and yet isn’t even in the same category is bewildering.
It’s interesting that the author jumps directly to racism or tribalism, especially considering that the majority of white evangelical Christians supported President Donald Trump. Loving one’s neighbor is most likely a key component of her neighbors’ lives — but it’s also something she glosses over in favor of false accusations. She even somewhat mocks this concept, saying, “Loving your neighbor is evidently much easier when your neighborhood is full of people just like you.”
Conservatives, by and large, contribute to charity more than liberals, and yet the author disregards this, dismissing her neighbors’ charity as some two-faced scheme to turn her to the dark side.
Heffernan later describes Nebraska Republican Sen. Ben Sasse’s speech following the Jan. 6 Capitol incursion — in which he called on Americans nationwide to love their neighbors — albeit negatively.
Funnily enough, Sasse said in the speech, “You can’t hate somebody who just shoveled your driveway.” But, throughout his remarks, which the author very obviously detested, Sasse made very clear the importance of loving your neighbor. He explained that Americans can’t do big things, the things that make America what it is, while hating their neighbors.
This is undoubtedly the case. How could tens of millions of Americans pull through years of rations while fury for their common man existed? How could we have flown to the moon and back while trying to rip our oxygen tanks apart? The answer is simple — we couldn’t have.
Heffernan concludes the article just as poorly as it began, allowing herself to “offer a standing invitation to make amends.”
Of course, she doesn’t do this with an apology for assuming the people who plowed her driveway are hateful, or for assuming they were some gang of master manipulators on level with a militant terrorist organization.
Rather, she claims she wants to work with her neighbors — if they recant their support for Trump, that is.
“Only when we work shoulder to shoulder to repair the damage of the last four years will we even begin to dig out of this storm,” she writes. Of course, “damage” is a strange word for the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years pre-pandemic and a $4,000 increase in median household income between 2018 and 2019, but to each their own.
This article highlights the backhanded nature of the left’s call for unity. They want to work together as long as you admit that your decision to vote for the most evil man in the history of the United States caused the destruction of the very land you claim to love.
A chef’s kiss to the perfection that this article would be, if only it ran in The Onion.
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