Burt Prelutsky

In high school, pretty girls and even those who are only so-so in the looks department will sometimes surround themselves with unattractive acolytes because they wind up looking so much better by comparison.

Such things don’t always occur by choice, but through circumstances. For instance, consider Laurel and Hardy who were teamed up by the legendary Hal Roach. Because Oliver Hardy was so heavy, he was called the Fat one, and Stan Laurel, who wasn’t all that thin, was therefore referred to as the Skinny One.

The reason that relativity is on my mind is because in the past few years, we have seen any number of rather obnoxious individuals called to our nation’s capitol so that members of the House and Senate could grill them in front of the TV cameras. And while I would normally enjoy watching tobacco, oil and car company CEOs, along with steroid-using baseball cheats, publicly embarrassed, that’s not how it’s worked out. Instead, because the politicians are so disgustingly arrogant and self-righteous, it’s hard not to view their victims in a sympathetic light. All I know is if I were ever guilty or even suspected of a crime, I would certainly want to be attacked by the likes of Christopher Dodd, Charles Schumer and Barney Frank.

Recently, the Los Angeles Board of Education was so eager to fire School Superintendent David Brewer that they bought out the last year-and-a-half of his four-year contract. Because Mr. Brewer is a black man, certain parties are suggesting that the Board’s decision was racially motivated. One can’t help wondering how it’s possible to accuse the same people who hired the incompetent to a $300,000-a-year job can now be accused of being racists for dumping him, even though they wrote him a check for about half a million dollars. They can certainly be regarded as nincompoops for hiring him in the first place, but that’s a whole different can of worms.

Yet, we find the same pattern repeated each and every time a black baseball manager, football coach or corporate executive, loses his job. Are different rules supposed to apply for blacks and whites in the work place? Are they both supposed to compete equally for the job, but only one of them can never be fired if he gets the job and then fails to measure up? It seems to me that if I’m going to be labeled a racist if I ever have to cut a black employee loose, I’d be a darn fool to hire him in the first place.