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Iraqi Teenagers Speak Out On Affirmative Action

An excerpt from the web log of Neal Pollack


Regular readers of this space already know how I feel about yesterday's disastrous Supreme Court decision on affirmative action. It's long been my contention that true diversity can only be achieved by eliminating diversity altogether. But someone bribed Justice O'Connor, and now we're doomed to another 40 years of black lawyers in the Midwest.

But I thought that today, rather than provide my enlightened opinion on matters legal, that I'd seek the perspective of those who will be most affected by this law: American teenagers. Unfortunately, I don't know too many. My nieces, I believe, are in an Austrian boarding school. Besides, I haven't spoken with their mother since 1994. Hillary Duff, my platonic companion, is off shooting The Making Of The Making Of The Teen People Awards Behind The Scenes special. That leaves me with only one option.

I emailed Raul, the last Iraqi teenager with access to the Internet, to ask his opinion about the Supreme Court "ruling." To my surprise and partial horror, he responded within ten minutes. His point-of-view on racial and ethnic identity is instructive to us all. Listen, now:

Dear Neal:

It sucks being Arab sometimes because everyone thinks you're a terrorist and that you just want to blow stuff up. No, seriously. And they think you smell and that you're lazy and that you treat women bad. I just want to let everyone know that we're not all like that. I smell really good and I treat my girlfriend like a sex goddess. And I'm definitely not lazy. My boy band, Baghdad 123, rehearses every day in the backseat of a Volkswagen Passat.

We're kind of pissed because this other boy band is getting all the attention. The last thing I want is to be known as a member of the OTHER Iraqi boy band. I know the rest of the band feels the same way. It's actually really hard to practice these days, because my boss L. Paul Bremer has banned all gatherings of more than two Arab men. The band wasn't happy when they heard the news on the Iraqi Freedom Network.

"Let's go shoot at some American soldiers," said Ramsi, the sensitive one.

"Yeah," said A.J. "It'll be more fun than foraging for food and water among the ruins of our former apartment buildings."

I sighed.

"OK," I said. "Just this once."

Because I often read Mr. Bremer's email, we knew that the Americans were going to be raiding a nursing home the next morning, looking for old people who may or may not still like Saddam Hussein. We dressed as orderlies and waited.

Oh, the fun we had! One soldier died, and another was wounded! We were definitely the baddest boy band in Baghdad now.

"Why are we here?" the wounded soldier moaned. "What are we doing?"

As we ran away, I shouted, "You're covering your President's ass and guarding the oil wells, you dumb fuck! The Administration sold the American people a bill of goods about freedom and liberty, but really it was just an ill-conceived grab for wealth and territory! Get out of our country and let us run our own affairs!"

Then I went home and watched the hit MTV show Punk'd. How I long to wear a mesh John Deere cap just like the show's charming and funny host, Ashton Kutcher! How I long to play pranks on my funny and beautiful friends! As soon as the American imperial army leaves my country, I'm gonna be a star!

Hope you're well.


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