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Peggy Noonan Saw a Mexican
She was walking, in the city, on the day of America's freedom. And then she saw a Mexican. Let's explore the heavily symbolic world of Peggy Noonan and her latest column.
* "It is late afternoon in Manhattan on the Fourth of July, and I'm walking along on Lexington and 59th, in front of Bloomingdale's. Suddenly in my sight there's a young woman standing on a street grate. She is short, about 5 feet tall, and stocky, with a broad brown face. She is, I think, Latin American, maybe of Indian blood."
* "You might have seen this person before. She's one of a small army of advertisement giver-outers in New York."
* "And then, half a block later, I turned around. I thought of a woman I'd met recently who had gone through various reverses in life and now had a new job, as a clerk in the back room of a store. She was happy to have it, a new beginning. But there was this thing: They didn't want to pay for air conditioning, so she sweltered all day. This made her want to weep, just talking about it. Ever since that conversation, I have been so grateful for my air conditioning. I had forgotten long ago to be grateful for it."
* "So I turned around and went back. I wanted to say something -- I don't know what, find out where she was from, encourage her. I said hello, and she looked at me and I patted her arm and said, "Happy Fourth of July, my friend." She was startled and then shy, and she smiled and made a sound, and I realized: She doesn't speak English. "God bless you," I said, because a little while in America and you know the word God just as 10 minutes in Mexico and you learn the word Dios. And we both smiled and nodded and I left."
* "I went into Bloomingdale's and wrote these words: 'We must speak the same language so we can hearten each other.'"
We Need To Talk [Opinion Journal]