Friday, September 24, 2004

Someone Else's Thoughts for the Day

Andrew B at Little Green Footballs has something to tell us:

I think this is the perfect time to tell a short story to all of you. I work in NYC. Sometime I park my car in this lot near my job. The man that works there is Nigerian. his name is Johnson. (that's his first name)

This is a true story...

So one day I brought my car to the lot and Johnson was there...

I said "Hello" to him.

He replied very warmly..."Hello, Mr. Andrew...Good to see you."

I said, "How are you Johnson...looks like a busy day eh?" (My attempt at

He said, "Oh yes,'s always busy in the mornings."

I asked him how his family was. He told me everything was fine.

I asked him, "Do you have family back in Nigeria?"

He said, "Yes...and no."

I said, "How do you mean yes and no?"

He said, "I have some family left there, but one that is not."

Confused at this point...I said, "What does that mean?"

He said his family fled the north from all the Muslims after HIS BROTHER WAS BEHEADED IN A CHURCH IN FRONT OF THE CONGREGATION. I was taken aback...what do you say to someone who has gone through so much pain and tragedy. I said to him, "I am so sorry. I sorry for your loss. I didn't know."

He said, "It's ok."

I said, "'s NOT OK..Your brother was a church of all places." I was on the verge of crying in front of this guy...who for about 2 years I exchange small chit chat here and there with and I NEVER KNEW THIS.

He said his family is now safe for now and that he was trying to save some money to get them to come to America.

Can you imagine? This is one of the nicest, warmest and most gentle people I have ever met in my life. He showed me the strength and TRUE character of Africans. I really hope his family is ok and that he will be able to bring his family to America.

I still think about what he said to me...and everytime I see him I shake his hand firmly to let him know I support him. He knows that there is someone out there that knows his pain. Sometimes I think about his story and I feel like crying. No one should EVER go through what Johnson has.

This was part of a discussion thread about how a mob of young muslims rioted after a Christian teacher had a normal teachers's response to finding a student reading something not related to the subject being taught in that class.

Unfortunately, the reading material that was seized and tossed to the floor of the classroom was the Koran.

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