I have been sickened by events in Athens, and Agrinion and Lamia and Thessalonike and elsewhere.
I remember a conversation with my grandfather, Eugene Crawford Jordan, of Birmingham, Alabama, in the late 1960s. We called him Papa. You must understand that Papa was handsome and courtly, the consummate Southern gentleman, but being a Southern gentleman did not exclude an intense racism.
The conversation moved to "7415" which was the number of the house where he had raised his ten children, and to which I was brought with my mother after I was born. He recalled 1926 when he was having the house repainted. That year people in Birmingham were joining the Ku Klux Klan in large numbers. The neighbor in the house to the right joined, and invited my grandfather to join. Mr. Bell, in the house to the left, joined, and invited my grandfather to join. The house painters said pressured my grandfather to join and added, "We'd sure hate for anything to happen to those purty lil' chirren."*
Now, a late justice of the Supreme Court, Hugo Black, Harvard graduate, was practicing law in Birmingham in 1926, and he joined the Klan. He more than made up for it many years later on the Supreme Court, but he was highly educated, Harvard yet, and he still found it possible to rationalize the Klan.
Papa had to drop out of school as a teenager to help support his family and he always nursed a bitterness at the deprivation of education. So what with Justice Black and Papa's racism, I didn't know what to think.
I said, "Why didn't you join, Papa?"
He said, "Sugar," -- Southerners used to, some still do, speak in Shakespearean mode, as Othello when he said, "Honey, you shall be well desired in Cyprus."
He said, "Sugar, a man does not have to cover his face."
Ὦ παῖδες Ἑλλήνων, you murderous attackers who beleaguer a city, glykoi mou, a man does not have to cover his face.
* This is Southern for "pretty little children."