US television star Candice Bergen’s Murphy Brown of the eponymous hit show of the 1990s was interviewing a fictional Betty Hully from Greenfield, Idaho, on how the “average” American family was coping early in the decade.
A gracious interviewee at the start of the one-on-one with Murphy, Mrs. Hully was a typical WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant), blonde and confident, with every strand of her hair in place.
But she unraveled when she voluntarily mentioned that she and her husband were sending their kids to a “good” school (presumably an expensive one) because she had “no choice” after the Italians “took over” the place where she and her family live.
The Idaho working mom stripped herself some more of her racial biases, exposing her intolerant opinions of the “black people,” the “Jewish people” and the “Chinese people.”
Mrs. Hully, also articulate and pretty with a nice smile and perfect teeth to boot, harangued the blacks who “moved in next door” as frightful neighbors and the Jews and the Chinese as ruthless laundry-shop operators without any care at all (read: rip-off artists) for the Greenfield woman and also presumably other white Americans.
Crossing the line that TV or newspaper journalists generally avoid doing, Murphy went out on a limb and asked her unflappably loquacious resource person: “Mrs. Hully, has anyone ever accused you of being a bigot?”
The question threw off the interviewee and the TV star went on to finally say that she did not want to hear anymore her explanation on “why Hitler was misunderstood” because she [Murphy] did not want to “keep her [Mrs. Hully] from her Ku Klux Klan meeting.”
This brings us to local counterparts of the woman from the northwestern part of the United States but of the more bigoted kind who think they have a monopoly of love of country and democracy and all that jazz about “people power.”
During the 31st anniversary late last month of the popular uprising on EDSA that toppled then-President Ferdinand Marcos, one of them who was an equally popular singer of OPM (original Pilipino music) gained instant infamy when he shooed away a few young boys — unabashedly supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte — from the “People Power Monument” in Quezon City where the so-called yellows were marking the occasion.
The pro-Duterte group stood its ground and why not since Jim Paredes of The Apo Hiking Society or Apo and supposedly an active player in the 1986 EDSA revolt does not own the spot where the so-called monument stands or does he?
Shame, shame for letting down Apolinario Mabini, the “Brains of the Philippine Revolution” against Spain in the 1890s, and after whom Paredes’ group, a trio actually, got its name.
But then, Mabini was not a graduate of the Ateneo de Manila (now Ateneo de Manila University on Katipunan Avenue in Quezon City) like the Apo singer is, so he probably does not make it to Paredes’ honor roll of heroes that we guess is topped by former senator Benigno Aquino Jr., another Atenista, who was killed in 1983.
What made Paredes making a scene more unbearable was that he has since kept on defending and justifying his hysterics, dagger looks and all at the young Duterte fans.
You cannot defend bigotry, especially at Plaza Miranda, more so at the Tanauan Shrine in Mabini’s native Batangas province in Southern Luzon.
Paredes can try Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.
The oldest and largest and the only Catholic and Jesuit university in America, Georgetown’s dark bigoted history has been reflected in its founders selling 272 black slaves in 1838 supposedly to “keep the university afloat.”
Jim Paredes, as well as the other two members of Apo — Danny Javier and Buboy Garovillo — were schooled by the Jesuits.
Sadly for Paredes, Javier is reportedly now a certified Duterte supporter.