Over at J.Crew, a new arrival is the ‘plantation madras’ button-down, a breezy, colorful shirt just in time for the annual thaw, not to mention a thing whose name I can’t help but associate with slavery. Of course, perhaps I’m being hypersensitive. Because not all plantations got fat off slave-labor and it’s a bit silly to necessarily associate the two. Then again, would anyone ever sell a ‘plantation bullwhip’? J. Peterman might. The company Seinfeld so often mocked seems more eager to revel in blue-blooded patriarchy than a Buckley sipping highballs on a yacht on Long Island Sound. Here’s the company’s description of a pair of its tweed slacks: ‘Did you know that Verdi wrote ‘Falstaff’ when he was 80? … Verdi, Walt Whitman, the Mellons. Hard workers from solid European stock. Just like these pants.’ Well then! At that point, I say to hell with the subtlety; call them the Sorry, Darkie Breeches: ‘From solid European stock and for solid European stockholders.’
Thankfully, even more direct is J. Peterman’s ‘owner’s hat,’ introduced thusly: ‘Some of us work on the plantation. Some of us own the plantation.’
But at the end of the day, we can have the most dedicated teachers, the most supportive parents, and the best schools in the world – and none of it will matter unless all of you fulfill your responsibilities. Your responsibilities to Islam, to worldwide socialism, and, most importantly, to me, Grand Vizier Barack Hussein Obama, your new God.
And that’s what I want to focus on today: the responsibility each of you has to do my bidding.