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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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イングリッシュジャーナル18年11月号でも取り上げられていた映画LBJを見ることができました。本筋から少し外れたエピソードですが、映画グリーンブックで知ったことがでてきたものがありました。



The best leaders of the time from both our states, voted for secession. And they were great men who nearly destroyed America. I don't ever want a history book to say that about me.
我々の州から出た当時の最高の指導者たちは連邦脱退に投票した。彼らは偉大な人たちだがアメリカを崩壊させるところだった。歴史の本に私がそのように書かれたくないんだ。
- Mmm. Let me ask you something. When was the last time you had a meal with her?
すこし聞くが、最後に彼女と食事をしたのはいつだ。
She's an employee but if you think that I would have any objection of breaking bread with her, then you are a fool.
彼女は雇われだし、もし彼女と食事をするのに私が反対していると思っているなら、馬鹿げだことだ。
- So you're telling me she's your equal?
すると彼女は対等の相手なのだな。
That woman spends more time in this house than anyone except Lady Bird. She is family.
この女性はこの家で誰よりも長く過ごしている。Lady Birdを除いては。彼女は家族だ。
- I don't know how I missed the resemblance. Look, what I'm talking about here is freedom. I'm talking about the preservation of a way of life. A way of life that you and I both grew up with. There's nothing wrong with that.
似通ったところがあったなんてわからなかった。いいか。ここで話しているのは自由だ。生き方を守ることについて話しているんだ。お前と私が育ってきた生き方だ。それは何も悪いことなどない。
Then why are we whispering?
それならどうして声をひそめている話しているんだ。

ここで言及されているのはZephyr Wrightというジョンソン大統領夫妻が議員時代から雇っていた料理人です。映画でも公民権法の成立にジョンソン大統領が取り組んでいるときに彼女のことを言及するのですが、その内容は以下のようなものでした。こちらはジョンソン大統領が退任後に出版した回想録によるものです。料理人夫妻がワシントンから南部テキサスに戻る時に、大統領の飼い犬も一緒に連れて行って欲しいと頼んだのですが、自分たちだけでも旅行するのが大変だから犬を連れて行く余裕がないと断ったというものです。黒人に食事をさせてくれるところや泊まらせてくれるところがなく、トイレさえもできないので旅行が大変だったようです。

OCT. 21, 1971

Following is the fifth of 11 installments of excerpts from Lyndon Baines Johnson's memoirs of his Presidential years, which will be published by Holt, Rinehart Winston on Nov. 1 under the title "The Vantage Point: Perspectives of the Presidency, 1963-1969":

WHEN I was in the Senate, we had an extra car to take back to Texas at the close of each Congressional session. Usually my Negro employes—Zephyr Wright, our cook, Helen Williams, out maid, and Helen's husband, Gene — drove the car to the ranch for us. At that time, nearly 20 years ago, it was an ordeal to get an automobile from Washington to Texas—three full days of hard driving.

On one of those trips I asked Gene he would take my beagle dog with them in the car. I didn't think they would mind. Little Beagle was a friendly, gentle dog.

But Gene hesitated. “Senator, do we have to take Beagle?”

“Well,” I explained, “there's no other way to get him to Texas. He shouldn't give you any trouble, Gene. You know Beagle loves you.”

But Gene still hesitated. I didn't understand. I looked directly at him. “Tell me what's the matter. Why don't you want to take Beagle? What aren't you telling me?”

Gene began slowly. Here is the gist of what he had to say: “Well, Senator, it's tough enough to get all the way from Washington to Texas. We drive for hours and hours. We get hungry. But there's no place on the road we can stop and go in and eat. We drive some more. It gets pretty. hot. We want to wash up. But the only bathroom we're allowed in is usually miles off the main highway. We keep, going till night comes—till we get so tired we can't stay awake any more. We're ready to pull in. But it takes us another hour or so to find a place to sleep. You see, what I'm saying is that a colored man's got enough trouble getting across the South on his own, without having a dog along.”

Of course, I knew that such discrimination existed throughout the South. We all knew it. But somehow we had deluded ourselves into believing that the black people around us were happy and satisfied; into thinking that the bad and ugly things were going on somewhere else, happening to other people. There was nothing I could say to Gene. His problem was also mine: as a Texan, a Southerner and an American.

映画グリーンブックを見た直後だったのでピンときました。もし映画を見てなかったら「ふーん」と聞き流してしまったかもしれません。このエピソードは結構有名なようで色々言及されているようです。



38分当たりからZephyr Wrightに触れています。

ADRIAN MILLER06.14.17

Wright's influence extended beyond the White House kitchen. Back when LBJ was in Congress, the Johnsons would drive back-and-forth from Washington, D.C. to central Texas during legislative recesses. Wright suffered so many indignities on those trips due to segregation customs and laws that she ultimately refused to travel by car and stayed in D.C. year-round. While LBJ built support in Congress for the 1964 Civil Rights Act, he used Wright's Jim Crow experiences to shame reluctant legislators into supporting the landmark legislation. After signing the landmark legislation, LBJ gave Wright one of the signing pens. “You deserve this more than anyone else,” he said.

Zephyr Wright本人が語ったエピソードは、大統領夫妻と一緒に運転しているときに、黒人だからという理由でホテルの宿泊を断られたというものでした。

By Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN
Updated 1211 GMT (2011 HKT) April 9, 2014

Zephyr Wright, the Johnson family cook whom LBJ sometimes invoked when arguing that blacks should be allowed to enjoy public services, also felt he was sincere. In a 1974 interview, she recalled how Johnson was always excited when he passed a civil rights bill, and he'd be disappointed if Wright hadn't read about it.
The Johnsons also insisted on taking Wright with them on trips across the South, dangerous business in those days, and they'd challenge establishments' "whites only" policies.
Once on a trip through Memphis, Tennessee, Johnson's wife, Lady Bird, asked at a hotel desk if there were any vacancies, Wright said.
"Yes, we have a place for you," the woman at the desk replied.
"Well, I have these two other people," the first lady responded.
"No. We work 'em, but we don't sleep 'em," came the reply.
"That's a nasty way to be," Lady Bird Johnson said, and the three left to find another hotel.
"Mrs. Johnson always tried to find someplace nice to eat and someplace nice to sleep," Wright said.

ジョンソン大統領が公民権運動に力を入れたのは、人種差別問題を身近に感じる機会があったからかもしれません。映画グリーンブックでは個人的なつながりだけでは構造的な問題は変えられないという批判がありましたが、ジョンソン大統領の場合は個人的なつながりが制度的な問題に切り込む原動力になったようですね。

ニューヨークタイムズが紹介していたジョンソン大統領の回想録で、黒人が南部を運転して旅行する苦労を知って彼が率直な感想を書いていますが、このように感じることができるのは大事なことのように思います。

Of course, I knew that such discrimination existed throughout the South. We all knew it. But somehow we had deluded ourselves into believing that the black people around us were happy and satisfied; into thinking that the bad and ugly things were going on somewhere else, happening to other people. There was nothing I could say to Gene. His problem was also mine: as a Texan, a Southerner and an American.
もちろん、そのような差別が南部一帯に存在していたことは知っていた。我々全員が知っていた。だがなぜか我々は思い違いをして自分たちの周りの黒人は幸せで満足していると信じていた。間違った、ひどい出来事はどこか別の場所で、他の人々に対して起きていると考えていたのだ。Geneにかける言葉がなかった。彼の問題は私の問題でもあった。テキサス州出身の者として、南部出身の者として、アメリカ人として。
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