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                                                         "Just Kidding"

On March 29, 1930 publication of "Conversation with a Russian." The New Yorker.

The setting was a dance, and two young men were left alone.

Constantin  "... was a dark boy, and you could tell by his sullen eyes and generally Slavic look that he was a Russian. He was quite sober." He had come to America after the 1917 revolution. He was one of the White Russians, those who had Czarist sympathies.

Ned "... had that clean and stupid countenance that the regular life of college give to those who live it. The American chose to be insolent."

"I'm going to call you Savage, because I can't remember the first part of your name."

"...That's why you're so glum all the time, eh? You got put out of Russia by the Reds."

"Why it's part of your charm, you Russians being glum all the time."

"You Russians, that came over, you have good jobs, make a lot of American gold, so what have you to kick about?"

"Blah! Savage, the trouble with you is you get a taste of American gold and it's too much for you."

One of the girls who'd been dancing rejoined the party: "Don't mind Ned, Constantin, he's an awful kidder."

I can't find any words better than these of the twenty-five year old John O'Hara that describe 1930 American prejudice against "the other."

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