It was back in the early days of public school desegregation and cross-town busing that a young, dare I say white, couple, living just down the block decided it was time to move out of town. Being as I am a bit of a logophile, while writing on this topic I wondered about the difference between integration and desegregation. I suppose it is a question of sincerity of purpose. On one hand desegregation is but the numerical dissolution of a legal barrier. On the other hand integration is the effort put forth to fit the disparate parts harmoniously together. It’s like the difference between “allow” and “do”. At any rate . . . .
As people often do when they move, they sorted out and discarded such things as they felt they were no longer in need of or those things they no longer valued. While strolling down the alley behind their residence a few days before their big move I noticed great piles of cast-offs next to the garbage cans.
Glancing down at the contents of an open cardboard box I spotted an old toy train set. It was an American Flyer train set. Nice guy that I am, I immediately sent Mr. Niceguy to rap on the door. Mrs. Whitecouple answered and I told her to take that cardboard box back in the house and advised her further to consult with experts as to the current collectable value of an American Flyer train set.
A few days later Mrs. Whitecouple informed Mr. Niceguy that she’d sold the train set for $2000.00.
This is not an essay about a single American Flyer. Nor is it about a single white couple fleeing racial desegregation. This is about all you American fliers. Today every great city in the United States has a white ring around it. Instead of solving a problem you fled. Fleeing a problem is not solving a problem. It never has solved a problem and it never will.
You are the American Flyer