My son and his fiancee came back from a cruise with plenty of stories -- and a new sense of alarm. With them at their table in the 8 p.m. seating was a family from an adjoining southern state. On the surface they seemed nice enough, but the fireworks began when the ship docked first in Haiti, then in Jamaica. The racist comments Son and Fiancee had to hear -- and argue back -- would curdle your blood. In fact, for the first time ever they heard a word I've only seen in books -- jigaboo. My son said it took him a few minutes to figure it out.
At one point he told the younger member of the family that he was Hispanic, which took the dinnermates by surprise. (His fiancee is blond, blue-eyed Irish American.) That didn't seem to take the wind out of their sails, though.
"I can't believe there are still people like that," he told me.
Sorry to say: Believe, believe.