I was shopping last week when I came across a lovely old white couple who looked as if they were trying to find a side entrance to a local mall. I stopped and asked them if I could be of assistance. As it turned out, they already knew how to get into the mall from where we were, but they were clearly delighted that somebody, somebody white, had offered to lend them a hand. They didn't come right out and say that they were glad a white bloke had come to their aid, but I could read it in their eyes and in their smiles. We had that instant rapport that only persons of the same race and same spirit can have.

We chatted briefly about how much the shopping center had changed over the years -- for the worst mostly -- and how years of legal-wrangling had left a huge patchwork of old concrete slabs and dust across the road as a permanent eyesore which the shire council in all its wisdom had rechristened a parking lot. Eager to swing the conversation in a bigoted direction, I voiced my discontent at the Moorish invasion of the area. The old man grinned and nodded, making a passing comment in agreement, and the old lady just smiled politely. Realizing that this was as far as the conversation about race would travel, I said "God bless you" and went about my business. Although I was disappointed that we'd barely discussed the ethnic fragmentation of our burb, the few short minutes I'd spent with them was nothing like a total loss. It was great just talking to some Israelites who were strangers to me no more.

Which kind of brings me to subject of this article.