VICTIMOLOGY, BY THE #'S
It is the year 2001.
"Hello. This is the headquarters of the American Civil Liberties Union. We are here
to help safegaurd your constitutional rights. Please listen carefully to the following
choices and then press the appropriate button on your digital telephone. One of our
attorneys will be with you shortly." "If you are a welfare recipient who has
been denied benefits, press one." "If you have heard any references to religion
in the public schools, press two." "If you are a girl who has not been allowed
to play on a boy's athletic team, press three." "If you are a defendant in a
criminal case and have had an unhappy childhood, press four." "If you are a
student who does not want to follow the dress code at your school, press five"
"If you have AIDS and don't think that the government has done enough for your
benefit, press six." "If you are a member of any racial, ethnic, or cultural
minority whose demands have not been met, press seven." BEEP. "Thank you for
indicating that you are a member of a racial, ethnic, or cultural minority." "We
at the ACLU believe in diversity and are on your side. Our attorneys are here to fight
injustices in our racist society. Please select from the following menu of choices."
"If you've been fired by a non-minority supervisor, press one." "If you've
been fired by a minority supervisor, press two." "If your application for a bank
loan was disapproved, press three." "If you were given a traffic ticket by a
policeman who seemed to be irritated with you, press four." "If you overheard an
ethnic joke, press five." "If you were the first person your employer asked to
play on the company's basketball team, press six." "If you were the last person
to be invited to join the company's chess team, press seven." "All other
injustices, press eight." BEEP "Thank you for indicating that you are a minority
woman. That makes you doubly discriminated against. Our attorneys will be able to sue
under twice as many laws for twice as much money. By all means stay on the line, and
someone will be with you shortly. In the meantime, we will play some music of a
non-religious nature, with no military beat, and selected with sensitivity to all minority
cultural heritages." (Music:"I am woman.") "Hello, welcome to the
American Civil Liberties Union. My name is Forrest Sherwood and I will be your attorney.
What is your name please?" Silence. "Will you please give me your name?"
"Oh, I'm sorry. I was waiting to hear when to press the buttons." "No this
is live now." "Well my name is Mary Wu." "Ah, an Asian-American. We
don't get many of those. What injustice did you suffer?" "Well, none
actually." "No injustice? In this racist society?" "Nothing that I
would consider an injustice." "Are you sure you have the right number? This is
the ACLU." "I know. One of your employees dropped her purse in a parking lot and
drove off before I could tell her. So I am calling to find out how I can return it."