From the New York Times:
Two Lessons in Prejudice
By SAÏD SAYRAFIEZADEH AUG. 26, 2017
What I know of rural white America mostly begins and ends with the three times I went at the age of 8 to visit a friend’s farm in Butler County, Pa., about an hour north of Pittsburgh, where I grew up. I recall vast farmland, ample sunshine and no black people — or Hispanics or Jews, or for that matter, half-Iranian, half-Jewish people like me. There was, however, my friend’s father, who found it amusing to make fun of my name over dinner, coming up with a wide variety of ways to mispronounce it each time. I did my best to politely correct him each time, until it finally became apparent to me that I was participating in a game in which there was no chance of winning, and I ran from the table and out of the house and cried among the farmland.
Okay … “cried among the farmland.” … Possible alternatives:
“cried among the crops.”
“sobbed among the succotash.”
“blubbered all over the beets.”
“sniveled about the terrain.”
“eyeless in Gaza.”
It is, of course, unfair to judge an entire county with a population of almost 200,000 on the behavior of one man 40 years ago, but I hope you can understand my disbelief when on a dark night last November, I watched on television as Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign tried to assure her supporters that little Butler County was going to come through for her in the 11th hour and overtake Donald Trump’s lead in Pennsylvania, and by extension the Electoral College. Now, I thought, is as good a time as any to turn off the television and go bury my head under the pillow.
I’ve read countless such essays in recent years. Is there a name yet for this genre?
Update: Interestingly, Saïd Sayrafiezadeh isn’t actually an immigrant. He was born in Brooklyn to a pair of Trotskyites. His Iranian communist father left when he was an infant, and he was raised by his Jewish-American mother. His mother’s brother, the prolific novelist Mark Harris (born Mark Harris Finkelstein), was best known for the 1956 baseball novel Bang the Drum Slowly, which provided Robert De Niro with his breakout role as a dying catcher in the 1973 movie adaptation.
So, Saïd Sayrafiezadeh is basically a Jewish guy from New York who has followed his uncle into the writing biz. But instead of being, say, Sid Finkelstein, he has an unpronounceable name, so that gives him more Pokemon Points in the Diversity Racket and makes him relevant.