The Ant, the Grasshopper, and Civil Rights

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The Classic Version

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he’s a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the ant is warm and well fed. The grasshopper has no food or shelter, so he dies out in the cold.

The Modern Version

The ant works hard in the withering heat all summer long, building his house and laying up supplies for the winter. The grasshopper thinks he’s a fool and laughs and dances and plays the summer away. Come winter, the shivering grasshopper calls a press conference and demands to know why the ant should be allowed to be warm and well fed while others are cold and starving. CBS, CNN, NBC, and ABC show up to provide pictures of the shivering grasshopper next to video of the ant in his comfortable home with a table filled with food.

America and the world are stunned by the sharp contrast. How can it be that, in a country of such wealth, this poor grasshopper is allowed to suffer so? Then a representative of the NAAGB (National Association for the Advancement of Green Bugs) shows up on Nightline and charges the ant with racism, making the case that the grasshopper is the victim of 30 million years of greenism. Kermit the Frog appears on Oprah with the grasshopper, and everybody cries when he sings “It’s Not Easy Being Green.”

Bill and Hillary Clinton make a special guest appearance on the CBS Evening News to tell a concerned Dan Rather that they will do everything they can for the grasshopper who has been denied the prosperity he deserves. The ant has gotten rich off the back of the grasshopper, and they call for an immediate tax hike on the ant to make him pay his “fair share.”

Finally, the EEOC drafts the “Economic Equity and Anti-Greenism Act.” Retroactive to the beginning of the summer, the ant was fined for failing to hire a proportionate number of green bugs and, having nothing left to pay his retroactive taxes, his home is confiscated by the government.

The story ends as we see the grasshopper finishing up the last bits of the ant’s food while the government house he’s in, which just happens to be the ant’s old house, crumbles around him since he doesn’t know how to maintain it. The ant has disappeared in the snow. And on the TV, which the grasshopper bought by selling most of the ant’s food, they are showing the Clintons standing before a wildly applauding group of grasshoppers announcing that a new era of “fairness” has dawned in America.

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