George W. Bush: Final Gifts

Lasting Impressions  bush-blair.jpg

The departing administration’s list of presidential  gifts from foreigners is itself a delight, revealing some gifters’ self images, or at least how they’d like to be seen.

Famed Bush poodle Tony Blair presented the President with a classic dog whistle, a Wedgwood bowl inscribed with the words ‘‘Am I Not a Man and a Brother?’.’  This was a slogan of the 18th Century British abolitionist movement organized by Christian evangelical heartthrob William Wilberforce, engraved by Wedgwood at the time on bowls. medallions and tchotskies to promote the cause.

It’s an almost too perfect replication of the two men’s publicly presented self image, believing Christians setting out to do right in the world for the benighted swarthies, a reminder of sunlit days when caring whites could run the abolitionist movement before all those colored people got involved.

Bonus Fun Fact:  Wedgwood ended the year filing for bankruptcy.


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