The Reverends Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, while visiting a primary
school class, found themselves in the middle of a discussion related to words and
The teacher asked both men if they would like to lead the discussion of
the word 'tragedy'. So the illustrious Rev Jackson asks the class for an
example of a 'tragedy'.
One little boy stood up and offered: 'If my best friend, who lives on a
farm, is playing in the field and a runaway tractor comes along and knocks
him dead, that would be a tragedy.'
No,' says the Great Jesse Jackson, 'that would be an accident.'
A little girl raised her hand: 'If a school bus carrying 50 children drove
over a cliff, killing everyone inside, that would be a tragedy.'
I'm afraid not,' explains the exalted Reverend Al. 'That's what we would
call a great loss.' The room goes silent. No other children volunteer.
Reverend Al searches the room. 'Isn't there someone here who can give
mean example of a tragedy?'
Finally at the back of the room little Johnny raises his hand. In a stern
voice he says: 'If a plane carrying the Reverends Jackson and Sharpton
were struck by a missile and blown to smithereens that would be a tragedy.'
'Fantastic!' Exclaims Jackson and Sharpton, 'That's right. And can you
tell me why that would be a tragedy?'
'Well,' says little Johnny, 'because it sure as hell wouldn't be a great
loss, and it probably wouldn't be an accident either.'