It was the first day of school and a new student, the son of a Japanese businessman, entered the fourth grade. the teacher greeted the class and said, “Let’s begin by reviewing some American history. Who said ‘Give me Liberty, or give me death?'”
She saw only a sea of blank faces, except for that of Toshiba, who had his hand up. “Patrick Henry, 1775,” said the boy.
“Now,” said the teacher, “Who said ‘Government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth?'”
Again, no response except from Toshiba: “Abraham Lincoln, 1863.”
The teacher snapped at the class, “You should be ashamed. Toshiba, who is new to our country, knows more about it than you do.”
As she turned to write something on the blackboard, she heard a loud whisper: “Damned Japanese.”
“Who said that?” she demanded.
Toshiba put his hand up. “Lee Iacocca, 1982,” he said.