Another student, who was then 17 years old and now attending an Ivy League college, said, “I am very used to people – my grandparents or people’s parents – things that are insensitive.” . ” “You correct them, you tell them, ‘You’re not going to talk like this,’ and usually people are very apologetic and responsible for being right. And that wasn’t it.”
Ms. Shepherd said she felt the term was inappropriate, but was hardly the worst thing during the trip, which she documented in a diary, in which she mentioned giving me details. He also had a pity for Mr. McNeill. “There was this atmosphere where people didn’t like him,” she said. “He was like a grumpy old man.”
But Ms. Shepherd wasn’t really connected with the others on the trip, so she wanted to keep them out. A few nights later, following the rise of Machu Picchu, he sat down with Mr. McNeill at a dinner in El Macburg at one of the many fine restaurants in the town of Olentaytambo in the Andes.
In the walk-over, she said, she spoke about her favorite class in Andover, the history of American education, which covered racial discrimination. He replied, remembering, “This is Disappointing, as Blacks continue to blame the American system, but racism is gone, now there is nothing against them – they can get out of the ghetto if they want to. “
Ms. Shepherd said she tried to argue, but whenever she intervened, she spoke to him, her voice getting louder and drawing the attention of other students, two of whom confirmed the conversation. .
“It’s the thing with these liberal institutions like Andover – they teach you that the world should be like that but it’s not reality,” she told him, recalling her. (I sent a full account of Ms. Shepherd’s memories to Mr. McNeill; he said he would not respond publicly until he officially left the Times on March 1. “I’m sure we had a different conversation.” – There will be different memories. Long before that place, “he said in an email.”
Those complaints could have been dismissed as a punishment for entitled teenagers, or as an episode in the aging baby boomer’s Rolling National sitcom trying to reunite with intrepid jumors. There is clearly some truth to both.