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Culture

Don’t Compare Stephen Miller To Pig-Pen!

In an October 10 article in the Hollywood Reporter, Stephen Miller’s former third-grade teacher from Franklin Elementary School compared Trump’s Senior Advisor to the beloved “Peanuts” character Pig-Pen.

How dare she?

“Do you remember that character in ‘Peanuts,’ the one called Pig Pen (sic), with the dust cloud and crumbs flying all around him?” Miller’s onetime teacher, Nikki Fisk asked. “That was Stephen Miller at 8. I was always trying to get him to clean up his desk — he always had stuff mashed up in there.”

This is nothing short of character assassination — and of a child no less! Pig-Pen deserves better.

Stephen Miller is a xenophobic, chest-beating, neo-nationalist who does harm to our national security and moral fabric every day. What is Pig-Pen’s crime? Being good at whaling on the upright bass or thrashing on the drums with Schroeder’s band? Good at music!

Ok, let’s say it’s hygiene. Filth clings to Pig-Pen, but it’s not for lack of trying. Since Charles Schulz first introduced Pig (we’re tight like that) in 1954, the boy has demonstrated a preternatural inability to stay clean. Kinda like those human magnets that can attach spoons to their always-sweaty skin, Pig can’t quite shake off the grime. Is he proud of it? Sure, because he accepts himself for who he is and what he can’t change. Admirable! To be celebrated!

Stephen Miller clearly hasn’t accepted himself; otherwise he would be able, as the descendant of refugees, to spot the philosophical inconsistency of him striving to shut asylum-seekers out of the country. By contrast, Pig-Pen trumpets his own connection to history, claiming his perennial dirt tumbleweed is the dust of ancient civilizations. Cultured!

In the Hollywood Reporter piece, Fisk also refers to the young Miller as “a loner and isolated and off by himself all the time.” The same cannot be said of Pig who, while not accepted by all his peers, is often included in their activities, enjoys their company, has a sometimes love interest in Peppermint Patty and a staunch ally in one Charlie “Chuck” Brown, who, in his defense, invokes the great culture Pig carries along with his pet schmutz.

“Think of it as the dirt and dust of far-off lands blowing over here and settling on Pig-Pen!” Brown said in a comic strip from November 27, 1959. “It staggers the imagination! He may be carrying the soil that was trod upon by Solomon or Nebuchadnezzar or Genghis Khan!”

Miller, who laughably dismissed the Emma Lazarus poem at the base of the Statue of Liberty as having been “added later,” would object to the intrusion of such invasive, foreign dirt spilling over our borders on the person of Pig. Pig: Friend to the Immigrant!

And finally Miller’s former teacher reports that he ate glue. There is no evidence in Pig-Pen’s over 64 years in grade school of him ever doing something that disgusting.

PJ Grisar is the Forward’s culture intern. He can be reached at [email protected]

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