I don't know how other people have been reacting, but I've been very disturbed all summer that former president Richard Nixon couldn't find an apartment in New York City.
It's not as if he didn't have the money to buy one, or the wherewithal to keep up the monthly payments. But there seemed to be a conspiracy amongst Manhattan apartment owners to keep him out of the neighborhood.
If anyone had a case of being discriminated against it was Mr. Nixon, and if it had been me I would have gone to my nearest Fair Housing Commission office and made a complaint.
"Hello, my name is Richard Nixon and I wish to lodge a complaint because no one in Manhattan will sell me a place to live."
"Please sit down. I'd like to get some information. What is your occupation?"
"I'm retired. I used to be President of the United States."
"Any criminal record?"
"No. Here's my pardon. It was signed by President Ford. I have never been convicted of any crimes, nor can I be in the future."
"Do you know anyone who has been convicted of any crimes?"
"A number of my staff were, but they're all out now."
"Do you consort with any of them?"
"Very few. Most of them don't talk to me any more."
"Could you give me the names of three references who will attest to your good character?"
"My wife, Pat, and my daughters, Julie and Tricia."
"We would prefer people who aren't related."
"Let's see. Mao Tse-tung. He always spoke highly of me."
"Could you give me the name of someone who is still alive?"
"Uh, uh, let me think. John Dean? No, you better not call him. John Ehrlichman? I don't think so. Haldeman? No. Do I have to give you the references now?"
"No, you can go home and think about it. Now according to your complaint you say no one will sell or rent you an apartment in Manhattan. Do you have any reason to suspect why they won't?"
"I know what they think of me and they have a right to think that way if they want to. But let me just say this. I made mistakes, but they were of the heart. I should have been tougher. I just trusted too many people and they gave me the sword."
"I'm sorry, but I don't seem to be following you. Who is 'they'?"
"It's all in my book. I'll send you an autographed copy."
"That would help."
"After you read it will you find me an apartment?"
"There seems to be a problem here. You apparently have not been discriminated against because of your race."
"I am from California."
"Or your religion?"
"A lot of people in New York don't like Quakers."
"Or your sex. It seems the only reason they won't rent to you is because you are a former President of the United States. We've never had this type of case before. I think the best thing for you to do is take it to court and see what the judge says."
"Does that mean I'd have to testify under oath?"
"I'm afraid so."
"Let's forget the whole thing. I'd rather live in Brooklyn."