mountainecho.com

October 14, 2013

Editorial

Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 4:47 pm

I spent over three of my four years in the U.S. Marines in a helicopter squadron in North Carolina. It was pre-Vietnam and our major contributions, besides picking astronauts like John Glenn and their space capsules out of the ocean, was flying U.S. Marshals into Selma, Alabama and other southern cities during the civil rights movement.
One of my best friends was black at the time and equality of any kind in the military was less than 10 years old. It was non- existent off base. My friend and I traveled to Maine to go to Cold Weather Survival School. We couldn’t ride together on the train, drink out of the same drinking fountain, use the same restroom or eat together in the dining car until we reached New York City.
Those were the days of black porters, black janitors, black maids, custodians, etc. It was the days when artists like Lena Horne and Sammy Davis Junior, had to enter hotels in Las Vegas through the back door and blacks were non-existent or rare in sports. It was also a time when an Indian couldn’t play an Indian in a western movie, Charlie Chan was played by a white guy and so forth.
That was over 50 years ago and I have been proud of the progress the various ethnic groups, have made in reaching equality. Then the Martin Luther King Day came around this year and we were treated to a diatribe by a number of black leaders, one of the more prominent ones couldn’t have been more that an infant during the civil rights movement, if he was even born. They ranted and raved about how little progress had been made in equality for the blacks.
That kind of put a burr under my saddle. The president of the United States is partially black. The mayors of several major cities are black. There is a black Supreme Court Justice, There was a black Chief of Staff of the Armed Services, two black secretaries of state, and a number of past and present major national, regional and state politicians who are black. There are a number of leading doctors, scientists, artists, athletes, teachers, attorneys and journalists etc. who are black or of other ethnic backgrounds. You can’t watch television for very long without seeing a number of black, Indian, Oriental, Hispanic actors in roles, commercials or highly respected spots on news programs. Turn on HGTV and you’ll see black couples, mixed race couples, a variety of other race couples or gay couples buying high-end homes and fixing up big homes costing in the hundreds of thousands just like “white” people.
I have no problem with that. What I have a problem with is leadership pandering to an issue that in reality is no worse for any of them now than it is for the rest of us.
Every one of us has been discriminated against, on occasion being discriminated against now and will be discriminated against for the rest of our lives. That is life.
Politicians, born and raised with silver spoons in their mouths who are so intent on stirring the pot simply to see what kind of publicity they can get, need to get a life and spend time taking care of real issues like trying to get something done that will benefit the American people rather than just themselves.

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