I do not know about you, but when someone uses an ethnic stereotype or any other stereotype, I wonder if we as a group of creatures known as human beings will ever learn to trust one another. Warfare has been the primary method of eliminating anyone who is different from us whether it is their religion, tribe, color of skin or any other excuse. During my lifetime, I have lived through World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Cold War, ethnic cleansing in what was once Yugoslavia, and presently the war in Afganistan, and Iraq. We currently have two Presidential Candidates who have radically different ideas on how to end these wars. One thinks winning the war with honor is important, but we got into the last war in Iraq, dishonorably so how can be get out of the war honorably? One candidate, John McCain, stated on Larry King’s show about three years ago that we should not have a draft because we were not well served by draftees, but he must have forgotten or never knew that most of the enlistees in World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War were enlistees only after they got their draft notices and then signed up for the branch of service of their choice to escape being assigned to a branch not to their liking, the infantry, for example. I wrote to John McCain, after that interview with Larry King, and asked him how he came to that conclusion, since his way was paid for by taxpayer money at the Naval Academy. It was only by chance that he was shot down and spent five years in Hanoi Hilton as a prisoner of war. He might have been killed, just as the enlistee or the draftee, could have been killed, and if they were killed then dead is dead. A bullet or a bomb does not stop and seek out only the draftee.
In my family, my father served in the Navy in World War I, a Greek brother-in-law, served in the Army Air Corp in World War II, a Hispanic brother-in-law served in the Korean War and the Vietnam War, was a DI in the Marine Corp, and was sent to Texas to tell the the Spanish Speaking residents that their son had been killed in action. I had a cousin of Scottish descent who was a Naval Academy graduate and served on board a ship in World War II. No one cared or asked their ethnic, political, or religious background before, during, or after the wars they served in. No one asked how they happened to be serving in the military or how it happened that someone they knew either never served or never served in combat. In my case, I served in the National Guard and later in the US Army in a Helicopter Company. I served honorably, had only one three day pass, primarily because I had several jobs I performed, and yes I was a draftee. I got a deferment to finish college, which meant that I would get drafted once I finished college, and I served honorably and well even though I was a draftee.
John McClain was asked if he resented the treatment he received from George Bush in the 2000 campaign, because Bush lied about him in that campaign. He told Larry King that he forgave Bush because every politician lies and cheats during an election. So are we well served by a graduate of the Naval Academy, who is not supposed to lie or cheat, yet decides it is the correct thing to do when running for and is elected to a public office such as as the United States Senate? What happens when his opponent is of mixed race, white and black? If you come to think of it, my family is certainly mixed. Both sides of my family came from Scotland to the Colonies to escape persecution by the English. But the British Isles were constantly being invaded throughout their history so they were certainly not ethnically pure. We have found out recently that President Thomas Jefferson supposedly had a black mistress, although later reports point to his uncle as the one who had a black mistress, not Jefferson. He happens to be a relative of mine. In fact, at one time, many of my relatives were large land owners in what later became the Southern States. Many of these relatives had slaves at one time when the rum, slave and cotton trade became profitable. I am very certain that some of my slave owning relatives had black mistresses. There are certainly a good number of U.S. citizens who have my last name as their last name. The same is true of my wife, who is also a distant relative of mine. She thinks her paternal grandmother was probably part Choctaw Indian. My fraternal grandmother was part Cherokee Indian. So I have trouble keeping my ethnicity pure, and I have trouble knowing which ethnic group to hate. Maybe I should just accept all ethnic groups as deserving of respect.
General Colin Powell commented that even if Barack Obama were Muslim rather than Christian, which he is not, would that along with his Black and White heritage, make him unfit to become President of the United States? He had just read about a Muslim Soldier who had served honorably in Iraq and had been killed in the line of duty. His parents are U.S. citizens and certainly were grieving for him as would any parents regardless of their race or ethnicity. I hope we are ready for Presidents of many different backgrounds. This nation was founded upon the principles of religious freedom and civil freedom if I remember correctly.
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