Sunday, August 08, 2004

Once upon a time, there was a young man that was drafted into the US Army. He didn't think of people as members of a race but as individuals each different than the other. He had to change his view, not because he didn't still think of people as individuals but because he found out that a lot of the people he considered as individuals actually thought of themselves as members of a group divided by their skin color.

Some of these people thought that they were better because their skin color was lighter than others and some of them thought that everyone with a skin color lighter than their own, owed them something because their ancestors were mistreated.

The young man passed for being "white", but actually his blood was tainted by Indian, (which the PC crowd likes to call Native American), blood, enough to claim membership in the Eastern Band of the Cherokee. And knowing that those Indian ancestors were not particularly put off by race and having a couple of ancient photos of his ancestors; realized that there might be more than a touch of the tar brush in his genetic make up. (That also explained the knappy hair on a couple of his more recent ancestors.)

The young man had several incidents that have perplexed him to this very day.

One was a "Black" friend that expressed a desire to be a dentist but stated that he couldn't become a dentist because he was "Black", (actually he was light brown and other "Blacks" called him 'Spot', because of his suntan). The young man told Spot he should move farther North, away from his home state of Alabama, where it wouldn't be as much of a problem. Spot, told him he just couldn't understand because the young man was "White" and "White" people wouldn't go to a "Black" dentist.

Another incident was on a bus at night and the young man was the only "White" person on board. A strange "Black" person started ranting about how badly his ancestors, and himself, (evidently), had been treated by "White" people and tried to incite other "Blacks" on the bus to murder him. None of the other "Black" people on the bus stood up for the young man although the few that he knew on board averted their eyes and wouldn't look at the young man. Luckily the trip was over quickly and the young man was setting at the front of the bus. He darted off quickly when the bus stopped. The young man was frightened out of his wits.

The young man was not familiar with the concept of the hyphenated American, (i.e. Afro-American, Mexican-American, ect.), and ran afoul of the consequences of his ignorance. If you are unfamiliar with the relationship between the US and Puerto Rico, a short explanation is in order.

Although Puerto Rico is a "Protectorate" of the US and its citizens have automatic US citizenship; all of the Puerto Ricans the young man knew did not consider themselves US citizens and had a disdain for "Americans" in general. That included Mexicans and Cubans but especially "White" Americans for whom they reserved the special title "Angelos".

The young man found himself in the position of an acting platoon sergeant in a training unit where he was responsible for 30 other young men and among them were six Puerto Ricans. Although the young man had a very limited understanding of Spanish, every time he tried to give an order or pass information, an overwhelming chorus of "no comprehende" came from the Puerto Ricans. Fairly sure that the fault wasn't entirely his own he asked the advice of another acting platoon sergeant that he knew spoke Spanish.

"I'm having some trouble from the Puerto Ricans." YM said.
"What about the Mexicans?" The OYM said in a sharp voice.
"What Mexicans?" YM.
"Rodriguez and Olivera." OYM.
"they're both from Texas!" YM.
"%@$**^ Angleo!" OYM, stalking off in a huff.

Come to find out, the other young man, (OYM), was a hyphenated Mexican-American, with a chip on his shoulder.

You might be glad to know that the young man solved the problem by going to a certain Drill Sergeant Guteries, who handled the matter by threatening the Puerto Ricans lives then told the young man to come and see him if he had any more problems.

One day the young man stopped in a grocery store in a "Black" neighborhood. He attempted to get some change to make a rather urgent phone call. He was refused service because he was "White", even though he offered to buy something.

The young man had many other adventures but what is important are the conclusions drawn from them and not the adventures themselves.

1. It isn't important what other people think about the color of your skin or the skin color of your ancestors. The only thing important is how you acquit yourself as a human being and how you treat others.

2. The "White Man" doesn't keep you down. You do that very well without any help from the "White Man".

3. If you accuse someone of being a racist it is the same thing as accusing them of being a pedophile, there is no defense! It is a cheap shot and morally repugnant. There is nothing you can say or do to prove otherwise. The accusation will live on.

4. If you assume that every "White" person you meet is a racist, without a doubt it will be true, (but only in your mind)!

5. Nobody living is responsible for the wrongs done to your ancestors, real or imagined.

6. You are not entitled to damages done to your remote ancestors, they are dead and those damages were done by other dead people.

7. The worse damages to my ancestors happened over one hundred fifty years ago. Even if yours happened a slightly lesser period of time ago.

Get over it!


Bruce said...

Decent post. Welcome to the blogosphere.

Warren said...

Thank you for your kind words.