Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Seeing the Big Picture

That's something that we in America apparently don't like doing. It takes too long, it takes too much work, and it takes way too much thinking.

And that's probably why the following biographical description hasn't gotten the wide distribution that it deserves. Of course the MSM/SCLM isn't helping any, since it doesn't fit into the already-established meme about the man's character.

Factor military duty into criticism

By Lawrence Korb and Ian Moss

April 3, 2008

In 1961, a young African-American man, after hearing President John F. Kennedy's challenge to, "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country," gave up his student deferment, left college in Virginia and voluntarily joined the Marines.

In 1963, this man, having completed his two years of service in the Marines, volunteered again to become a Navy corpsman. (They provide medical assistance to the Marines as well as to Navy personnel.)

The man did so well in corpsman school that he was the valedictorian and became a cardiopulmonary technician. Not surprisingly, he was assigned to the Navy's premier medical facility, Bethesda Naval Hospital, as a member of the commander in chief's medical team, and helped care for President Lyndon B. Johnson after his 1966 surgery. For his service on the team, which he left in 1967, the White House awarded him three letters of commendation.

What is even more remarkable is that this man entered the Marines and Navy not many years after the two branches began to become integrated.

While this young man was serving six years on active duty, Vice President Dick Cheney, who was born the same year as the Marine/sailor, received five deferments, four for being an undergraduate and graduate student and one for being a prospective father. Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, both five years younger than the African-American youth, used their student deferments to stay in college until 1968. Both then avoided going on active duty through family connections.

Who is the real patriot? The young man who interrupted his studies to serve his country for six years or our three political leaders who beat the system? Are the patriots the people who actually sacrifice something or those who merely talk about their love of the country?

After leaving the service of his country, the young African-American finished his final year of college, entered the seminary, was ordained as a minister, and eventually became pastor of a large church in one of America's biggest cities.

This man is Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the retiring pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, who has been in the news for comments he made over the last three decades.

Since these comments became public we have heard criticisms, condemnations, denouncements and rejections of his comments and him.

We've seen on television, in a seemingly endless loop, sound bites of a select few of Rev. Wright's many sermons.

Some of the Wright's comments are inexcusable and inappropriate and should be condemned, but in calling him "unpatriotic," let us not forget that this is a man who gave up six of the most productive years of his life to serve his country.

How many of Wright's detractors, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly to name but a few, volunteered for service, and did so under the often tumultuous circumstances of a newly integrated armed forces and a society in the midst of a civil rights struggle? Not many.

While words do count, so do actions.

Let us not forget that, for whatever Rev. Wright may have said over the last 30 years, he has demonstrated his patriotism.
Whatever else you want to say, I think Wright has earned the right to criticize this country, and for the assholes on the right, aided and abetted by the media, to take a few phrases out of a lifetime of sermons and use them against him stinks of demagoguery of the first water.

Wright's service to his country just doesn't fit into the meme of the violent anti-American Black separatist that the wingnuttery and the MSM/SCLM took great pains to paint him into.

But, in the big picture, that doesn't matter. The vast majority of the members of the Moron-American voting bloc, the prime target audience for this crap, just doesn't want to be confused with facts.

4 Comments:

Pepsiholic said...

Didn't Benedict Arnold also serve his country at one time before turning against it?

Does a "real patriot" accuse his government of spreading the Aids virus just to decimate the black community? And yes, I know about the Tuskegee incident, I can counter that and say that we also tested the military with radiation experiments.

And Farns... I read this exact same letter in the Chicago Times back on April 3rd. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/chi-oped0404wrightapr03,0,92000.story

Anonymous said...

And...?

Another Vietnam Veteran said...

"The vast majority of the members of the Moron-American voting bloc, the prime target audience for this crap, just doesn't want to be confused with facts..."
As is in evidence here.
Yes, you, peps.

Anonymous said...

Jeremiah was (W)right. And the n experimentors who subjected those GI's to radiation were the REAL traitors.