I was very happy with the spring (2010) issue of WIN magazine, and I was not familiar with Dennis Brutus. Because of the fine tribute that was written I went out and purchased his book Poetry and Protest. Enclosed are my dues and signed statement of support. Can we hope that George W. Bush will ever be tried for starting his unnecessary war?
Richard N. Douglass
Racism and the Military
Although I have not been a member of the military or neither an expert of attitudes of the military, I do think the recruitment process is swayed horribly in favor of whites and against people of color. I am old enough to remember Vietnam and as my number was very high, (I believe one number lower the President Clinton's), I was not drafted. When the list of rolls called for the missing and the dead, I saw a long line of Hispanic names as well as whites, blacks and Asians. Still, proportionately, I have seem many minorities of Hispanic descent.
Today, we are in a volunteer situation and the draft is no longer the mode of recruitment. This has made the situation further away from the public and less personalized. But while the minorities of Hispanic and blacks and other poor have fewer choices, they are compelled through recruiters in shopping centers and malls to join the military. I find it a sad prophecy to see that the omission of the draft has probably made things worse.
There is another program that President Obama has just endorsed. It has something to do with the American Dream of individuals of Hispanic descent that were not naturalized in the US, but have lived in the US for most of their lives. In essence, they are American in every sense of the word, but not legally. The Pentagon had created this program to continue the use of Hispanics in the military and take advantage of the use of minorities.
As many of my kind fought in WW2, they had no choice in either fighting or not. If they answered no, no to two questions, the boarded a train to the camps with other like minded Japanese. If you said yes, yes, to the two questions, you were sent off to be trained to fight in the front lines of Italy, France and eventually to Germany. They ended up with the highest wounded and the most purple hearts. It is no different during WW2, Korea, Vietnam, or in Iraq and Afghanistan. War is hell and minorities seem to be the expendible. We see it happen and sadly, wars are made by the elite and their propaganda keep the machinery of war for their purpose!