Sunday, July 8, 2007

There was a time when...

The American Southwest is not my natural habitat. Farm county on the Indiana and Ohio line used to be home when life was fun, simple and not too expensive. I dropped out of college and joined the Army in the early 60's and was sent to Kentucky then to Georgia. That was a time of awakening. During basic in Kentucky there was only one maybe two weekend passes but in AIT in Georgia we had more weekend free time and could go into town. I never realized how naive I was until I took that first bus into Augusta and had to sit in the back with my black friends. Looking to the front I remember folks looking back at me with that what are you doing back there look? I stayed in Georgia after my class had gotten their assignments as I had been accepted to OCS and was waiting for a class. On my way home for Christmas that year I took a train north with a bunch of college kids from a local black college. We had to sit in the aisles until we got farther north. Later after lots of water under the bridge and as a young Captain I was back in Georgia the North Carolina and the bus situation had changed but the brutality remained. Often I would have to go into town to get my guys out of jail and more often than not men of color were usually pretty well bruised. God help you if you were mixed anything with Anglo. Now I see Mexicans going being put through much of the same brutalization.
The same fear show in a lot of the dark eyes of young and old. They came here on their own chasing a dream that really was not available to them. They just did not know that. Unlike the slaves brought here from Africa against their will the Mexican continues to brave the brutal desert heat to come here to surrender themselves as service slaves of cheap wages. I have heard it said by some that the southwest belongs to them since it was stolen by the United States. We did pay Mexico for the property but I think there still exists some sellers remorse. I hear many say they don't go out after dark why I ask. No papers they say and its not worth losing the low paying job and being deported. There is still family depending on the earnings sent back to Mexico. Sometimes I just want to go back north and not have to deal with this negative mind set where our immigration issue appears to be couched. For all the great minds that we supposedly elect into office no one can put together a legislation that will be acceptable. Now maybe we should ask how is this possible unless we want to shut our borders and to isolationism. That will last about as long as it takes the sequestered terrorist cells to surface and wreck havoc on our home front but at the moment we are so stretched on troop strength that we could only hold out so long but would anyone come to our assistance? The new PM would he help. No way to know. So we gamble. Gamble that America' fighting men and women will help this great country prevail. Young Patriots on the street fighting the bad guys? Doubtful. Just a bunch of old guys that fought a past war or two in a holding action. One thing about an American fighting man once he/she makes the decision to lay their life on the line for God and country that commitment is there for life. I don't know what to make of all this immigration hype. It makes sense to close our border. Don't know that we can count on Mexico to warn us of anything were to be directed toward us. Securing the border is being responsible to the American public. Keeping the fighting fixed where it is now is also being responsible. Do we really have anyone in the wings that can do the job? How can Americans be made to realize that not since FDR' time has it been so important that we choose the right person.

No comments: