Saturday, November 07, 2009

Words May Hurt, But The Will Has To Be Stronger

Discrimination, stupidity, bigotry. I've been at the receiving end of all three, but taking the path of a killer wasn't an option.

Japanese Americans faced all three, plus lost their livelihoods, homes, and dignity during World War II. They became much decorated war heroes, and later became some of the most successful professionals in a single generation. Asian Americans served in Korea and Vietnam --also with distinction, and no doubt they heard numerous slurs as well. They too went on to greater success after the wars. Americans of Middle Eastern descent have served in the armed forces through all of the wars, including these. They too have heard the insolent ignorant utterances of a few --but also didn't take the path of the killer at Fort Hood. They've served, doing good for the country they love.

Every person I know of has faced discrimination of some kind for one reason or another. Often, it's been the most pernicious --officially sanctioned by a system of antiquated rules. Many have been without resources to fight it.

The tragedy this past week wasn't a case of a person whose life or livelihood was ruined by systematic discrimination. Rather, he was someone who very much made a decision to play for the other team. The real question is why he was retained after a series of poor reviews during his internship. The Army should have called it a wash, stopped their losses and like any other medical internship and residency in the United States, let him go right then.

For the media --who keeps harping on discrimination, you besmirch generations of those who came before him, rose above it and served with honor and distinction. You tarnish the reputations of others who have worked hard to guard against it. There are times when my bullshit meter goes off, and this is one of them.

Condolences to all at Fort Hood.

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