Two weeks ago, when the election was over, I was in Germany and have to tell you what I read and heard hacked me off.
No, it was not the outcome of the election that made me mad, even though my candidate didn’t get elected; I was fine with the voice of the people. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens now. Putting your campaign promises into the real world takes a lot of doing and I’m anxious to see if the current president elect has what it takes to get the job done for all of us.
What ticked me about the Europeans was the fact that they were gloating over the fact that in their minds after 154 years, the Civil War was finally over. As if it had been going on all these years. Where have these people been?
I think it’s a great testimony to this country to have elected Barack Obama to the highest office in the land. I don’t agree with his philosophy or the concepts he has put forth, but as I said, once reality sets in, we’ll see if everything he has promised will or can come to fruition.
However, having said that it surprises me that the Europeans seem to have a low opinion of us as a country and that somehow we would never be able to elect a minority to the office of President; I don’t see France or Germany rushing to elect anyone who appears to be a minority. In fact all I hear from the folks in those countries is complaining about all of the people moving in from other places.
I grew up in the south in a segregated society. As a kid I remember seeing the signs for different water fountains, restrooms and entrances into movie theaters. I can remember the first time I ever saw a black man sit down in a restaurant and order something to eat. Personally I thought segregation was stupid. The first black person I ever got to know on a first hand basis roomed with me when I was in the Army. It didn’t bother either of us. Both of us drank beer, liked the same kinds of food and music and wanted to go home. Nothing wrong with that in my book.
After I became a plain clothes cop in Houston, Texas I can honestly say we enforced the law equally among all races and weren’t partial to anyone. When you get birthday cards and Christmas cards from people you have put in jail, then you have this feeling in your heart that you must be pretty fair to all concerned. I can remember many Christmas eves when we would round up all of the ladies of the night and turn them loose and tell them to go home and stay off the streets. These were not all white women. My impartially to doing my job led to many a discussion with some of my supervisors who didn’t always agree with our methods of policing. We didn’t care, as far as we were concerned the law was the law, regardless of anyone’s color. I also know that many a police officer was allowed to go into back rooms of black restaurants and eat some of the best barbeque and pork chops I have ever had in my life. We never felt out of place or that we were treated any different from anyone else. It was just the way it was. If you wanted good food, this is what you did.
All of us were just trying to make a living for our families. That’s what this country is all about and how we got here in the first place.
Life isn’t easy and it certainly isn’t fair. I cannot say to someone of another race… “I know how you feel” because I don’t. Being a male Caucasian in this country certainly has had advantages, but do I feel that I am better than others? Not hardly. I also feel that we as a country have made great strides in leveling the playing field for all of our citizens and to make up for injustices made in the past. We have along way to go, but so does the world. We’re not perfect, we’re just humans.
Since countries are comprised of human beings, it seems only natural that they must grow as the country matures. Young nations as well as children make mistakes as we all have in the past. We learn from those mistakes and move forward. Not backward.
Last week, an African American lady in our hometown wrote an article in our local paper expressing her pleasure at having been in a supermarket and having a white cashier smile at her while she was checking out. I felt sad when I read this. Obviously this lady had never met me, I smile at everyone and the majority smile back.
Yes, the war is over, it has been for a long time, we need to move on and show the world that we are a bigger people than they seem to think we are. I don’t think they have been looking as well.
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