Leonard Pitts Jr: Paradox of blacks' sacrifice
I agree with 95% of Mr. Pitts' comments - about the PAST.
Indeed the Black American has been willing to serve his country abroad and was spat upon when he returned home.
Unlike Mr Pitts I will not harp on the past as some sort of "self-chumming" exercise that is sure to get a rise out of most Blacks who read the words. Let's instead distill the underlying message that Mr Pitts is attempting to make.
The Black man is patriotic.
The Black man is willing to give to this nation as he shows that we are an integral part of it.
The Black man only seeks reciprocity from this nation that he is willing to die for.
Mr Pitts touches on the politics of the modern day by bringing in the comments made by Michelle Obama: (paraphrase) "For the first time I am proud of my country". These words were used by her political enemies against her.
Excuse me Mr Pitts - What else is new?
What you NEED to focus upon is the paradox between the suppression of military enlistment from 2001 through 2005 - up to the Hurricane Katrina episode. Those same people who told young Black men and women "Don't sign up for the US military only to be killed in Iraq or Afghanistan" were the same people making the case that the Louisiana National Guard was undermanned because they were in Iraq.
What they were not willing to make note of was that the thousands of young males (in particular) who were left behind in the wake of the hurricane had no attachment to and no training by a government service agency through which service could be provided to the community where there was great need.
No one noted that the very same helicopter pilot who was called a "Baby Killer" for his work in Iraq was also piloting the helicopter that rescued thousands of people in the Lower 9th Ward - YES days before General Honeree' came into town on Friday.
We don't even need to focus on the military though. Let's talk about the relationship between Blacks and the Police. If there was ever a time for a "racial take over" of an institution then the police forces in the Black community is one of those. In the popular tale the "White Police Man is part of an occupying force within the Black community" today. If you listen to certain radio programs you'd swear that the police man does more crime in the Black community than do the Street Pirates.
What we have is a situation where the reluctance to serve where there is a great need affords some the continued opportunity to grieve and merely TALK. As long as these police forces continue to be made up of majority White males - the notions that they are foreign invaders who's cultural background is not in line with the people that they are charged to "serve".
If there was ever a time to HAVE OUR HISTORY STOLEN it would be the time period that Mr Pitts and others like to harp upon: THE SLAVERY/JIM CROW PAST. It is not that I am seeking to deny the truth about this history - it is only it is clear that those who are expert historians are more often than not VISIONLESS about the future. Their main flaw is that they work to take the masses toward a future by drawing on the grievances of the past. Few of these abuses can they point out TODAY. No evidence of radical change and independence can be detected by their present actions or words. In following them - the future is bound to look strangely like this past that they are expert in.