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July 4, 2020

Worthy to Print Column: I had an epiphany

By George Worthy, Gonzales Columnist

Have you noticed that we have a bunch of folks that have too much time on their hands? It wouldn’t be so bad if they used this extra time to do something good, but they seem hell-bent to destroy neighborhoods. By the way, they aren’t all young and innocent. I saw a bunch of folks that should have their picture in the post office. I’m sure you must have seen them on the six o’clock news. I watched for a while, but it was just so heartbreaking that I quit watching.

It was terrible enough when we got hit with China’s latest virus. We were told to stay in our house and if we needed food or fuel, we have to wear a mask to go out. Meanwhile these hooligans have chosen this fragile time in the history of America to tear down all semblance of history in America. Their theory is to destroy systemic racism in the United States. I’m pretty sure that’s what they are demonstrating for. They say that’s what they are demonstrating for, but they seem to forget that as the sun goes down. Then their objective seems to be how many pairs of Nike shoes they can steal or how many businesses they can destroy.

I wish I could say there is no systemic racism in our country, but I spent a lot of time in the South when I was assigned to my first duty station. There are a lot of folks that don’t believe the Civil War is over. This group seems to have no reasonable method of erasing this malady in our country. It seems they have other thoughts about what they are doing. They have destroyed so many businesses that it’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to open in the same spot. You can see them laughing as they kick in another window and just flat steal anything that’s not nailed down and they might be stealing the nails at that.

I watched it as long as I could. Now I decline to watch when some talking head who has no brains at all tells us what is going on. I cannot understand how the politicians sit around complaining about their behavior and do nothing to inhibit the theft of our culture. I have to admit that anything that can harm the fabric of the United States is painful to me. However, it was just a few years ago we were involved in the only war the United States has ever lost. It wasn’t that we were losing that dustup that brought hundreds of thousands of peaceful protestors out on the street. It was the lies the politicians told about how there was a light at the end of the tunnel.

A lot of the antiwar demonstrators were violent then too, but not to the point they were lining up to sack another store or pull down another statue. The antiwar demonstrators had another reason to demonstrate: the draft. For someone not aware of the times, the U.S. had a draft where you had to report when you turned 18 so they could ship you off to war.

Like everything else politicians touch, the draft was run in a ridiculous manner. If you had the money, you could invent a malady that would keep you out of the service or you could flee to Canada where they would not arrest you for crimes committed in the U.S. If you didn’t have money or the right color of your skin, you were sent to the grinder that was Vietnam. I never got down on anyone that didn’t want to go into the Army. I figured everyone was as patriotic as me, but I soon learned that they weren’t.

I will say that the ones that I met while in Vietnam were as patriotic as anyone I ever met. They hated it, but they were true soldiers. I was a company commander in the 101st Airborne division during my last tour. Meanwhile, back in the States, the disgruntled teenage and 20-something-aged population were demonstrating against the war. Not like the ones that are out there now breaking windows and actually shooting cops.

In 1967, there was a demonstration at the Lincoln memorial. Over 100,000 protesters gave speeches against the war and marched around Washington. They left the memorial just as they found it. They did hijack college classrooms, and in fact many campuses were closed due to student takeovers. They tore up the rooms and broke a lot of stuff, but they never seemed to be enchanted by fire. If there was any looting, I cannot remember any news about such.

In 1970, I had an epiphany. At Kent State College in Ohio, during one demonstration the president of the college called the governor of Ohio and asked for the National Guard to be called out. These young troops, many of whom joined the National Guard so they wouldn’t have to go to Vietnam, were then issued live ammunition. The students had no way of knowing whether the guns being pointed at them were loaded or not. The National Guard was not a well-trained group of kids, but they had grownup bullets in their weapons and when confronted by the angry demonstrators they opened fire. Thirteen students were wounded and four died. It was known as the massacre of Kent State.

Up until this point in my life, I never thought I would ever see an American take the life of another American even if they had directions from the politicians, yet four students were shot and killed. I thought to myself, “Someone is crazy!” The responsibility for the National Guard was in the hands of these politicians I keep complaining about. The fact that the governor called out these armed soldiers quickly disabused me of any thoughts about what one American would to another.

We now see individuals firing at firemen and police just because they were doing their jobs. We sit at home during the demonstrations today and see shots fired or tear gas hurled at the police. What in the world has come over our country? Why are the politicians sitting on their hands as people die? Now the demonstrators have blocked off parts of Seattle and allow no one to enter unless they are people of color. We now can see what happens when politicians are so worried about the next election that they cower behind the couch in their office.

So, I’m glad I live in Gonzales and I don’t want to move. We have to stay together in these times and leave no one behind. Pray for understanding. Pray that those who are suffering will be healed in mind and body and pray to your God because I’m sure I wouldn’t be happy if He gets mad. I hope all the daddies all over the world had a good Father’s Day.

God Bless.

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