I never claimed that this was a virtue either. But it was counterproductive in terms of the U.S. interests as well.
i have heard from my dad and his friends from hawaii, that when they were in the military and went to the south the military gave them a badge that said they were not black. i think they also said that they were given a pineapple emblem as well.
As a child I never experienced any segregation in practice. The first time I saw it was in Washington, D.C., on a trip in the summer of 1963. However, I did see the problems with the schools in Arkansas as it was in the newspapers and on TV. I lived in San Diego, CA during the school year.
pueo- Your dad's story reminds me of something that my friend told me, probably in the late fifties or early sixties. Seemed that she had a friend who had black hair and a deep olive complexion. She also had a tan.
One day she went to the ocean in Miami Beach. When people saw her, they assumed that she was black, and called the police, who tried to remove her from the beach. They stayed with her until her folks came by and verified that she was not black.
I wonder, whether open discrimination has ever provoked any civil unrest?
I was one of the millions of American kids who followed the space program fanatically in the 60s and 70s, especially since my father was an Air Force pilot. It made all of us want to be astronauts and inspired in us the love of science that, in my case, continues to this day. I don't know if kids will ever again have heroes like those atronauts were heroes to us. I don't remember the deaths of astronauts Grissom, White and Chaffee who were burned to death in seconds as they tested Apollo 1 on the ground, January 27, 1967. I remember the drama of Apollo 13 and the ecstatic, tearful relief of seeing their parachutes open when they returned safely to earth in 1970. I was at work in Washington D.C. when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded on launch, January 28, 1986 - everyone at work gathered to watch the coverage and some of us snuck out early to get home to watch the coverage. Every time the space shuttle takes off here in Florida, I am outside with my binoculars watching the takeoff. I am on the other side of the state about 160 miles from where the shuttle is taking off, but it can still be seen 30 seconds or so after launch, the jettisoning of the twin fuel tanks clearly visible a minute or so later. People from far up the east coast of the U.S., down into the keys of Florida, and over into Georgia and Alabama can see the shuttle taking off if they know where to look. Plenty do. And many across the southern united states and all the way out to the western states know when the shuttle is coming home and can look up into the sky and see it, or sometimes hear it. A couple of months ago, for the first time since I moved to Florida eight years ago, my house was shaken by what sounded like two huge explosions, a double sonic boom from the returning shuttle flying overhead. I turned on the tv to watch it land just minutes later.
Because I grew up in the 60s and 70s in the middle of the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo programs, I love science and believe in the aspirations of space exploration and space travel and never treat it as routine. I honor these astronauts and their families who knew every step of the way that their lives were at risk and that they were in a very dangerous enterprise, yet kept going nevertheless.
As I look at how strictly confined the life of my
6 year old grandson is - and I think back to the
days when I was a kid - out and on the loose all
day long...I may or may not stop back for lunch.
Often I traveled quite a distance from my home
and as long as we were home by the time the
streetlights came on, all was well.
Even my own 3 daughters had much more freedom
than kids do now. Everything is made to look as if
the outside world is nothing but fearful, and I DO
wonder how this will affect their views of their world.
I have always felt safe and self confident, and that
I was able to do ANYTHING if I set my mind on it.
My grandson has just been permitted to go out in
the yard and play alone or with a friend. His mom
takes him to school and picks him up from school
every single day. The bus experience is a disaster
overcrowded buses with 3 kids per seat, the bus
drivers having ZERO authority to control what kids
do on their bus.... it is a real shame.
I enjoyed my time alone in the woods...and even
though the woods are not there anymore, they
are there in my memory.They are perhaps the most
important part of my childhood, for I learned to not
dislike solitude, but to find great joy in it.
I can remember as a six year old first grader walking to school, which was about six blocks away. There were a bunch of us on the block, and as we walked, we picked up some more kids along the way. By the time we got to the school, there were a whole lot of us.
There was no fear. Even as a 12 year old, I would go to Coney Island on the subway with my friends. At fourteen I had a locker at the beach, and spent all day there. My parents never even saw the locker, and I never got into trouble.