We’ve got a long way to go

I am a white man. I do not see the color of a man’s skin as a quality of his abilities.

Many a white man owes his life to the sacrifice of the men of color. The color of the skin is no measure of a man.

We, as a nation, have not given the respect and admiration to those who truly deserve our acknowledgement of their service.

The Tuskegee airmen of World War II never lost a bomber under their protection. The government never thought the black man had the ability to fly a fighter plane. The Red Tails, as they were known, were requested by many bomber crews to see them safely into German airspace. This is an endorsement of ability that shows that the color of ones skin is of no importance.

Prejudice never shows any reason for its existence. The proof is shown in the history of men of color fighting, side by side, for the same ideals of the white skinned populace without recognition.

Vietnam had a more black to white ratio than any other war to date. They sacrificed their lives for our country, and their fellow soldiers, to an unheralded degree. I want to thank and honor them.

The greatest tradition of service is honor.

Master diver Brashiers was the first black Navy diver. He lost a leg, fought to return to active duty, for an additional nine years of service. This is an exceptional story of determination and honor in the face of adversity for any man.

 Here we are in the 21st century and we still see color as a barrier to ability and respect. We need to revere the contributions that anyone, regardless of race, creed, or color, that serve the greater good.

James Mikesell