RANCE PETTIBONE: Racism is still strong in America

GUEST COMMENTARY: Racism only dies on an individual basis

Rance Pettibone

Rance Pettibone

In response to Kathleen Parker (“Erasing the race card is essential to society,” April 17): What world does Ms. Parker live in? She has never known racism in her life. How dare she write about something she knows nothing about.

Concerning America, how many wars has the minority community started, but yet fight in them to be treated worst than the enemy they fight? How many times has the minority community denounced the United States and lived or was left alone as the rancher in the Midwest? How many minority communities tried to overthrow the government like the many white supremacy groups? Did she watch “The Butler” or “Help”?

She is doing what most groups do when they know they are wrong — smile and place the blame on someone else.

We all know this is about history. How will Ms. Parker tell her kids that it took a black man to get health care for the nation when the other white men could not do it? It took a black man with a level head to get us out of war and keep us from going into other wars just to prove we were stronger.

How can she tell her kids that a black man brought the country back from the brink of collapse and did it with no help from the “good old white men” who held the purse strings of the Congress (the House of Representatives)? How can she tell her kid that when black people were allowed in the “good old boy system,” they turned against all their home training and started lying about weapons of mass destruction?

And it is true no other president or attorney general has been treated with such contempt as — as the prosecutor in the movie “Sergeant Rutledge” says — “(This Negro).”

I know racism, for I was branded by three white men just for walking home from the movies in the late evening. Yet, I served my country for 22-plus years with distinction. I serve my community, and I mean the whole community, each and every day for the common good, and I still see racism on every hand.

Does it hurt? Yes, but I don’t let it make me bitter. It helps me to become better.

I never will forget the day I left Vietnam, returning to the USA. My best friend and I landed in California. His family was there to meet him, and you could see they were glad to see him. My friend and I had shared just about everything together. He was my spotter/armor bearer on many assignments along the border of North Vietnam. We ate from the same fork and spoon, drank from the same bottle. He was my friend.

His family gathered around him. As I walked away, I heard his mother ask, “Who was that with you?”

He said, “Just some n——- I knew in country.”

The only way racism dies is on a individual basis, never collective. So stop complaining and deal with it, for it is real.

Pastor Rance Pettibone is the pastoral leader of Second Bethesda Baptist Church of Albany. He serves on the State Superintendent Parent Advisory Council and is a retired Army sergeant 1st class with 22-plus years of service. He and his wife, Sandra Jones-Pettibone, have seven children, 18 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Email rancepettibone@hotmail.com.