I’m troubled by the ongoing racial division in our great nation.

I mean, this is 2020. How have we not moved beyond simple things such as skin color by now?

When are we going to realize that the pigment of our skin is as much of an indicator of intelligence as how tall we are, or what the size of our feet happens to be?

I spent many of my formative years in south Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley. There, I was a very much minority white boy in a predominantly Hispanic area.

Amazingly, there were actually more black people living in that area than whites back in the 1980s. So when I say I was a minority, it was painfully obvious I was a minority.

I was ridiculed, and often. I learned all the bad words in Spanish rather quickly, because those were the only words used to me, starting in the second grade until I started high school.

I was never invited to any of my classmates’ birthday parties, and none of them ever showed up to mine. It made for some very bad memories.

However, it also taught me a lot about racism. There is nothing like being the recipient of racism to teach you how awful it is.

When I first stood on those yellow footprints at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, I had no idea that I would become a part of something so much bigger. It started a journey of one color — green. There was no other color, just merely different shades.

When I became a noncommissioned officer, watching my young privates learning that same lesson became a joy to me.

There was no black, white, brown, red, yellow: Only green, and the camaraderie between us proved it.

Each knew that the other would take a bullet for them, and each knew that every one of their fellow Marines/soldiers would willingly donate their blood if needed to save the lives of their brothers and sisters.

I don’t know about you, but if I need blood, all that matters to me is that it is compatible. The skin color of the donor is of no matter to me.

Nor do I care who receives the blood I donate. If it’s compatible and saves a life, that’s all that matters.

The military is usually the leader in social innovations. Take desegregation as an example.

It’s time the rest of the nation followed suit.

dbryant@kdhnews.com | 254-501-7554

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