Originally created 10/30/04

Iraq casualties not a race issue

This is in response to the article, "Black leaders see range of Kerry support" in the Oct. 20 Chronicle.

While the Rev. Edwin Griffin brought up many valid points, one of his ideas confused me. The article stated that the minister thinks many blacks are upset over the war in Iraq, because too many soldiers are becoming casualties, many of them black.

If the good minister has access to the Internet, he will discover that about 14 percent of the casualties are black. He would also discover that blacks make up about 20 percent of the military. My point is this: Whites and Hispanics die at a higher rate than blacks in this conflict. So how can blacks getting killed in Iraq be a racial issue?

The truth is, our military employs anyone with the right stuff and who is willing to serve. They don't have a gun to their head when they sign up, though some of our backs may be against the wall financially. Many join to serve their country, and for no other reason. Any death is a tragedy, and I'm glad I made it out alive one year ago.

So, please, let's not bring race into matters that don't really have a racial slant to begin with. It only causes a divide among those who put their lives on the line.

Staff Sgt. Robert Boland, Evans


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