Originally created 12/13/04

Don't fret the incorrect 'Ray' movie

I read the editorial in The Chronicle saying that what was depicted in the Ray Charles movie was offensive and put Augusta in a bad light ("Ray gives state black eye," Dec. 7). I have a story to tell if you think the movie put Augusta in a bad position.

During World War II, as a young boy, I would go downtown on Broad Street and see German POWs cleaning the street. I also noticed that when lunch time came, they would go into local restaurants downtown for lunch, and would be served by free black men who worked in those restaurants, and who themselves had to eat in the back. I often saw those German soldiers being told insulting things about black people.

When I grew up, I joined the Army, and went to Korea and Vietnam to protect this country. Posted in the showers were signs that read "White officers only" and "white enlisted only." When in Korea, I was in the same foxhole with whites, but when I returned to Augusta, I suffered the indignity of having to ride in the back of the bus.

My reason for telling this story: Don't worry about what was said in the Ray Charles movie; that's nothing. Try to remember Charles' renditions of Georgia on My Mind and God Bless America. After all, this is the greatest country in the world, so let's all sing God Bless America.

I have faith in this country, and I believe that one day we will get it right.

Joseph Diggs Sr.



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