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Obscured American: Vern the Vietnam Vet
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Vernon (Right) in Friendly Lounge

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Looking for Vern for over a week, I finally found him in the Friendly Lounge. Vivacious Kelly was bartending. Overhearing Vern say how he had to take his helmet off because of the letters “VC,” Kelly looked perplexed, “Why?”

“Because VC stands for Viet Cong,” Vern clarified.

“Viet Com?”

When you’re young and beautiful, you can say just about anything and people will find it delightful, but perhaps I’m just revealing my old fart mind set. Yes, Kelly, VC stands for Viet dot com. Actually, it means venereal coconut.

Down the bar, ex roofer Angelo jumped in a few times to thank Vern for his service, while Tony the cook stewed over his boss while scratching lottery tickets.

Italian Felix sometimes refers to Vern as “the angry black man,” but I’ve seen no evidence of it. Sipping his red wine, he’s always soft spoken and smiling. What’s even more ironic is Felix was known in his younger days for getting into fights. Vern and Felix live in the same old folks’ home, where the sex life is much less dormant than you’d think. “Women there don’t have to worry about getting pregnant,” Felix explained. “You should go down there and get some action.”

Vern had a different take, “Older women need to regain dignity and understand where the limits are.” OK, then, let’s hear more from the 70-year-old:

My father was a grease monkey. He got up in the wee hours of the morning and I had to cook his breakfast. When my father died in 1970, they replaced him with three men.

My mother came from a farm. She wanted to be a dietitian, but she was fortunate enough to become a wire technician for GE.

My mother converted us to Catholicism, so I’ve been a Catholic for most of my life.

I have five siblings, but one died at birth.

I’d go online and look at the house where I was born and raised, and it’s all boarded up!

I was blessed with good neighbors. The Taylors and Caseys would have us over. I mean, my family couldn’t afford a record player or TV, but the Caseys would invite us over to watch television, and we would go in our underwear or whatever. It was nice. Their house is boarded up too. They’re dead now.

They educated us on how to be above what most people thought what African Americans were, or are, in society. I had a good upbringing. My aunt taught me how to set a table, and what fork, what knife and what spoon to use.

I was drafted. I just turned twenty. Women always bring me the bad news. My sister grabbed the mail that day and she came to me. This was in August. I had enrolled at PennState and wanted to be an architect. I only had a month to go before I’d be in school.

They drafted a lot of African Americans from Philadelphia. You had to fill out all of these crazy papers and whatnot. They examined you and so forth. So yes, you’re inducted! Ha ha!

It was a shock because I didn’t know what it meant to have that happen to you.

At that time we were still involved in the Korean conflict, and there were other world conflicts, so it was very difficult to understand the significance of what I was being caught up in.

I needed to get a letter of deferment, so I got a letter to say that I had already been accepted at PennState, but the draft board said, No, no! You got your draft notice. You’re in!

I missed it by a month, but I don’t regret it. It was a lesson. I had never been exposed to discrimination, so I didn’t know what it was. We needed jungle training, so they sent us to Fort Polk, Louisiana, and it was an experience I would really like to forget, because Fort Polk, Louisiana was one of the dirtiest, most ignorant places I’ve ever experienced.

There was a town not far away called Leesville, Louisiana, and I remember taking a bus into town, and there was a guy named VernonCastle. He was a businessman and he owned everything in town, the motion picture theater, the grocery store, his name was everywhere, and that was the first time ever in my life I saw “WHITE,” and then an arrow pointing, with “COLOURED.” I thought, Kiss my ass, you all can stick this town up your ass. I got back on the bus and never went back into town. I was thinking, I’m going to fight for fuckin’ America and you bastards want to talk this shit?!

I never went back into town, never spent another dollar in Louisiana. That night, they gave us our orders on where we would be transferred, Korea or Vietnam. I got my orders. It was around Christmas time. Mine said Vietnam.

We were flown to Oakland, California, then Braniff Airlines flew us over. Coming into Saigon at night, I remember the fox holes, and the bunkers with the gunners, along the runway, protecting the aircraft. I was assigned to the 25th Infantry Division, 3rd Brigade, in Pleiku.

The 3rd Brigade had already established a base camp in Pleiku. It was called TittyMountain.

Later a general came and said to us, “You can’t call this TittyMountain. From now on, we’re going to call it DragonMountain!” He didn’t want to say that over the radio. He was a pussy.

I was assigned to intelligence. My responsibility was to draw maps and overlays so people in the field understand where they are and where they need to go and whatnot.

I had a radio there, which was unusual, ha ha! It was for my own personal use. I listened to whatever they had in Vietnam. It wasn’t music. I listened to… what was her name? Hanoi? Hanoi? Yes, Hanoi Hanah!

My name is Vernon, and my last name is Cothran, so I put VC on my helmet. Everybody else had their initials on their helmets. Colonel Shanahan came down and said, “Take that helmet off! You can’t have VC on your helmet!”


There was a cook that got mad at the Colonel and cussed him out, so the old man told his staff, I want that guy to be sent to the front line, immediately. He was talking all that crap, so the old man went, “No, uh uh. Off you go!”

The first thing you learn is to keep your mouth shut, but the cook was drunk. I don’t know what happened to him. I never saw him again.

Being in Vietnam, I thought about my father and my mother, because I’m here, they’re there. If something happens to me, who’s going to take care of them?

I had a friend who wanted to be engaged to me. Maria, Maria Stuckey, bless her soul. Her family lived up the street from us. We had a big house on the corner, and they lived at 4828 Olive Street. Those were good days. I have a picture of her sitting in our living room. That’s just before I was about to leave. She was very concerned, and I appreciated that from her.

I couldn’t make a commitment because I didn’t know if I was going to live or die. My priority was I wanted to deal with my mom and dad. That was my priority.

In Pleiku, I had a friend who was very articulate, and I liked that. She was able to, ah, comfort me, to give me a feeling of comfort.

My friend Bee in Philly always teases me, “There’s your son! There’s your son!” I’d say, “Don’t start any crap! Next thing, you’ll have me getting sued, because somebody wants to say, ‘He’s the father!’” I don’t want to hear about it. It may cost me money.

My dad said he was sorry he never served, and that’s why I was proud to go in. My brother went into the Air Force, and I was drafted into the Army. It worked out, you know. The whole experience matured me.

When I came home, instead of me being an architect, I became a humanitarian. I started to work for non-profits to develop issues to save… humanity. I became the Executive Director of the Public Housing Agency in ChesterCounty. I managed over 12 hundred units. That was an interesting experience. My board member, Paul Rie, used to tease me. Our office was not far from the YMCA. Paul said, “You know, they hung a black guy in front of that Y.” I thought, Wow, but he and his wife were very good to me. I miss him.

There was an orphanage outside of Pleiku. I never experienced hunger, but when I went to the orphanage, a little kid ran up to me and grabbed my leg. It touched my heart, so, how should I say this… we stole these C-rations. They were just sitting there, getting wet in the rain, so we’d take four or five boxes, as many as we could. We’d put them in a jeep, said we were going to town to get a haircut, get something to eat or do the laundry, whatever, and we’d take them to the orphanage.

That was a good feeling. When I came home, I brought that attitude back. When I got here, I looked at people and understood. This is home, man, this shouldn’t be happening here, so I set about trying to correct some of the things and whatnot, so it was all good.

We’re all brothers, regardless of the color of our skin. You and I are brothers. Religions and politics cannot change that. We’ll always be brothers because that’s the dynamics of life.

Some bastards were such racists. They would come to town and rub their Caucasian skin and say “no same same” to the Vietnamese while pointing to the African American soldiers. They expected different treatment. They were very cocky and arrogant and felt superior even to the population that was there.

God is going to straighten all this out. It’s going to be good. I don’t know when because I can’t tell you what his schedule is. He tells me what his schedule is. He’s going to straighten it out here on earth because, like I said, we’re all brothers.

If you were in a foxhole, ten, fifteen feet away from me and you ran out of ammo, you’re not going to say, I’m not asking that N person for his rolls. I made some of my best friends in Vietnam.

There was an aristocratic clothing store at 17th and Chesnut. Jackson and Moyer. His grandson was in my unit. Best friends! The Biddle family, his grandson was there. We became good friends. Nigel Virgil Temple West was in my platoon. I met a lot of people, and came home with a lot of friends. My best friend, Frank Norquist, got me home early. He married a diplomat’s daughter. During that time, if you were drafted, you went. Many of the rich kids didn’t wiggle out. A lot of them volunteered. They went in. That changed my whole concept. Those guys were great.

I’m careful walking on soft ground now, because I remember the punji stick pits, where they’d defecate on the bamboo ends to infect the wounds of whoever stepped on them. I don’t want to say primitive, you know, but they had weapons that were used centuries ago.

I wasn’t a tunnel rat. I was too big to be a tunnel rat.

A lot of the women were spies, and they would be mutilated for being spies, and I mean mutilated.

When we went up Route 14, the women would follow us on those, ha ha!, Lambrettas that they could fit four or five people. The prostitutes had to go where the money was.

If I watch Hamburger Hill, it’s so realistic, it hurts. I don’t need to see movies. The best Vietnam movie is Platoon.

I’d go back. It was a great nation, with friendly people.


When I was taken out, thank you, Jesus, it was three or four days before the Tet Offensive, when all kinds of hell broke loose. They took me to base camp to grab my things, and then from there, they took me to Saigon. That night, everything got bombed. All hell broke loose. They attacked Saigon too, and three of the guys who had gotten there before me were killed, and didn’t make it home. They died on their last day.

As the Tet Offensive started, I was on a plane, Braniff Airlines, going to Oakland, and when I got there, I kissed the ground. Thank you, Jesus! I was never so glad to see America.

You go somewhere where you don’t have any rights or privileges, where it’s “Yes, sir! No, sir!” I was so glad to be out of there. I wanted to get out of my stinking clothes, out of my uniform, turn all of that crap in.

My friend Frank called me and said, “I don’t want you to go home for a couple of weeks. I want you to come to West Covina and stay with us.” His brother was a realtor out there. Frank said, “Listen, my brother has a house, but nobody has bought it yet, so you can stay there. We’ll hook up for breakfast and dinner and, you know, check out some things in West Covina.” Frank took me to this house looking out over L.A., and I was thinking, Damn, these people are living large! Ha, ha!

That was my first experience of L.A., and my first experience of dealing with people on that level. I understand what money means now, and I want to have money.

Frank said, “There’s a sickness in your mind that you need to let rest before you go home.” I tell you, I could have gone back and kill everybody in my family. Sat down, had a meal then gone out to do what I had to do. That’s why I tell people, “You have to understand. When someone teaches you how to kill, it doesn’t go away.” So, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!!!!

I went to Frank’s wedding in Omaha. Everyone was as white as snow. I was the only black person.

I’ve never been married. I proposed to a girl, but she thought it was a joke. We were working together. I had a Corvette, and she had this chiffon dress on, with all the pleats. The Corvette had leather seats, so she kept saying, “I’m going to get all sweaty.”

My old neighborhood was African American, and it was respectable. People had jobs and could afford their houses. When we moved out of North Philly, my parents were paying $75 a month for mortgage on a four bedroom house. Now, I wouldn’t even drive down 52nd Street.

The economy changed. People lost jobs. Everything changed.

The system screwed everything up.

We need more jobs. Jobs and education are the solutions, especially education.

People don’t value composure. When they passed the law that you couldn’t beat your child, the little bastards got cocky and became who they are today. Like my brother said to his 14-year-old son, “I’m going to kick your ass and whoop it to the max, and I’m gonna put the phone in front of you, so if you want to call the police, call them, but you better make sure you have a place to live because you won’t stay the fuck here.”

I’ve always voted, but I’m not voting this time. I’m not happy with any of the people on the table at this time. Not the Republicans, not the Democrats, I’m not happy with any of them.

Hillary is 68-years-old. Marco Rubio would have been a good choice, but he’s too young and he already quit. Donald Trump is an asshole. Ted Cruz is a racist bastard, I don’t care for his shit. He shuts down the country for stupid shit, I don’t want him in. Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, I don’t want him in. To put it bluntly, Yes, I’m anti-Republican. I like Bernie Sanders, because he says it like it is, like it should be…

I have a funny feeling that this is going to be the worst election in the history of America. There are going to be riots. There are already riots.

Obama had a Republican Senate and a Republican House. They haven’t given him a chance. He’s still discriminated against, from when he was running for President to the present day. Hillary Clinton had to have a private email service because she didn’t want him in her business. I will not vote for her.

Obama got rid of a terrorist. He’s going to elect a Supreme Court representative. He improved the economy and employment for everyone. He has been a cohesive personality, uniting ethnicities of our nation, but it is those ignorant individuals who still live in the age of Hitler and all these other assholes that pulled him down and prevented Obama from accomplishing more.

The economy has improved since Obama’s been in.

A Republican better raise somebody from the dead, cure somebody of leprosy and walk on water to get my vote. I’ve always voted Democratic. I’m a liberal.

I believe in unifying and helping.

I just don’t feel that America needs to be the policeman of the world. You saw what happened with the Iraq War. It was bad information. We’re here in the middle of the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. All that crap that comes out of the East and Far East… pick up your shit and do something for yourself!

I’ll be so glad when the good Lord comes and brings everything back to normal.

Linh Dinh is the author of two books of stories, five of poems, and a novel, Love Like Hate. He’s tracking our deteriorating socialscape through his frequently updated photo blog, Postcards from the End of America.

• Category: Culture/Society, History • Tags: Obscured American, Vietnam War 
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  1. RolfDan says:

    Are all your articles going to be in a book one day?

    • Replies: @Linh Dinh
  2. Rich says:

    Typical Negro BS. “Obama was discriminated against.” Guy makes it to 70 yrs old and he still can’t see clearly. Obama was elected President after having no real accomplishments in his life. He was elected to the Senate by having a judge release the details of his opponent’s private divorce proceedings so he’d drop out of the race. He went to a church that was an anti-White, anti-American front organization. He was Affirmative-Actioned through college and into the White House, but he was discriminated against? Unbelievable how dopey some people are.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @woodNfish
  3. Rehmat says:

    Yep! To many people ‘US-Com’ stands for Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, the couple executed in 1953 for stealing nuclear bomb blue-prints for Soviet Russia.

    Daniel Pipes and Abraham Foxman called legendry Boxer Muhammad Ali, a ‘US Traitor’ for refusing to join Vietnam War, saying “those little people never harmed us, so why should I kill them.”

    In 2013, Bill Siegel, directed a 92-minute documentary, ‘The Trails of Muhammad Ali‘. The documentary explores Ali’s lifelong journey of spiritual transformation. From his Louisville roots, through his years in exile, to receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom (President George Bush was slammed by Abraham Foxman and Dr. Daniel Pipes for this antisemitic act) – the documentary traces Ali’s path from a great orator and poet to pariah to global ambassador for peace. At each stage, the challenges Ali faces go far beyond the boxing ring and ultimately encompasses issues of power, race, faith and identity – making Ali the most popular American in the world.

    • Replies: @Sherman
  4. Linh Dinh says: • Website

    Hi RolfDan,

    Thanks for asking! My Postcards from the End of America was supposed to be out in January, but has been pushed back to the Fall. There’s no guarantee, though, that it will be published then. Like most publishers, Seven Stories Press is barely hanging on. Hardly anyone buys books nowadays.

    I almost have enough Europe Postcards for a book, so hopefully I can get back over there before too long to write a few more pieces.

    If I can keep this new series, Obscured American, going for a while, perhaps I can get it published as a book.

    All of my articles are archived right here at Unz, so they are readily available.


    • Replies: @RolfDan
  5. Priss Factor [AKA "Dominique Francon Society"] says: • Website

    Eisenhower’s fateful decision.

  6. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I agree that Vern’s view of Obama is impaired, but what does it say of someone who opens with the words “Typical Negro BS”?

    My guess is that you’re trolling.

    • Replies: @Rich
  7. Rich says:

    Just in case you actually are unfamiliar with “typical Negro BS” and don’t know what it is, I’ll try to explain. Negro people throughout the US always want to complain about how they were discriminated against, as if every other ethnic group in the world had it easy. Do you think the Poles or the Jews or the Italians or even the Irish or the Scots had it easy when they came here? They put their heads down, worked hard and assimilated into society. There was no welfare for immigrants back in the old days, they got off the boat and had to eat. There was no Affirmative Action, no extra points to get into college or to get a job. Negroes have now become professional victims who blame everything on discrimination that was old news 50 years ago. At this point in American history, Whites are discriminated against by the government and private industry by law, but Negroes keep complaining. A book could be written about Negro BS, but this just a small example.

    • Agree: anarchyst
    • Replies: @interesting
    , @Clyde
  8. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Stay divided, stay conquered.

    Are your attitudes “typical” of those sharing your heritage?

    Perhaps other readers can find more in Mr. Dinh’s journalism than an excuse to rebroadcast their bigotry.

    • Replies: @iffen
  9. neb_pro says:

    Enjoy a new book by Geoffrey Shaw, The Lost Mandate of Heaven
    The American Betrayal of Ngo Dinh Diem, President of Vietnam
    . The juxtaposition of trying to instill democracy in Vietnam and then again in Iraq should be serve as a lesson for US foreign policy. Sad how the same mistakes are made over and over again.

    Shaw talks about his book on Kresta’s show here:

  10. “The economy has improved since Obama’s been in.”

    – The economy has improved? Possibly it has improved from the point of view of the 1% (you can always make more money if you have a lot of it to start with) but everywhere I look I see neighbors scraping to get by. A few decades ago a young woman could go to a hospital school for nursing and have a career for life. Now the hospitals import H1-B Indians to work at hospitals for 1/2 the pay an American nurse gets, and there are no more hospital schools for nursing, you have to have a Bachelor’s degree to get a nursing job and need a Doctorate to teach Nursing. Back in the 80’s they were urging young Americans to get a degree in IT. Many did and now are out of work because Micro$oft and Apple import Indians since it is much cheaper to do so. I don’t see Obama trying to stem the flow of the 5 year visa workers so that Americans can have work in their own country. He has actually promoted Mexican immigration so that the lawn care businesses, trash haulers and 7-Elevens have their cheap labor at our expense, but he has done nothing to improve the economy or provide jobs for our people. And since he managed to get his catastrophic “Obama Care” legislation enacted most employers have gone to a 39 hour work week (if they even provide that many hours of work) so that they can dance around his idiotic legislation. I rarely see my neighbors since everyone has to work 2 or more jobs just to get by. Obama’s first Attorney General ; Holder, is on record having said he would not prosecute black law breakers and the result was a surge in black-on-white crime with our old folks becoming the victims of the ‘knock-out game” and black “youfs” running in mobs to vandalize and steal from shop owners in the cities.
    Incredibly, Obama has been even worse than George W, his predecessor and even more incredible is the fact that both of these evil idiots have been elected to the Presidency TWICE. Maybe Americans deserve what they have gotten since voting for these men, but if enough of them think like Linh’s friend “Vern”, then having such men elected to office is not a surprise.

    • Agree: Seamus Padraig
  11. iffen says:

    Stay divided, stay conquered.

    Always has been that way. Always will be that way?

    Are your attitudes “typical” of those sharing your heritage?

    I am not sure we know the commenter’s heritage. I disagree with a lot of what he writes, but there is a legitimate thread in some of his examples. My main point is that I don’t think what he has written qualifies as bigotry.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  12. Sherman says:

    Hey Homer

    I’m glad you’re such a sports fan. You must have received good phys ed classes as part of your well rounded education at the madrassa.


    • Replies: @Rehmat
  13. edNels [AKA "geoshmoe"] says:

    Everything Vern wrote was on the level, and squares with anything I think or know.

    I even agree in essence with his estimation of Oboma’s problems effecting his policies. But on that point I can’t completely go along, because, Obama chose to be President and if being ”President” is only an issue of going through some set of actions to do the best job that you can… or that the President is a mere ”mortal” and should be ”cut some slack” for being ”just a guy”, just ”one of us…”chickens”…” (Uncle Remous’ Fox, remember? ) No to that!

    President, is the leader of the worlds most powerful country, and his actions are ”Biblical” to the future of life on Earth. (“Legacy”?? WTF?) Might be a few issues to be either fixed, or dispelled as mere mythe… (just ie: financial distopia… and Fukashima as as a couple.)

    Being President, might be seen as an ascension to a level beyond mere mortal to just beneath something… rully… special, and I don’t see much evidence that Obama see’s it like that at all, he just is enjoying being the ”First Black President” and he’s just going to play it on out, and Tap Dance it off and go on to move on up to the Westside… like the Jeffersons. (the TV show!). X’s 10)

    He should have been prepared to risk upsetting a few denizens of the Elite groups with some real Hopey Changey stuff, and be ready to shrug off any implied threats to his person… even his close ones, in that chosen of mileau .

    Demonstrations of extreme coercion such as was hinted at a few years ago about some incident austensibly done to gain the acquesence and to shut up one mouthy senator on a quick flight on ”Air force One” or hints of ”grassy knolls” senarios, shouldn’t stop the man on a mission.

    If the Draftees are expected to be ready to go in harms way and to give there all, can’t the Gaddammed President be ready too??!!!

    I don’t know if BO is doing as much as he could if he were truly fearless, or Heroic!

  14. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Thank you. But my point is that Rich’s heritage is no more important than Vern’s.

    A bigot is “a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance.”

    A bigot will tend to hone in on the least flattering characteristic of someone in the other group, and then project that characteristic throughout that group. Once Rich saw Vern and noticed that Vern is gulled about Obama, Rich’s eyes and ears appear to have closed to anything else Vern had to say. Lots of whites are deluded about Obama, too, but no one says that they are “typical” of whites in so thinking.

    • Replies: @Rich
  15. Rehmat says:

    Hi Sharon – Do you have Catholic Mission in Israeli “madrasa”? Because I’m a bona-fide graduate of a Catholic Mission – but my padre was not a ‘kosher Christian’ like Pope Francis – the idiot who claims that every Christian has a Jewish soul. My padre was believer in the NT’s narrative: “Jews hanged Jesus”. Your sister “rabbi” Sarah Silverman confirmed that in public not long ago.

    • Replies: @Sherman
  16. iffen says:

    A bigot will tend to hone in on the least flattering characteristic of someone in the other group, and then project that characteristic throughout that group.

    We all stereotype others. I think the important part is whether we are aware of this and try to work that into our thinking and actions.

    Rich just launched into his objections without saying how bad Jim Crow was or saying that Vern had some legitimate complaints about his treatment by “some” whites over the years. The fact that he didn’t do this genuflection leaves him open to accusations by some. He may be a bigot. I don’t know, he can speak for himself if he wants. Again, my point is that just looking at what he wrote does not seem to justify the label.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  17. “Obama got rid of a terrorist. He’s going to elect a Supreme Court representative. He improved the economy and employment for everyone. He has been a cohesive personality, uniting ethnicities of our nation”

    i stopped reading right there, Americans can no longer afford to be this stupid.

  18. @Rich

    “Whites are discriminated against by the government and private industry by law”

    the institutional racism we keep hearing about.

  19. RolfDan says:
    @Linh Dinh

    I just searched for Postcards…America on Amazon and realised that I had already ordered it in Sept last year. Amazon says it’s coming in Nov. Looking forward to it, and the other books when they come out.

    For someone in London, the appeal of the American postcards is that they show a side which is either completely ignored, or sneered at, by other American writers. I just read an article about the death of blue-collar tv – . Now, tv seems full of rich narcissists from either New York or LA who never have to give money a second thought. This is reflected in the larger culture too.

  20. Sherman says:

    Hey Homer

    I’m glad a priest tried to bring some civilization to Pakistan.

    What does the Vatican have to say about your custom of first cousins marrying each other?


  21. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    “Genuflection”? Hey, I’m as disgusted with BLM, etc, as you are. But when comments like Rich’s play to the opposite tripe, especially in comments on a site I like, I reserve the right to point that out.

    Mr. Dinh let us meet another human, warts and all. Vern seems, to me, a good soul. If he actually experienced what he recounts, he seems to have come through it in pretty good shape. He certainly didn’t express the “typical Negro BS” that Rich may be inclined to see in anyone who looks like Vern.

    Maybe Rich can straighten me out here. He doesn’t seem worthy of your defense, but thanks for contributing to what should enlighten all concerned.

  22. The economy changed. People lost jobs. Everything changed…I’ve always voted Democratic. I’m a liberal.


    I just don’t feel that America needs to be the policeman of the world.

    The only smart thing Vern said.

  23. iffen says:

    I’m as disgusted with BLM, etc, as you are. But when comments like Rich’s play to the opposite tripe

    I am not sure of what you mean here.

    Yes, one has to genuflect, whether here as a commenter, or in the MSM. You just can’t say that white working people are taking up the wazzu, you have to say, “It’s true, but black people have had it much worse for a longer time.”

    • Replies: @anonymous
  24. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Vietnam vets tend to be lazy bums.

    • Disagree: edNels
  25. Rich says:

    Oh no, I’ve been called a bigot,what will I do now? Everyone knows that ethnic groups and racial groups share no similarities in appearance or actions. We’re all the same and noticing differences is the most horrible thing anyone can do. Except that some of us can see and some of us can read and don’t care if we get called names. What will your ilk do when people stop caring if you call them racists or bigots? What happens when your magic words no longer stop people from speaking out? That day is fast approaching, if it isn’t already here. You leftists went too far, too quick. The jig, as they say, is up.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  26. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I mean that comments like Rich’s help to stoke the likes of BLM, etc.

    Neither you nor Rich “have to say” anything here. But you should be able to back it up. Do you think that the only working people taking it up the wazzu are white? As I said to begin with, stay divided, stay conquered.

    And why don’t you use the button immediately below to REPLY directly to my comments?

    • Replies: @iffen
  27. The murderous piece if shit shouldn’t have fucked around in someone else’s country.

  28. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Rounding up a posse of straw men suggests that you should have left your defense to iffen.

    If you don’t want to address my point, then don’t bother. Just move on to another article, and chime in when it makes you feel better to confirm your bias. Neither you nor any reader will have his mind changed, but it’s a form of therapy that one sees practiced on every site. When I see it here at UR, I sometimes call it out so that there aren’t so many dogs that the hydrant becomes obscured.

    Mr. Dinh’s journalism is one of the best things here. My belief is that he, too, disagrees with some of what Vern believes and says. But we all learn something in the process.

    And I’m no “leftist.” (That assumption is another indication of a binary worldview.). We probably agree on most political and social issues of the day, if that’s what you mean by “ilk.”

    • Replies: @Rich
  29. iffen says:

    I mean that comments like Rich’s help to stoke the likes of BLM, etc.

    I don’t think that the BLM needs much in the way of stoking. If there is not a readily available incident, they are quite capable of manufacturing or construing circumstances to establish a grievance. I am not interested in coming together with the BLM types. I definitely would stay divided if that was my only option.

    I understand your point now. I have frequently commented here and complained about the expression of overt racism and anti-Semitism. My worry is not the effect that such comments have on BLM types, but the effect on the overwhelming majority of people who are not hard core racists. I unequivocally state that there is no place in a political organization devoted to ordinary working people for racists, fascists or white supremacists.

    It seems that the crux of our disagreement is to what degree we consider what he wrote as an expression of overt racism. Drawing the line is complicated and I claim no special authority.

    But you should be able to back it up.

    I will be very happy to back up anything that I write. In fact, I would be delighted. Find any errors or inconsistencies and point them out. I wasn’t born knowing everything. I try to continuously learn and base my opinions on facts.

    I didn’t say that working people other than whites were not have hard times. What I said was that one couldn’t say white working people are having a hard time without genuflecting and I stand by that statement. You illustrate the point.

    Do you think that the only working people taking it up the wazzu are white?

    • Replies: @anonymous
  30. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Thank you for taking the time to discuss this, honestly and civilly.

    There’s a vast difference between making a bigoted statement and “overt racism.” I’ve no more basis to call “racist!” than Rich had to call me “leftist.”

    And I’ll take one other exception: the end of your last paragraph, like Rich’s reply, suggests a need to win an argument by throwing my words back at me, out of context.

    But I believe we are in general agreement about the divide/conquer techniques used by our so-called leaders, and the need to reject such distractions.

    • Replies: @iffen
  31. Rich says:

    You’re funny. Your mind is closed like a steel trap, but you believe calling people names wins an argument. You’re a fan of the author, big deal, but you don’t win by calling me a “bigot.” That doesn’t work anymore. It must be awesome for you, though, to wake up every morning and look at that smiling face in the mirror that knows everything and is so much better than all the “bigots” who dare give their opinions on an open forum.
    “Binary worldview”, that’s hilarious. That community college English degree has finally paid off, at least here.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  32. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    The mistaken assumptions you make about me continue to pile up. Is this the way you deal with criticism in real life?

    You really should have left the rest of this to iffen.

    • Replies: @Rich
  33. iffen says:

    Thank you for taking the time to discuss this, honestly and civilly.

    Thank you.

    There’s a vast difference between making a bigoted statement and “overt racism.” I’ve no more basis to call “racist!” than Rich had to call me “leftist.”

    But I believe we are in general agreement about the divide/conquer techniques used by our so-called leaders, and the need to reject such distractions.

    Agree with both.

    suggests a need to win an argument

    You are not addressing the argument here. I am not hung up on winning the argument more than normal. I like to learn. I like to think about the reasons why I believe certain ideas. Back and forth is a good way for me to learn about my beliefs and others’ beliefs. It is the best way for me to grow and understand.

    Now, back to winning the argument. Choosing sides are what we are doing. We must choose sides in a way that gives our side a chance to win. IMO we need a big tent that allows for Vern and for people who write what Rich has written.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  34. when it comes to the economy the gentleman is right. Obama was fairly moderate and things are better now. Current economy vs crisis= better

    If you want to persuade people better to not to lie to them and explain why the economy is still a problem for stuctuaral reasons

    Really though this thread seems to just prove the gentlemans point that some are blind to reality

  35. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I now better understand your last point. Thanks again for the discussion.

  36. Rich says:

    Do you deal with criticism by pretending that the obvious truths about your beliefs and character aren’t true? You’ve made no points except to use name-calling. You’ve used no argument except high-minded sounding terms like “Binary worldview” that might sound intelligent up there at Dutchess Community College, but in the “real world”, make you sound like an under-educated person trying to sound intelligent. Your mind is made up concerning your world view, and that’s okay, you obviously have very high self-esteem and I know that’s important to people like you. Best of luck.

    • Replies: @anonymous
    , @RadicalCenter
  37. Clyde says:

    Vern grew old school and was taught well. So he served in our military, he always worked and has a strict view of how society should be. But in the end he’s a lib and an Obama voter which fixes nothing. I would find him interesting to talk over a beer or two for his Vietnam stories and that’s it.

  38. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Last try, Rich.

    I challenged you (#6) on your needless “Typical Negro BS,” hoping to inspire clearer thinking by asking (#8) if your views were likewise “typical” of those wearing your birthday suit and pointing out (#14) that plenty of white people are no less deluded than Vern when it come to Obama.

    Rather than respond, you have guessed – wrongly – about my “beliefs and character,” and continue to do so even after I told you that we likely agree on most issues of the day. Relentlessly ignoring my one and only point – your smudging up this site with racial crap – you fantasize me into your arch enemy, with whom you’re battling at the keyboard to save the country. (You know nothing of my “world view” because I haven’t addressed anything but your comment’s needless appeal to race.). So neither of us has learned diddly that’s worthwhile from our exchange. Cf., my parallel discussion with iffen.

    Best of luck to you, too.

    • Replies: @Rich
  39. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Rich may be surprised to see me say so, but I share Clyde’s endorsement — this is one of the most devastatingly insightful pieces from the great Tom Wolfe.

    • Replies: @Clyde
  40. Rich says:

    See #7 regarding #6
    See #25 regarding #8
    As to your #14, a small minority of Whites are also delusional on Negro victim-hood, but an overwhelming majority of Negroes actually believe they are discriminated against. Even if a Negro becomes President, he is being discriminated against.
    We have stereotypes for a reason, it doesn’t mean an individual can’t rise above the poor behavior of his fellow ethnics, it means the vast majority can’t, or won’t.
    I believe I know a bit about your “world view” because you use the type of argument used by the academic left, the news media and those unable, or unwilling, to delve deeper into statistics or the story they’re being told. Vern holds an opinion common to his fellow Negroes, you are unable to see, or realize that, because you’re so above “racial crap.” I notice this aspect of the story because I’ve been dealing with this “Negro BS” for a long time and call it out when I see it.
    Maybe one day you’ll be forced to acknowledge the racial differences in this country, and see that one racial group in particular, commits murder, rape and assault way above its actual percent of the population, and it doesn’t go away because we pretend not to notice it.

    • Replies: @iffen
  41. Clyde says:
    Thomas Wilfe wrote Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers 48 years ago! Can you believe it!. Sure sheds light on today’s version which is not just black lives matter but thousands of other black and Hispanic groups sucking on all levels of government (Federal, state, etc) tits. Ripping off is a better word.
    (What has posted is just a good excerpt)

  42. iffen says:

    I notice this aspect of the story because I’ve been dealing with this “Negro BS” for a long time and call it out when I see it.

    Do you not see that Vern is mistaking and confusing the GOP opposition to President Obama as discrimination?

    • Replies: @Rich
  43. Rich says:

    Yes, that’s exactly my point. Instead of seeing normal political disagreement as just that, he sees it as “discrimination.” Most Negroes in the US, appear to see every setback or disappointment in life as discrimination and believe that Whites have some magical government connection that gives them success. I thought I was pretty clear on that.

    • Replies: @iffen
  44. iffen says:

    When life does not turn out to be what is wanted or expected, most people look around for someone to blame. I think that if we surveyed white 65-70 year olds who while away their remaining years in some beer joint we would not find that many Jimmy Buffetts.

    • Replies: @Rich
  45. OutWest says:

    Did Obama improve the economy? Or did he just curtail government actions that were causing the economy to tank? Since the government doesn’t actually produce anything or generate wealth it would seem that they reduced the impediments and allowed at least the favored sectors to ramp up a bit.

    I can see where Vern could be a good bit more negative about his deferral though he probably was responsible for acting sooner. Some of us –like me- were much more fortunate during these times so I find it difficult to criticize.

  46. Rich says:

    OK. I can kind of agree with that. But with American Negroes it’s always “discrimination.” Hence the term”Negro BS.” Whites have to blame their parents, ex-wife or boss. Or, heaven forbid, themselves.

    • Replies: @iffen
  47. iffen says:

    IMO what we are talking about is a human trait, not something that is unique to American blacks. If we scale up from individuals to groups then we can see that one group will frequently blame another group for its problems. If we look around the world and at history we see plenty of examples of this. In light of our history of race relations, it is not surprising that the first choice of people to blame would be the white group. Of course that does not make it correct and they should stop because it really hinders arriving at better solutions for many of our country’s problems.

  48. woodNfish says:

    That last part must have been the dementia kicking in. Odumbass created jobs and improved the economy? Really? Why is black unemployment still up at 25%? And the rest of his rant after that is just as ignorant. But then what do you expect from someone who made their living off the government tit?

    • Replies: @NoseytheDuke
  49. @Rich

    Appreciate your comments, except that mocking community-college graduates doesn’t help you with this reader. At all.

    • Replies: @Rich
  50. Rich says:

    Just a joke. I’m a big fan of community colleges. My beautiful wife graduated from one before going on to get her Bachelor’s Degree.

  51. @woodNfish

    Agreed. Obuma has just swept all of the problems under the carpet so it’s only a matter of time until the shit hits the fan again only worse than before. He’s been a huge disappointment and has betrayed everyone (except his sponsors) but none more so than his own “people of colour”. Whatever happened to that fine old American tradition of tarring and feathering?

    • Agree: Seamus Padraig
    • Replies: @woodNfish
  52. woodNfish says:

    Well, in my private fantasy we have a French style revolution and they are all sent to the guillotine.

  53. Agent76 says:

    Mar 21, 2016 Following the Money to War Profiteers

    Peter B. Collins presents: Christian Sorensen & Sibel Edmonds on the Military Industrial Complex & the need for independent media not beholden to the MIC.

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