A young African-American man heard John F. Kennedy’s “Ask what you can do for your country,” gave up his student deferment, left college, joined the Marines for two years and then became a Navy corpsman. Elected class valedictorian, he was assigned for four years to Bethesda Naval Hospital where he helped care for Lyndon Johnson.
Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Dick Cheney used student deferments, avoiding active duty through family connections. Who’s the real patriot — one who sacrificed years or those who merely mouthed love of country?
Some of Wright’s comments are inexcusable and rightly condemned, but calling him “unpatriotic”? Wright’s church offers many services — housing, employment programs, scholarships, ministry to people with HIV/AIDS. “It’s (because of) his deep faith in God and his desire to be an agent of change in the world,” said Michael Pfleger, a South Side Roman Catholic priest. (Gleaned from AP and Chicago Tribune articles, April 4 ).