To the editor:
I wanted to comment on patriotism and the letter from the patriot Kathy Finney. Patriotism is not a monolithic concept as it occurs in several different forms. There is a brand of patriotism which attracts scoundrels and other similar types like the Confederate flag-flying idiots, white supremacists and neo Nazis and their useful idiots and fellow travelers and similar types who write letters to this paper. I am not a Democrat or Republican but I can sense this pseudo patriotic bullcrap from a mile away.
My ancestors came from Prussia and Hesse in Germany. My great uncle, Wirt, fought in France against Germany and won three bronze stars for valor. When he was in the hospital in Virginia he got a personal letter from his regimental commander which I have a copy of.
Wirt was a real patriot and not a big-mouthed chickenhawk like Newt Gingrich to mention a classic examples of patriotic scoundrelism. When Gingrich was asked why he didn’t serve in uniform he stated that “he had more important things to do.” There are the so-called patriots with big mouths and then there are the real patriots like Jesse, my Black friend who, as a master sergeant fought the Battle of Hamburger Hill in Vietnam which was fought by the Army’s 101st Air Assault division.
Jesse never talks about his patriotism as he doesn’t have to. I would take a bullet for Jesse if I had to but I certainly wouldn’t take one for you Ms. Finney or anyone like you. The American flag deserves respect, but America is the citizens of this country and not just the white ones. The Pledge of Allegiance should reflect truth, but, unfortunately, for many Americans, it hasn’t. My hope is that someday it will.
Hans Cristoph Hildebrand