Posted by: Sahasi | September 27, 2009

Martyrs Perceived Differently!!!

We know that until the Civil Rights Movement African-Americans didn’t have several basic rights and were heavily discriminated against. Some of the books I read talked about soldiers of African-American origin who fought with the Union during the civil war and helped free their brethren. But what those books didn’t say was that even though both White and Colored (African-American) soldiers did exactly the same thing, they were treated differently.

Bywater War Memorial, New Orleans

When I was in New Orleans earlier this month I took time off to visit the Katrina-devastated and under-reconstruction Lower 9th Ward. In Bywater neighborhood of the Lower 9th Ward is this World War I war memorial. The structure which looks quite similar to the India Gate in New Delhi commemorates those from this area who laid down their lives for the country. The memorial is a great initiative and everyone listed there deserves the respect of one and all. But what stuck me hard was the fact that the memorial has separate boards listing the names of “White Men” and “Colored Men”. This is quite absurd in my opinion, a man or woman who serves the nation and performs the ultimate sacrifice of giving up his or her life is not to be perceived by color, they are patriots and that is it.

It seems like even after getting martyred some people are simply not accorded equal status.

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