who take the position that white Americans have never taken any positive actions to help our
fellow black citizens. They further claim that our nation was built on the backs of the black
Americans, forgetting the thousands of Poles, Hungarians, Germans, Chinese and others who
worked and sweated to create our unique nation. They need to look today to the outstanding
African-American role models that abound in our nation: Kenneth Chenault, J. Herman Russell,
Condoleezza Rice and others that are leading the way to our future.
My Grand Grandfather and two of his brothers enlisted and fought in the Civil War to help free
the slaves. They were born in Scotland and immigrated in 1852 to Michigan; the way the
British treated the Scots make them lifelong haters of the mistreatment of their fellow men.
Another G-Grandfather was a minister in Ypsilanti, MI; his home was a station on the
Underground Railroad before the war. After the war many former slaves returned from Canada
to that area. They established their own church. For nearly 40 years he and other ministers
would go to their community on Sundays, after church and teach: reading, writing and
arithmetic. When he died nearly 100 former slaves walked in his funeral procession to show
their respect and love. These men did not stand and take bows; they just did their duty to their
fellow men. My ancestors were not unique; hundreds of others have similar stories to tell.
In my own case I was the Treasurer of a group formed, in the 1950´s, to clean out and reform
the St Louis, MO. School Board and we were able to assist in the election of the first black man
to the board. I worked with and for many black Americans throughout my career and found that
people respect those who show respect for them.
There is no question that the period of slavery in our history is a smear on our history, but I
seriously doubt that very many white men went into the back country of Africa to capture
slaves. The odious 2/3rds rule in the Constitution was probably the only possible compromise,
at the time, which let this nation come into being and reach its greatness. It is so easy to use
today´s standards to judge the past.
We can´t rest on our laurels but we must not let today´s hate mongers hide the many great
Americans who went before us. There is nothing that we can do today to erase the actions of
our ancestors. It is about time that we all forget ancient history and look to the future that we all
Herbert H Marshall
3202 Clifford Circle
This story contains 481 words.
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