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My ‘white’ heritage

CHARLES REEDER

Montoursville

I have been watching events unfold with the protests over the need to preserve ‘White’ rights and ‘White’ history in fighting against the removal of a statue of General Robert E. Lee. I watch it unfold and find it hard to believe that we have come to this point in our lives.

What are they trying to preserve? They will tell me our ‘White’ heritage. I call it bs.

This is what I know so far about my ‘white’ heritage; immigrants from Europe mostly Scottish, Irish, English, Dutch. One branch of the family tree leads back to a Quaker family that came here with William Penn. My heritage is filled with farmers, miners, bricklayers, soldiers and the like, the backbone of this nation, the unsung people and I am proud to be their descendant. There are many in my family who served in the military. I had an uncle who served during World War II and was captured by the Germans, escaped, was recaptured and punished severely for escaping.

He was found to suffer from severe psychological damage from his time as a prisoner of war after he was charged with a serious crime and exonerated. He suffered severe flashbacks from his time in Nazi Germany especially in his old age. His family would find him hiding in the bushes in the neighborhood asking if the Nazis had left the area.

Now there are American Nazis. Hard to believe.

In my family tree are Republicans, Democrats, liberals, conservatives and even those who could not vote. There is one uncle who was a member of the KKK. My generation was the first to attend and graduate from college, most of my ancestors never graduated from high school let alone attend school.

Mom was the first in her family of 8 children to graduate from high school and the only sibling to do so. Dad graduated from high school and both served in the Air Force. Mom was from the hills of Kentucky and dad was from Williamsport.

I have a North-South heritage. Some would say I have “redneck” from both sides. This is what my family has been able to uncover so far, maybe we will take a DNA test and find out more. We may uncover the truth of the family tales that the on-line records can not verify.

This is my ‘white’ heritage; European immigrants, Pennsylvanian, Kentuckian, military service, a mix of education levels, a mix of professions, a mix of religions and a mix of politics. Not all that special or unique, fairly normal. I grew up thinking and believing that all Americans had the same rights.

In high school (1960s) I began to realize that was not true. There were laws that allowed other groups to be discriminated against and those groups had to fight to get the rights that I as a white male American have had since birth. I do not see what “white rights” people are claiming to preserve or the “white’ history” they need to protect.

White rights-history is not being threaten by any one. It never was.

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