15 November 2003

That ain't right!

Mini-rant alert:
Okay. So, my beautiful and talented and brilliant friend, Shannon, just sent me an e-mail about the news that African-American soldier Shoshanna Johnson will receive a 30% disability benefit, compared to the 80% that will be received by Jessica Lynch. I am always suspicious of internet rumor, so I checked it out with snopes and found out that this is true.

The military claims that this case has nothing to do with race, and I want to believe that. I mean, for cryin' out loud! This is the year 2003! We revere Dr. King (as we should), but then this kind of blatant racism occurs?

Well, no. The military says it isn't racism. They claim that the disparity has more to do with the offical extent of injury sustained by both women.

On snopes, Barbara Mikkelson writes, "If disability pensions are awarded on the basis of what a soldier has been put through, Spc. Johnson has a strong case for claiming the same level of compensation as that which Pvt. Lynch receives. Johnson was the frightened looking African-American woman shoved in front of the TV cameras by her Iraqi captors, a remembered image that haunts me to this day. She was shot through both legs and held prisoner in Iraq for 22 days. Like Lynch, she too has weathered a difficult convalescence, walks with a limp, and is tortured by memories of her captivity. Her recovery has not been followed by the media the way her more famous comrade-in-arms' was. (Indeed, no other injured soldier's recuperation has garnered attention of that depth and magnitude.) "

I've gotta agree.

Most of my friends know that I am against this war. However, that doesn't make me against the troops. If someone was willing to fight and suffer under the auspices of the US Military, shouldn't she be fairly compensated?

Okay. That's all from me right now. I don't think I can articulate the reason Shoshanna deserves more money any better than Ms. Mikkelson did. I'd better go before I utter some "traitorous" declaration that will have ... um... Yeah. Never mind. I'm gonna go for a walk.

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