I understand that Governor Romney probably had World War II monuments in mind when he mentioned that the war memorials around our country make no reference to race or religion.... But I want to call your attention to the North Carolina monument at Appomattox Court House. It's placed just about at the spot where the war ended -- at least for the people in Lee's Army. Notice that it lists the North Carolina "White Population" and the "Military Population." (Click on the picture at right to bring up a larger and more readable version.)
But, you might say, that was all a thing of the past by Romney's lifetime. Well ... it just so happens that I taught on Thursday -- yeah, irony of irony, isn't it -- Rice v. Sioux City Memorial Park, a case out of Iowa that denied injunctive relief to a widow of a soldier killed in Korea who wanted her husband (who was part Native American) buried in the Sioux City Memorial Park. (The Memorial Park's contract restricted burials to white people.) But you probably think -- ah, what the heck, such un-American behavior was certainly over by the era of the Vietnam War. And in some ways you're be right about that -- but only after there was a federal lawsuit in Birmingham.