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To: MNDude
I joined the USAF in Oct, 1962

Coming from the "Whitest" State (Vermont) in the Union, I had little if any interaction with Blacks (what they were called back then) and did not have a racist bone in my body as was the case with most Vermonters.

My HS, albeit small (maybe 200 students) had one black student and the town I grew up (some 7,000) had one black family.

Thus when I got to basic at Lackland, I was shocked at the undercurrent of racism, though nothing overt or any real problems.

THEN, I got stationed (after tech school) to Tachikawa AFB, Japan and things got really "interesting."

Though there were some blacks who I worked and lived with in the same (Quonset Hut) barracks and though there was no obvious problems, when not working, we each went our separate ways.

"They" had their own gate they went out of with "their" bars, restaurants, laundry's and "ladies" they frequented and mostly hung around together; we "Caucasians" had our own as well and no one made a big deal about it and after a while, we simply took it for granted.

After returning from Nam in 67, all hell had broken loose.

I got stationed at Bergstrom AFB (Austin) Tx and from there to DC in 68 for 6 months to attend OSI (Office of Special Investigation) School.

We were "encouraged" to not venture "Downtown" and even the Washington Police patroled in pairs with many having a big dog in their cars.

Later on got stationed at McGuire AFB in N.J. and then (living close to Philadelphia and occasionally going there to visit) is when I first was exposed to Black on White racism and palapable dislike, at times, bodering on "hatred."

Think conditions mostly improved for a while, but seem to have gotten worse again as when vacationing in Florida this past Winter, I did make a consicous decision to avoid certain sections of Tampa as they were not considered "Safe." Don't know about the rest of the country, but from what I read, there appears to be a lot of attacks by African Americans on whites which are unprovoked and much more prevalent than the opposite.

44 posted on 07/06/2012 11:45:00 AM PDT by Conservative Vermont Vet
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To: Conservative Vermont Vet

It was pretty much the same at Clark AB in the Philippines in the early 60s. Blacks and whites in my squadron got along very well, but when we went into Angeles City, the black guys got off the jeepneys in “their” area and we kept on going to the white area. White troops could only go into the black bars accompanied by a black buddy, and ditto in the white area. There were no racial issues on the base at that time.

59 posted on 07/06/2012 2:45:30 PM PDT by Ax
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