The Un-American Americans

Tibor Rubin died last week. He survived the Holocaust and came to the United States in 1948. When he tried to enlist in the Army he was refused because his English was not good enough. By 1950 he improved enough to meet Army standards, enlisted and volunteered to fight in Korea. He found himself ambushed in an exposed position, and as the only soldier with a weapon he fought until his ammunition was gone, saving many of his fellow soldiers, but himself wounded, captured, and sent to a POW camp. While there he made a habit of sneaking out of camp to forage for food which he shared with his comrades, enabling them to survive.

Corporal Rubin was recommended a number of times for the Medal of Honor. But his own sergeant was a virulent anti-Semite who repeatedly refused to submit the paperwork even when commanded to do so by superiors. In 2002, President George Bush ordered a review of the records of 137 Jewish veterans, and Colonel Rubin finally received the honor which his comrades agreed he so truly deserved.

In a documentary about his life, Colonel Rubin comment about his mother: “And she always teach us: ‘There is one God, and we are all brothers and sisters. You have to take care of your brothers and save them.’ To her, to save somebody’s life is the greatest honor. And I did that.”

So what I wonder is “Who taught the sergeant to hate?”

In Alabama, a judge came up with a plan to allow those with outstanding court debts who could not pay in cash to pay in blood. Debtors were told that if they could not pay, they could either donate blood in a van parked outside and bring back the receipt or go immediately to jail. There was no assement of their ability to pay, and many had been incorrectly billed for court costs that included the cost of their court-appointed counsel. If they chose to donate, they stayed out of jail for that day but their debts were not waived. And the blood could not be used since policies of the blood bank prohibited the use of coerced donations in order to ensure the safety of the blood supply.

Perry County Circuit Judge Marvin Wiggins is another un-American American. Law school would have taught him about law. But what lessons did he get from his mother that he could demand payment in blood for debts that were not only not properly assigned, but not waived when the blood payment was made?

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