Petraeus, Minorities, Racism and the Majority EDITORIAL
LIBERTY, November 10, 2012 - The big news coming out of Washington these days is the resignation of CIA Director David Petraeus. Petraues resigned after an FBI investigation that uncovered the fact that he, a man married for 37 years, was having an extra-marital affair with a woman, much younger than himself who was writing a biography about his life.
CBS News is reporting that in his statement to the CIA workforce he stated, “After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. “Such behavior is unacceptable both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours.”
Why is something that on the surface seems to be nothing but a moral issue so important to the nation and we the people who Petraeus serves?
It is because his actions have placed the country at risk and he immediately submitted his resignation to President Obama.
Petraeus put himself in the position that should the information concerning his affair become known to the wrong people, he could have become and easy target for Blackmail and the longer he waited to resign the greater security risk he would have become to our Nation given the information he knows and has access to. Petraeus had to go and once confronted he did.
That’s the way things are in Washington. It is a different world here in Texas. All people know around here is largely private sector employment where security of information, security clearances largely don’t exist.
Most people don’t know all that much about me or what I was doing before returning to Liberty, my native town, some 18 or 20 years ago. I was a registered architect working in Washington, D. C. for a large architecture firm at 1776 K Street, N.W. in the center of the District of Columbia. The Mayflower Hotel where so much of our nations history has occurred over the years, was in the next block and the White House was only a two blocks in the perpendicular direction.
It was during my years in Washington, thinking that I may want to settle down and make a career there I sought out the best opportunities for myself and made application to the US State Department to work for them as an architect at the recommendation of a knowledge associate.
I’m now 58 and never married. My brother and I both never married and I wasn’t married when I applied to work for the U. S. State Department.
The job application is extensive and pages long and the reason is, as an architect for the US State Department you are doing work in US Embassies all over the world and other State Department buildings. That requires extensive security clearances.
Here’ s how serious the government takes security and security clearances and what was considered moral behavior at that time.
After preparing the extensive application I submitted it and I thought I had a good chance at the job, since I came with a good recommendation from my associates, had very good work experience having worked both domestically and internationally and traveled outside the country in this process to the Middle East.
I was right. It wasn’t long until the senior manager of the department called me in for a meeting. We spent an hour getting to know each other and he pointed out one of the responses I made on my application to a question and recommended a revision he wanted to make before resubmitting my application. It seemed reasonable to me and I agreed.
At this time with the man I was talking to fully realizing I was in my early thirties and had never married, he said, “Thank you for coming in, however if there is anything in your background that would suggest relationships with other men, you probably should not resubmit your application.”
From growing up in Texas and my broad knowledge of minorities of all kinds having been educated at an extremely diverse university I knew I was being suspected of being a member of a minority group and I knew and understood minorities and discrimination.
What was so important to the State Department at that time years ago? It was the same problem that Mr. Petraeus gave himself and for the same reason.
I never revised my application and I never resubmitted it. I knew that had I been hired by the State Department and with the concern they had as to whether or not I was a member of a minority group no matter what would have happened in that group that question would have continued to arise and I would always be a target. I didn’t want to live my life as a suspected member of a minority group and make myself a target throughout my career even though this was great opportunity I was passing up because I knew what being a minority was all about and wanted none of it.
I continued to work for the same firm in D. C. for about one or two years and then decided to return to Liberty.
Minorities of all kinds, Hispanics, Blacks, Gays, Jews, Muslims, and others are constant targets of the majority due to no fault of their own. Majorities since the beginning of time have always made targets of minorities of all kinds.
Commissioner Todd Fontenot is a minority and has served the citizens of Liberty County Precinct 1 for so many years. You may recall he became a target of three people of the majority in their attempt to uncover corruption in the Courthouse, who decided to get to the bottom of it. They decided to wiretap phones. They targeted two individuals for the wiretapping, the County Judge at the time and the only minority member of the Commissioners Court. They sure thought they were going to uncover the corruption. They found nothing and what happened to them and their wiretapping scheme is a matter of history.
Minorities are always targets of the majority. Don’t forget it and in his years of service there was never any corruption found concerning Mr. Fontenot.
Thank you, Mr. Fontenot for your many years of dedicated service to the citizens of Liberty County Precinct 1. I appreciate you and what you have done. I understand.
FEEDBACK REPLY: I thought the editorial about the Petreaus incident was a good insightful one. I think it's true that if some find themselves on the receiving end of minortiy status, and reach a position of authority, they open themselves up to a possible position of intense scrutiny. I can understand the Governments concern about being compromised, but even in local government situations there seems to be an inordinate amount of scrutiny because of their so called minority status. Most especially in small knit communities where things like personal biases and such seem to go unchecked. Jews, Catholics, African-Americans, Immigrants, Gays and others will always be under the microscope of public scrutiny by the status quo until the time comes when they will be accepted and in some instances become the status quo themselves.