After reading Chuck Doud's column for a while now I have come to the conclusion that he is quite an admirer of Teddy Roosevelt. In his editorial on Wednesday, Oct. 2, he stated, “Theodore Roosevelt, who was a statesman and leader of excellence, indeed.”
I am sorry I have to disagree. I think my race owe a lot to the Republican politicians of this country, but I have to say that Mr. Roosevelt is one of those that should not receive any respect or recognition for being a statesman, or leader of excellence.
In the battle of San Juan Hill in Cuba, Mr. Roosevelt had his fanny pulled from the fire by Buffalo Soldiers of the 9th and 10th Calvary and the 24th and 25th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army. Those men fought valiantly and saved Mr. Roosevelt and the troops under his command. So grateful was Mr. Roosevelt for how brave and valiantly that the Buffalo Soldiers fought he made promises to them to fight to help them achieve the recognition for their bravery in battle and acceptance in a segregated America when they returned from the war.
Not only did Mr. Roosevelt not keep his promises but he made derogatory statements to the effect that the men were cowards and did not want to fight or fight to the same standards as the white soldiers. All this was done to gain him political favors to win elections.
Mr. Roosevelt did a great disservice to those men and never accorded them the recognition they deserved but made statements that served to help continue the stereotypical views of American blacks at the time and continue segregation.
He might have gone on to win recognition from the American people as a great statesman, but I wonder how many would agree if they knew the true story of San Juan Hill?