In 2019, decorated war veteran Jerry Holliman’s prosthetic legs were repossessed as though they were a luxury vehicle in the driveway of a millionaire gone bankrupt.
The insulting incident happened because of America’s historical hatred for Black people.
Many Black veterans enlist out of perceived duty, for greater access to career opportunities or education.
But their high hopes of returning home to honorable treatment wither as reality sets in.
According to a recent Equal Justice Initiative report, American war endings coincided with waves of lynching era violence.
White people specifically targeted Black veterans to harass, discriminate against, criminalize and even murder as a way to reinforce their superiority and to reiterate that military service would never make a Black person socially, economically, or politically their equal.
The GI Bill added another lack of accountability.
White veterans took advantage of federal grants, tax cuts, and home mortgages denied to Black veterans to create segregated homes in suburbia and generate inheritances for future offspring.
In contrast, Black veterans were and continue to be left to die from lack of medical care (especially mental health services) and the denial of their human right to safe, affordable housing.
For Jerry Holliman and many heroes like him, the injustice is clear:
“You spend so long, doing something for your country, and you expect it to do something in return, but it doesn’t happen.”