black white_0344.docx - My father never killed this black...

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My father never killed this black man. He was many things, but he was Black & White 273 not some savage that would take pleasure in an act like that. He was a leader. There were things he ... I didn’t always...” She didn’t fi nish the thought. “People loved and respected him,” she said, “and they did anything he asked them to. But he never ordered them to kill this black man either.” Michael started to say something, and then understanding came to him in a rush, like a map unfolding in his head. Bright red lines like Interstate highways connected all the small, isolated stories, and together they made a pattern that could not be contested. “He had friends,” Michael said, “at the Army Recruiting Offi ce in Raleigh, didn’t he?” “He had friends everywhere.” “These particular friends were willing to backdate a few enlistment forms, weren’t they? To please Wilmer Bynum and get themselves a healthy, white, high- school graduate athlete to send to Vietnam?” Ruth didn’t answer, didn’t need to. “It was Greg Vaughan
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