The Civil Writer Magazine

Former President Clinton got a college deferment from the war because of school. Biden got a deferment in law school because of having childhood asthma. President Donald Trump the most admired man in 2019 tied with former president Obama graduated from college in the spring of 1968, making him eligible to be drafted and sent to Vietnam; but he received a diagnosis of bone spurs in his heels. The diagnosis resulted in a medical deferment, exempting him from military service 5 times. Trump's own words, "You think I'm stupid, I wasn't going to Vietnam.’”

Meanwhile poor African Americans with no college, health issues or bone spurs suffered disproportionately high casualty rates in Vietnam. In 1965 alone they comprised 14.1% of total combat deaths, when they only comprised approximately 11% of the total U.S. population in the same year. With the draft increasing due to the troop buildup in South Vietnam, the military significantly lowered its admission standards.

Many black men who had previously been ineligible could now be drafted, along with many poor Hispanics and racially intolerant white men from the southern states. How easily whites forget how white men who dodged the war are the same ones elected to the presidency to send your White, Black and Hispanic sons and daughters to war. Being most proportionally minorities. They call Trump and other draft dodgers white American Patriots but they never let Muhammad Ali live his conscientious objection down. “I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet Cong”. “No Viet Cong ever called me nigger.” It helped to define him, his opposition to the war in Vietnam, his support for civil rights, and, really, the entire decade of the 1960s. He was never called a patriot or awarded the title of the most admired man for standing up for a principle rather than sitting down with a bone spur, college test or an asthmatic.