Gooks, Slant Eyes, Krauts, Towel Heads

Posted on August 23, 2010


From each war we have  entered,  America is enriched with more derogatory terms for people. I am sure each of their nations do the same. These names are originally made up to instill in the “Soldier” that the enemy is not human. If you think of the enemy as less than you,  it should be easier to kill them. We, as Soldiers, are not taught to think of the civilian population in the same manner. We are strongly encouraged to be very cautious around the populace because you never know when they will become the enemy. Many a soldier was killed by a “shoe Shine Boy” or a pretty face. I am sure that there were and always will be some who have no problem killing everyone. I really do believe that these people are in the very lowest percentile of the total armed force. In Vietnam, as I am sure it is in Afghanistan, it is very hard to distinguish between friendly and enemy as most of the time they are all dressed the same.  This sometimes leads a soldier to look at all as the enemy.

This tactic becomes a problem when we bring it home with us. Many times we pass these feelings on to our loved ones. I worked with a lady whose husband had been shot up bad in the Pacific during WWII. Later he died from those wounds. She hated all “slant eyes” as she called them 60 years after the war. Because her hatred was so great, she would call people “Slant Eyes” even when they weren’t. But they didn’t look like her so they had to be. We alienated thousands of Japanese Americans during WWII because we just couldn’t trust them.

German Americans didn’t want to be known as Germans so they changed the way their name was spelled. My last name started out as Bienemann but my great grand father changed it to Bieneman. Giving it a more British look. Others in the family did even more. Bieneman became Beeman and so one. My grand-mothers last name was Schwem. She would tell everyone that she was Swedish. A friend of mine who fought during WWII was of German decent. He said he was asked more than once how it felt to kill Germans just like him. He said I am an American. The Germans are my enemies also. I have no problem.

In Vietnam the term was “Gooks”. We also called them VC and NVA but Gooks was the main term. You learned to hate them every time one of your comrades got killed. You learned to hate them as you walked through the jungle with sweat pouring down well let’s just say every inch of your body. You learned to hate them while sleeping on the ground and digging a hole to use as a toilet. You never had a reason to learn to love them. It was easy to come back stateside using the term Gook.

Sooner or later you have to realize that these people are no longer the enemy. You have to start looking at these people as, well people. It isn’t the easiest thing to do but it has to be done. Holding on to hatred for to long can only hurt you by keeping your insides and your mind torn up. This is easier to say than to do. I try my best to do that and I have no problems with it until I see a Vietnam war movie. Then they become Gooks again. We have many excellent Vietnamese around the world. None of them intend to do us harm. The same is true with all of the enemies we have faced. A lot of people will never achieve this. The hatred is so deep within them that it will never dissolve.

I guess what I am trying to say is somehow we must move past our war-time training and do the best we can at becoming tolerant of others.  We can not afford to have enemies all of our lives.  We now go to Indian casinos where at one time the Indian was our enemy. We continue to buy German and Japanese products because we trust their quality.  Let us understand that they did their job as soldiers just as we did. Let’s move forward.

I still like Persian rugs. But the Radical side of Islam needs to be objected to by the other Muslims. The United States Government has gone out of it’s way to be “tolerant”.

When the Islamic States show tolerance to Jews & Christians like we do to them the hate will disappear.

Any faith/ person/or state that preaches hate and intolerance to the point of blowing yourself up, having your children witness public executions/ punishment. Killing your wife or children because they show a ” human weakness” creates the PHOBIA of the Towel Head.

Even after WWII it took over two generations to partially forgive the inhumanity we showed to each other.

The only solution is segregation??????????????? after all, this Religious War has been going on from the beginning of recorded history

I agree with you Kurt. In the case of the Islamic people, they must first turn to joining the world as peaceful people. It wasn’t until the end of Nazism that the feeling for the German people began to normalize.  Atrocities perpetrated  by some take a much longer time to heal old wounds. Last year I went to Luxembourg and found out that the people of Luxembourg still hate Germans.  I think we must try to distinguish between the extremist and the rest of the population. I still hate all Vietnamese in uniform. I realize that until this Islamic Jihad crap is over with there will always be cautionary tactics and thoughts by all of us. I only use the term “Towel Head” to try to show that each conflicts add terms. 

I can look at Vietnamese in civilian clothing and not think negatively about them immediately. The hatred of Gooks only causes our PTSD to work overtime.  I’m just trying to help some elevate their PTSD by a marginal amount.

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