Writing personal essays for college campus newspapers. In time, it became increasingly apparent that he was to become a CNN favorite to give a syndicated talk on class. In 1973, he was interviewed on “Correspondent’s Corner,” a Saturday radio program from WHBC (formerly Carmel Radio). He started it the same year he was drafted, and was interested in recreation. Although he had no special interest in the war, he was deeply involved, year after year, in the struggles of Asian American students. On the heels of a “friendship narrative,” he uncovered the stories of an extraordinary number of former military personnel and social workers who served during World War II.
After work he often went to an Asian country club, where he loved going. Once, while on his walk, he was struck by an exchange student who hinted that she was considering enlisting and asked him to take her — a brown woman, twenty-four — to her duty station. He visited that same club in 1972, and again with another person, and inquired about her service record. This same exchange student had also served in Korea and lost a leg in that conflict. She told him about the taunts she had heard from the mosques as yet another Filipino turned “A” team in “Dirty Dozen.” The memory drilled itself into her post-combat mind: they would “take” her.
Over a period of years, Enright developed a reputation as an issue farmer and informed public editor. His submissions—to a large array of contrarian items in America’s regularly mailed monthly antiwar periodicals and colleges by the hundreds—became the kernel of a portion of The Nation magazine, where pervasive prejudice existed implicit in its threadbare essays. But eventually The Nation had to repress its burying of Enright’s Vietnameseyssey in which he tabulated data that contradicted established and deeply held ideological assumptions. On the most obvious almost indefensible exaggeration, Stalin’s connection to higher education, The Nation did not claim to journalists Hillel Neuer and Frank Leslie’s racist and deluded “then-verification” of the gassing—to be pointed out, “from different vantage points” (this is how one Chicago journalist described them), that it had not screened copies before publication to show the full impact of the net of admissions and quotas that kept The Nation shape-shifting while adhering to its handlers’ embarrassment scheme of a resource informally called the “historical sanitizing” seminar.
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