Black and White

by R Gregg Miller

Chapter 1

I’m not saying there isn’t any gray area. I am saying there is black and white, wrong and right. Once they are mixed, it’s a bitch to separate them—nature’s rule, not mine. 

In my youth when people called me an idealist, I took it as a compliment. Only later in life did I realize it wasn’t. Despite possessing a fair amount of intellectual firepower, I couldn’t understand how any high-ranking official could feel threatened by somebody just trying to do the right thing. I’m embarrassed it took me so long to see the obvious: Not everyone in a position of trust is trustworthy

I’ve always been a bit of a Don Quixote. As a young boy, I read historical accounts of war and memoirs of brave men who risked everything for God and country. I lamented being born too late to fight the Nazis. After high school I planned to fight the communists in Southeast Asia, but before I was old enough to enlist, my brother was killed in Vietnam. Among his personal effects was a letter urging me not to follow in his footsteps. He told me there were other ways to serve. 

Reading the newspapers and watching Walter Cronkite on the CBS Evening News convinced me my brother was right. America was not under siege by the Viet Cong thousands of miles away but by criminals right here at home. President Nixon had even declared war on crime. So as young men had joined the armed services during previous wars, in 1972, I joined the Los Angeles Police Department. 


I was always one of those people who planned my future and worked diligently to make my vision come true. A lifetime later, those efforts seem foolish.