What happened to Grandpa’s pension? Why did this add to Richard’s lack of faith in the government as a solution to the problems of black people?
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Grandpa was a veteran of the Civil War. Grandpa had been deprived of his pension due to a clerical error in his benefits application. It was rumored that a white Southern officer deliberately made this error to deprive Grandpa of his pension. This illustrates the systemic racism that Richard notes is prevalent in America.