Morgan Freeman on the tea party, racism and Obama
Racism 1 - North-South Cultural Division in The USA
Racism 2 - North-South Cultural Division in The USA
This one is interesting. You get to see how the natural racism in war illustrated in part 1 got reversed in World War 2. It was the military service of the Blacks (including the first black air-force guys... half of whom came from my college) that began to open up the USA to accept black people as deserving of equal rights (eventually, at first they just began to make it to "human" status). See for yourself;
First notice what the typical cartoon was like in the 1930's (white people)...
Here is another cartoon from the 1930's (black people)...
This was when black people earned the right for white people to be nice to them (WW2-1941 Cartoon)...
Black people even got thier own fairy tale cartoon made which must have been a big compliment back then (1944)...
In conclusion I would just like to copy and paste part of an article about World War 2 heroes that opened the way for black people to be seen as human which opened up society enough for the civil rights movement of the 70's (dying for your country isn't enough to overthrow centuries of racism, especially for the older generations... who tend to control decision making - from top to bottom - in modern societies). In other words, it took a generation from WW2 to move from 'good boy' to equal rights for blacks. Another generation for blacks to make it into mainstream music and TV (in that order). Another generation for elect a Black President. 3 generations after WW2 their bravery paid off. Now that's a slow moving society. This is the internet age... over half a century away from the following events. Many people involved are still alive and still racists. But as each new generation comes in the color blindness begins to fade... and the old tyrants hold on tighter (which is why we have a sudden clash between old people and young people in our time).
The courageous and daring US Red Tail squadrons destroyed 112 German planes in the air, another 150 on the ground, hundreds of trains and trucks, even a ship.
Their bravery was the stuff of legend. Their devotion to their country unquestionable. Scores of pilots were awarded medals.
Yet there was no heroes’ return for them after the war. Because the pilots, more than 400 of them, were all black. Recruited in Tuskegee, Alabama, they were organised into segregated squadrons by the US Air Force.
And as 1940s racist America celebrated victory, these second-class citizens were simply forgotten and left to drift back to their pre-war poverty-stricken existence of segregation and humiliation.
One Red Tail even recalls walking down the gangplank at New York harbour on his return from the war to be given the order “Whites to the right, n******s to the left,” by a white army sergeant.
Theirs is a remarkable and moving story. And in our more enlightened times, certainly worthy of a Hollywood movie.
But when Star Wars creator George Lucas tried to get backing to make a film about the Red Tails it was a tale America didn’t want to tell. Every single Hollywood studio turned him down. Again and again over 23 long years.
“They said ‘No’ because it’s an all-black movie... there are no major white roles,” says producer Lucas, 67. “This was a reasonably expensive movie and usually black movies are low-budget.”
So he had to spend £61million of his own money to tell the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, who earned their squadron’s nickname by painting their tails red to make each other out from enemy aircraft in bad weather.
“It was 23 years in the making and I financed it myself,” he says. “I wanted to make an inspirational movie for teenage boys.
“When I started there were 40 Tuskegee Airmen.
“We’re down to seven. The pressure was on me to get it done before they were all gone.”
Red Tails, directed by Anthony Hemingway and starring Oscar-winner Cuba Gooding Jnr from Jerry Maguire, finally opened in America on Friday.
Though partly filmed in the UK, it has yet to win a release date here or anywhere else outside the US. Even though America has elected a black President, the studios still claim there isno market for a film with a mainly black cast.
When he first found out about the Red Tails of the US Air Force’s 332nd Fighter Group, Lucas tracked down some of the surviving veterans and listened, shocked and enthralled, to their stories of segregation and racial discrimination.
The Tuskegees were elated to learn their heroics would finally be acknowledged.
Black airmen were trained separately from whites because of fears of “racial friction” if they were allowed to mix.
The first squadron of 26 Red Tails took off for occupied Europe in 1943. Despite their lack of experience in the air they proved themselves on their first mission, over the Italian island of Pantelleria.
All 11,500 islanders surrendered, one of the few occasions when an enemy hasbeen completely overcome with airpower alone.
Despite the success of their first mission, the Red Tails did not get any praise.
They were accused of being “incompetent and cowardly” for not shooting down enough enemy planes during the battle and there were calls for the unit to be disbanded.
But the Tuskegee men overcame prejudice time and again, flying more than 15,000 combat sorties and 1,578 missions. Of the 445 pilots sent to Europe, 150 were killed in action or died after being captured. Many medals for bravery and distinguished service.
But when the Red Tails returned to the US after the war they still suffered segregation and humiliation.
Tuskegee veteran Alexander Jefferson, now 90, wrote a book called Red Tail Captured, Red Tail Free about his war-time exploits. He was onhis 19th mission when he was shot down over France.
He flew to London earlier this month with actor Gooding to present a special showing of Double Victory, a documentary Lucas made to accompany his film.
He says his German captors treated him like any other soldier.
And then he walked down that gangplank in New York and discovered, from the mouth of a racist white army officer, that nothing had changed in the years he had been away.
After the “n*****s to the left” jibe, he and his fellow black servicemen were herded into a separatearea before being despatched back to their bases.
Fellow Red Tail Harry Stewart, 87, says that was typical of the prejudice he faced.
He says: “I flew 43 missions and had three victories hitting Nazi jets over Austria. When I came home I wanted to be a pilot for commercial airlines. I was turned down.
“One told me they didn’t accept African-Americans because it wouldn’t inspire confidence in passengers.”
In 1949, when a team from 332nd Fighter Group won the Air Force’s first “Gunnery Meet”, the equivalent of the US Navy’s Top Gun competition, their victory was not recognised.
The trophy was mysteriously “lost” until 1995.
Harry adds: “I am so glad George Lucas decided to tell our story. It’s a delightful, inspirational movie in the John Wayne gung-ho mould.
“It’s a film about prevailing under adverse conditions and youngsters will identify with that.”
Even though Harry failed to get a job with an airline after the war he carried on flying for fun and still occasionally takes to the skies.
Another Red Tail, retired Colonel Charles McGee, 91, served as a technical adviser on the film.
He says: “George Lucas was a stickler for a good script. He kept coming back for more information and ultimately he did a beautiful job. Watching the movie bought back many memories.
“I flew 136 missions over Europe. We could have done more but because of segregation we had to wait for replacements.
“Whites couldn’t fly with us even when we needed reinforcements. We accomplished a lot just by being allowed to fly but when we got home awful things continued to happen.
“Along with 100 other men, I was refused entry into the whites-only officers’ club. We were all arrested for protesting.
“It took the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s to really change things in America but I’m proud of what we did. We prevailed under dire circumstances. We opened doors.”
Lucas adds: “They were 19-to 20-year-olds in prop planes going up against combat jets. When they came back after the war they started the Civil Rights movement. This is a movie about heroes.”
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