Sunday, February 21, 2010
Sentiments on Military Service
i went to see another film at the Brooklyn Library again today...two actually. the first was about the first African American female to be a licensed pilot, Willa Beatrice Brown entitled Willa Beatrice Brown: An American Aviator and a film entitled A Child Shall lead Them about eleven first grade children the desegregated Nashville Public Schools. i'll talk about the first film.
the first film about Willa Brown was somewhat interesting. her efforts in aviation lead to the formation of the Tuskegee Airman as well as the overall desegregation of the United States Air Force. in addition, this was all the more challenging for her considering that she did this while the only jobs that were deemed proper for a woman were nursing, secretarial duties and teaching.
the problem i had with this film (as with the tradition of honoring blacks that have desegregated or achieved success within the military) is that it pains me to think about who they are fighting for.
an interviewee in the film remarked that it was unfair how the military was segregated, how they fought against it and how politicians and the like had forgotten that blacks served in the civil war, in World War I, and other small conflicts....as if it was a source of pride. but to me, its quite the opposite. the idea that a group of people whose government has consistently and deliberately treated them less than that of garbage would seek to SERVE that country and put their life on the line for that country is...completely and utterly absurd to me. it is the pinnacle of success for the enemy when they have convinced the opposition to fight with vigor and even die for their side. and this is not just for back then, i consider this to be the case even today.
one of my coworkers informed me that he had been talking to recruiters lately and is planning on joining the Navy in May of this year. i didn't know what to say to him. not only is he black, but more specifically he's Haitian. and lets not even get on the ills that the United States has inflicted upon Haiti that has rendered it one of the poorest nations in the western hemisphere. it pains me to know that he could potentially die for one of the vilest nations in human history.
and make note that i say this is a child of the military. my parents met in the military. my father was in the Army for 25 years and continues to work as a retired civilian on an Army base and was in the Bosnian/Kosovo Conflict. my mother was in for about 3 years. my grandfather served in the Vietnam war. my brother joined the military soon after high school and was in Iraq for about a year. and i have a brother-in-law that is in the Navy stationed in St.Louis. i was born on the Ft. Rucker Army Base in Alabama. i'm not trying to give you my life story, i just want it noted that my sentiments aren't one of dislike for military personnel, it is more so against our country.
being an army child has been, and still is (to an extent) a source of pride. my idea of what a real man is is epitomized in my father. and i'm not certain that some of the characteristics he embodies have not been a direct result of the military. however, there is a part of me that cannot fully respect the military or its personnel (in their career path), nor could i ever join such an institution.
fighting in the military for a corrupt country is not only backwards to me, it is counter-productive in ending any type of oppression and it simultaneously adds to the power and control of the American government. the military not allowing homosexuals to even speak about their love is nonsense on multiple levels. but a homosexual fighting for a government that allows this type of oppression??? COMPLETELY absurd. i don't understand this. and equally, what of the blacks that fought in the civil war on either side, but particularly on the southern side for those that wanted to keep them enslaved??? and the military personnel today that continue to fight, come back missing limbs and even die for a nation that continues to invade other nations with reasons that can be best termed as corrupt/fraudulent/unethical/wrong; a nation that continues to rob the majority of its citizens of proper healthcare, living conditions, and schooling; a nation that accepts and even encourages a permanent impoverished class(...i could go on for days...)?? i cannot comprehend this type of reasoning.
comment. criticize. check out your library's Black History Month programs.