Black Veterans: The Epitome of American Patriotism

I want to give a big thank you this Veterans Day to every Black man and woman that served in the United States military. It is ironic that patriotism and racism go together like baseball and hot dogs in the good old USA, as those who scream the loudest saying, “Support our troops!”, often care little about the domestic polices and de facto racism that keeps their “heroes” from living the very American dream that they are told to fight for and export to nations around the world.

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The Black soldier lined up to fight the British in 1775, even while they were being enslaved! To add insult to injury, many of the Black soldiers fought in the so-called Revolutionary War “in place of their masters, fighting for a freedom they would never see for themselves. (In many cases, their enlistment bonuses or even their pay went straight to their masters.)

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At the time of the Civil War, Fredrick Douglass argued that the Black soldier could help the North win the war, but Abraham Lincoln did not want armed Black slaves (and you were taught in school that he wanted to free the slaves right?). He later gave in, but imagine the horrific torture that awaited a Black Union soldier that was captured by the Confederate army? The Black soldier did not receive equal pay for his fighting, and heroes like Robert Smalls proved that the Black soldier really was as smart as the White soldier, which was a common stereotype of the time as well as today (e.g. “IQ tests”). These Black soldiers would soon be placed back into second-class citizenship in the U.S., as the Union and Confederate states sought reconciliation with one another, not the men and women that it had enslaved for over 250 years. Those same Black soldiers, like other formerly enslaved Black Americans, didn’t receive their ”40 acres and a mule”. That land was given back to the very people they had just fought against just years prior.

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Fast forward to WWI, right in the midst of the Nadir period for civil rights, as Black Americans were “free” but certainly not equal, so many Black men enlisted to fight, “the War Department had to stop accepting black volunteers because the quotas for African Americans were filled.” “African American men who owned their own farms and had families were often drafted before single white employees of large planters. Although comprising just ten percent of the entire United States population, blacks supplied thirteen percent of inductees.”  They returned to a nation who’s cities erupted with race riots that stole black wealth (Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1921) and lynchings and sundown towns.

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By WWII, Black Americans still enlisted and desired to fight so-call fascism with pride. However, how embarrassing was it for the USA to be called out on its hypocrisy by none other than…Hitler. He noted that the USA’s treatment of the Negro set an example for how Germany must deal with “foreign Jews”. They returned home after WWII still subjected to Jim Crow segregation, more race riots, and once again, unequal pay, as 1.2 million soldiers were not able to take advantage of their GI Bill and be free to move into the newly formed suburbs which would soon create an even wider wealth gap through housing that remains firmly entrenched into the 21st century. The result, the Black soldier’s family could not benefit from sacrifice that he made for his country not just with housing, but because they were also unable to use the money for college tuitions or business loans. To add insult to atrocity, many were attacked by Whites as they were on their way home from the war.

 

How much changed by the Vietnam War for the Black soldier? I think you know the answer, as the 1960s are the one period of time most American’s did learn about in school as the “Civil Rights Era”, due to the assignation of Dr. Martin Luther King. Black Vietnam veterans, as after every other war, returned to segregated communities and “their place” in society. However, this time, the situation was in the process of changing. Some of these veterans returned home determined to now make this country live up to the promise it had been making to prior Black veterans for generations.

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How will we look at the time of service for those who served in Desert Storm or the so-called Iraqi War and years of fighting the “War on Terror”? Fifty years from now, will we look back and note their time of service at the time when Black men and women were being shot and killed by police officers and the officers continuously get found “not guilty”? Will we see that they served at a time when “White Extremists” in their own country, are considered more dangerous than the terrorist they were fighting in the Middle East?

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In my opinion, the Black veteran is the epitome of an American patriot. Perhaps they have never fought for what America actually was to them, but for what America always promised it would be to them and their offspring for their service.

For that, I sincerely say, thank you for your service.

Cool Pappa

This is America: Observations and Thoughts

This is America

Childish Gambino’s “This is America” music video has swept the nation with its poetic lyrics and its hidden messages. The song has only been out for a week (as of this writing) and the music video already has over 139 million views on YouTube. With its growing popularity, I have decided to compare this music video to Neely Fuller’s view of entertainment. Also, breakdown the contents and significance of his music video.

Background of the Music Video

The music video takes place in a warehouse, and starts out with a guitar on a chair as a black man comes, picks it up and sits in the chair. The camera moves and you see Childish Gambino standing and as the music plays, he starts to dance. He dances towards the man, who before was sitting down playing the guitar, but now has a bag over his head. When Childish Gambino is right behind him, he pulls out a pistol and shoots him. He then hands the gun over to a teenager in a school uniform and starts dancing again. While dancing, teens come and start dancing behind him. Also, while they dance, you can see that there is rioting going on in the background along with a police car.

After, the camera shifts and you are in a room, and a church choir is singing. Then Childish Gambino comes in and starts dancing while they sing. And while they sing, Childish Gambino stops and is tossed an automatic rifle and shoots the choir, which could refer to church shootings. He then hands the rifle to the same teen he handed the pistol to. He dances out of the room and in the background, there is more rioting. Then he dances some more while the rioting goes on around him, then the camera shifts and you see the teenage dancers start dancing again. After a while, the camera shifts again revealing teenagers with bandanas while holding their phones, appearing to be filming the riot. Then the camera moves to show Childish Gambino and the teenage dancers dancing again, and still in the background you can see that the rioting is still going on. Then you see a white horse pass by with a white guy riding it. Then the teenage dancers dance in a circle around Childish Gambino, seeming confused, but is shocked when Childish Gambino acts like he shoots a gun. Then while everyone is running you hear a faint scream. Then Gambino lights a cigar and walks away.

After, the scene changes to Gambino walking up a car and standing on top of it. Then starts dancing on it while the camera zooms out, and shows old cars surrounding him and the black man who got shot in the chair (earlier in the video) and a woman sitting on a car. Then the camera shifts to a scene where he’s running from white people.

Dancing in the Music Video

The dancing in the music video is very African centered. When Childish Gambino is about to shoot the Black man playing the guitar, he poses by putting his butt back and putting his right hand on his hip. I assume he got this pose from a Jim Crow poster of a Black man doing the same thing.

Lyrics in the Song

When the song begins, you hear what seems to be Africans singing, they may be singing to the Europeans that come to “colonize” them. Also, when they reveal Childish Gambino, he starts singing, “We just want to party, party just for you. We just want the money, money just for you.” The “you” may refer to America, and how Americans just want to party and want money all the time. Then when there was rioting going on behind him, he says, “Police be tripping now.” Very likely referring to the police killings and beatings on Black people. Also, while the rioting is going on behind him, he says, “Yeah, yeah, this is guerilla.” Meaning guerilla warfare, referring to the riot that was going on.

Does the Song Fit Neely Fuller’s View of Entertainment and Does It Promote Justice?

In Neely Fuller’s book The United Independent Compensatory Code/System/Concept: A Compensatory Counter-Racist Code, it says, “During the existence of White Supremacy, always expect most so-called “entertainment” for Non-White people to be, basically, pitiful, primitive, stupid, and/or silly.” So, the question is, does the song make Non-White (specifically so-called Black) people look pitiful, primitive, stupid, and/or silly?

It may be viewed a little silly (since during the music video, Childish Gambino has no shirt on), but I don’t view it as making Black people look pitiful, primitive, or stupid. Also in Neely Fuller’s book, he says, “Do not “dance,” or participate in so-called “group-dancing” unless all of the persons participating have a collective understanding of what the “dancing” is designed to produce, in regards to the result.” Since it seems that Childish Gambino (and his background dancers) meant for this song to point out all the disorder in America, I think the song fulfilled its purpose. Now for the important question, does the song promote and/or produce justice?  I think that the song may promote justice, in the sense that it may get people to think about all the disorder in America.

The song itself is good (even though it does say one curse word). If the black (i.e. Non-White) people watching it were to look at the video in close detail, I think people will be shocked at what they find. All in all, I think the music video does produce justice and sends a wakeup call to the nation.

This has been my thoughts and observations of the “This is America” music video. I hope you enjoyed this blog post and learned something while reading it.

-Big Homie

Top 3 Weirdest Insects

Everyone thinks bugs are gross and to some extent it’s true. I mean, come on, who wants to find a spider or bed bug in their bed? So, the reason for this blog post is not for you to get even more creeped out about bugs. It’s for you to understand that bugs may be ugly (definitely some on this list, I mean they have a face only its mother can love), but they help our environment. They help keep other bugs off crops and keep bugs like cockroaches and earwigs out of your kitchen. So bugs should both be respected or in some cases, stepped on and squished if it’s like a scorpion or a spider. I hope you understand and enjoy this blog post.

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3: Devil’s Flower Mantis

The devil’s flower mantis is one of the biggest mantises in the world. The reason it looks like it has an evil smile is to scare off or to distract a predator. It can see 180 degrees and has long antennae. It uses its antennae to detect chemicals, movement, and odors. When it sees prey coming, it will grab it with its legs then start to eat it. It usually eats flies, moths, butterflies, and beetles.

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2: Brazilian Treehopper

So first of all, you are probably wondering what in the world is that thing on its head. Well, to be honest nobody really knows what it is for. Some scientist believe it’s for if the bug meets a predator, it will be hard for them to eat it. Others believe that the balls on it’s head sense vibrations.

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1: Giant Weta

The giant weta is one of the biggest insects in the world. Its name actually means “god of ugly things”. They can be up to 4 inches and can weigh up to 2.5 oz. Even though it looks like it has the legs of a cricket, it actually can’t jump due to its weight. One of the weirdest things about this bug is that it has ears on its knees, they are right below the knee-joint. This insect is close to extinction thanks to humans who went to New Zealand and brought predators (like cat and rats) along with them. I hope you guys learned something and found this blog post interesting.

I hope you guys learned something and found this blog post interesting. Some people may have been disgusted by some of these bugs and I apologize if it made you want to throw up.

-BigHomie

Economic and Education Stats for the State of Arizona

Quick intro from Cool Poppa:

Remember your old boring Geography class in school? Did you ever wonder whether it really mattered if you knew exactly where various states were located in the United States? Really, you are not even able to drive yet and what if you never planned on even visiting those states when you got older? Well, I’ve noticed the fruits of this mentality in adults over the years, so this year I wanted to try something different with the Tribe. 

Continue reading “Economic and Education Stats for the State of Arizona”