Why Trump Sweeps Black American History Under the Rug
When right-wing extremist Tomi Lahren tweeted a photoshopped image of Colin Kaepernick alongside dead soldiers, she threw meat to the KKK, proud boys and other white supremacists. But she also increased public hatred of a man that Donald Trump has obsessed over as one of his personal political enemies. Black Lives Matter is more than a loosely organized movement of 15–26 million Americans, it is a truth, that should not be controversial in a nation which strives towards the ideal that all of us are created equal. But it is controversial. BLM has been twisted into the false narrative of white supremacist hate groups, that BLM supporters hate police and love violence.
And we’re hounded with the false choice between caring about black lives and caring about our veterans. 1.2 million African-American soldiers served America in WWII but of the 100s of hours of WWII footage reviewed for the book “Breath of Freedom”, less than 10 minutes was of African-American soldiers. One 1 minute and 45 second clip is of the 320th balloon barrage battalion, assigned to deploy dirigibles over Omaha and Utah beaches to stop Nazi planes from low-altitude strafing runs over our men. These men served in segregated units with segregated blood banks while fighting Nazi racism. This 1 minute and 37 second clip shows a desegregated funeral service on the beach of Normandy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9K8mezEkKYw
The African-American soldiers who survived, returned home to segregated states and Jim Crow laws and lynchings. Fewer than 100 of the 67,000 GI bill mortgages were taken by non-whites due to the bank’s racist lending policies. Very few universities would accept blacks and non in doctoral or engineering programs so these returning heroes couldn’t take advantage of GI bill education benefits. Most would have to rent at a time when landlords such as Frederick Christ Trump would use the “C” code on rental applications to avoid renting to colored people.
Considering how many African-Americans died for a country that continued to treat them as 3rd class citizens. Considering that many live the paradox of believing the American dream while never quite experiencing it and deeply loving our country despite having a much deeper understanding of its imperfections, should we really force our particular symbols of patriotism on them while continuing to sweep our racist past and present under a rug? Burying truths under forced fake patriotism is exactly the opposite of what defines our Nation’s greatness.