Courage Knows No Color: The Story Of The Tuskegee Airmen

February 14, 2020

 

 

 

 

By: Marc Kelley

Syndicated by: Montana News

In order to understand political ideology, we must first understand the relative position of one ideology, as it is compared with another. Unfortunately, many people on both sides of the political aisle today, believe political ideology is represented by a linear progression, with conservatives on one end and liberals on the other. The truth is somewhat more complicated, and is best explained by a circular model, as opposed to a linear model. In the circular model, or what is called the political compass, the further one's political views move to the right or to the left, the more extreme the ideology becomes. History has shown us again and again, what happens when political ideology reaches the extreme. Wars have been waged and many lives have been lost, as the US has fought against communism, fascism and socialism. Many people today have forgotten or are simply not interested in learning from the lessons of the past. It is a sad day indeed, when the sacrifices of so many, are ignored in an attempt to justify and defend their personal ideology.

 

Today, fascism has become a buzz-word used to describe anyone with conservative views or political ideology. Fueled by their hatred of President Trump and unable to come to terms with the people who voted for him, many on the left have lost the ability to view Trump Supporters as human beings, deserving of the basic respect afforded All of Gods people. From the mainstream media to groups like Antifa, these groups hold themselves up as the "enlightened" portion of our society, fighting against what they call fascism. Sadly, these misguided miscreants fail to realize, by shouting down anyone who dares disagree with their perspective, they themselves are committing the acts of a fascist regime. By its very definition, fascism exalts a nation and often a race, above the individual and relies on social regimentation and forceable suppression of any opposition. 

 

Groups on either side of the political spectrum who encourage hateful, divisive ideology, are simply not helpful. Whether is professional athletes embracing the anti-law enforcement ideology of Black Lives Matter; or, George Soros promoting Move On.org, touting their goal to bring, "Real Americans" back into the political process.

 

In both cases, these groups and their pet projects, only serve to hurt the US. Many in these groups became who they are today, because they are standing on the shoulders of people, who long before them fought to keep the liberty and freedom, they hold in such disdain. People who truly endured oppressive conditions and unfounded hate, based on ignorance and fear. Rather than using their God given talent and profound privilege, these groups chose to embrace an ideology filled with as much hate and ignorance, as members of the KKK or the publishers of The Daily Stormer.

 

This is the story of a group of American's, who have come to be called, The Tuskegee Airmen. A unique group of men and women, who came forward at a time when our country needed courageous men and women to fought against true fascism. The ideology of the Nazi's, and their belief in the "master race", and the ideology of Japan, seeking world domination through the doctrine of "Hakko Ichiu". These brave souls stood tall in Hell, because they loved our country, in a time when more importance was given to the color of their skin, than to the content of their character. Since the days of the US Civil War, and the formation of the Buffalo Soldiers, the US War Department followed a mandated policy of segregation for our soldiers.

 

While Black units participated in many conflicts and had acquitted themselves with valor and honor, they remained segregated and subject to many of the same ideological prejudice, which caused the US Civil War. During WWI...The war to end all wars, African American citizens flocked to the recruiting offices to join the military. Many Black soldiers, felt much the same as they do today; in that, volunteering to serve our country in a time of need, would prove their loyalty, patriotism and worth to those who doubted their ability. While Blacks were allowed to serve in WW I, they were for the most part, assigned to support roles with very few actually seeing combat.

 

Following WWI, our country was enamored by the likes of Charles Lindbergh and Amelia Earhart, as they flew their aircraft and captivated our nation, as aviators. Many African Americans were anxious to join these perceived social elites and began learning to fly. This reality was again met with resistance from the White ruling class, who mistakenly believed, Blacks were incapable of learning to operate a machine as complex as an aircraft. Yet, this ideology was about to be challenged by someone herself, who had experienced the judgment of others, based upon their ill conceived perception of her abilities.

 

In 1938, then President Franklin D. Roosevelt began feeling pressure about losing the support of Black voters. With the 1940 Presidential election approaching and WWII not going well for our allies, it seemed a safe bet, the US would be unable to avoid entering the conflict, and once again, our country would need brave patriots, to serve in our military. In a moment of clarity, First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt began speaking to her husband about allowing Black pilots to serve in our military. This notion was scoffed at and declared as unwise by much of our military leadership. However, what the Admirals and Generals surrounding President Roosevelt failed to consider, was the First Lady's considerable constitution. In a move which could have been conceived by President Trump, The First Lady took her argument directly to the people. Just a few short months before the Japanese would bomb Pearl Harbor, Eleanor Roosevelt would pose for a photo, sitting in the rear seat of a JP-3 Piper training aircraft, piloted by 

 

C. Alfred Anderson, the first Black flight instructor, chosen to lead the Tuskegee Experiment, where Black pilots would be taught the role of air combat.

 

On December 7, 1941, Japan bombed our Naval base at Pearl Harbor, forcing the US to enter WWII. The response from the American public was the same as it had been in the Revolutionary war, the Civil War and WWI, brave men and women flocked to join the military and fight for our country. The US was about to unleash the greatest military industrial complex the world had ever seen, and there would be ample opportunities for anyone interested in fighting for our country. What was initially termed as the Tuskegee Experiment, was now about to become the Tuskegee Experience, as the first Black pilots began their air combat training at The Tuskegee Army Airfield. In all, 992 pilots were trained at Tuskegee from 1941-1946. 355 Tuskegee Airmen were deployed into the European Theater and flew their P51 Mustangs, first out of bases in North Africa and then from Sicily, as they protected our B17 bombers on their missions over axis held territory. Sixty-eight Tuskegee Pilots were killed in action, another 12 were killed in training accidents and 32 were shot down and captured as Prisoners of War. 

 

In what many agree was a pure act of defiance and the expression of both bravery and loyalty, the Tuskegee Airmen adopted the practice of painting the tails of their aircraft, bright red, announcing their presence to enemy fighters. The group would become known as the "Redtails" or "Redtail Angels", by the ten man aircrews flying in the B17 bombers. The urban myth of the "Redtails", never losing a bomber under their escort, has become a legend, told in songs and in movies. Yet the truth of the matter is, we lost aircrews who were protected by both White and Black pilots, during WWII. It is unfair to expect perfection from anyone in the performance of their duty, when that duty includes the brutality of war; moreover, it is not acceptable to condone the unequal or unjust treatment of any of our veterans. Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, male or female, our veterans represent the best of what our country has to offer. 

 

So please, before you listen to another lecture from the privileged elites and the media talking heads, on how our country is a fascist regime. Before anyone is allowed to be called a fascist, we should once again look to history, for the definition of the word. Perhaps then, we can all understand how brave men and women, like the Tuskegee Airmen, battled against and overcame fascism, before we were even a twinkle in our Mother's eye. 

 

 

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