So Clint Eastwood has a new flick out that's garnering quite allot of buzz. Not surprising, because Clint usually makes good movies. His latest project, is a tribute to the Marines at Iwo Jima titled "Flags Of Our Fathers". Now according to most critics the movie is getting a thumps up. But I want to focus on one critic in particular, and my own personal issues with this movie.-And no I haven't seen it yet, but I don't have to-
Now Roger Friedman is one of the critics who thought the movie was well done. But he had one little problem with its historical accuracy. It seems the movie did not have any black soldiers representing what happened at Iwo Jima, something that he had to acknowledge was a historic inaccuracy. But he blamed this little over sight on the screen writer, William Broyles, Jr., and not the producers, and creators of the film itself. To Friedman, this was a "mere quibble", and nothing to be serious enough to take away from the excellence of the movie.
Well Mr. Friedman, the field begs to differ. This is not a "mere quibble" as you put it, this is huge. To leave out the African American Marines who gave their lives at Iwo Jima is not only an affront to those men, and their families, but a historical affront to all black people in this country.
Unless I missed something in my history books, didn't blacks serve in the 34th and 36th Marine Depots with distinction at Iwo Jima? Didn't black Marines of the 8th ammunition company land with the rest of the Marines on the second day of that now famous battle? Didn't blacks from the 471st and other amphibious truck companies serve with distinction, in a battle that had higher casualties than all the battles in the Civil War except Gettysburg? The answer folks is yes they did. And they played such a key role supplying ammunition to the rest of the Marines from one of the beach fronts, that without them those six soldiers might not have had the opportunity to raise that flag on Mount Suribachi, which allowed Joe Rosenthall to capture that famous photo that we all have come to know.
Folks, not only did blacks serve, they served with distinction, many of them being awarded the Presidential Unit Citation Medal. Without their bravery and service, those men from Easy Company could not have raised that flag inspiring that photo Americans rallied so famously behind during World War II. But you won't see that in Clint's movie. In fact, you will see at least thirty white actors from Iceland no less- playing soldiers as extras- before you see any black people in this film.
So where is the outrage from black folks? I guess it's still early. After all, the movie hasn't even been released yet. But somehow I doubt if when it is released, you will hear black folks protesting. Not us, we are more concerned with how many black coaches are in the NFL, or how many black actors are playing in fictional comedies on television. Take note black people, how democrats and the Clintonistas lost their minds when they thought Disney was tarnishing Clinton's legacy with a historically inaccurate portrayal of 911. Take note, how republicans lost their minds when they thought that CBS was unfair to their cowboy hero, the father of Iran contra, and the crack epidemic, Ronald Reagan. Take note, how the Jews lost their minds when the tequila drinking anti Semite negatively portrayed them in his movie, The Passion Of The Christ. These people get it; because they know that movies and literature that are supposed to represent history, should represent it correctly. They know that if they don't, people's perception of history will be flawed and be damaging to to the legacy they are trying to preserve.
This is what happens to black folks time and time again. We let people get away with this s^#t, because we don't care enough about our history and our historical legacy. Our children grow up not realizing that people that look just like them were heroes too. People that look like them fought in famous battles that helped to make America what it is. Blacks were airmen, they were Marines, they fought in the Civil War, the Korean War, Vietnam, and now in Iraq. Blacks shed their blood to give us our freedoms just like whites did. But sadly, you would never know it from watching movies like Saving Private Ryan, and Flags Of Our Fathers. Because let's face it, they don't care about our legacy like we do. To them, we are all Americans and that's what matters. So what if those are all white soldiers? They are all Americans, fighting for all of us.
Field, can't you just for once see beyond race? Let me answer that for you: NO!
Because you don't, and until you do, I will be the first to call you on it when my people are slighted.
So this time, when Clint drops his movie, let's make some noise about the dearth of our people in it. Let's make it for the three platoons of African Americans, who because of them, the sands were not the only thing that was black on Iwo Jima. I am tired of seeing my folks marginalized in history, and I am going to let Dirty Harry know about it.
So go ahead punk, "make my day"!