Funny how these things work out.
Ok, "funny" may not be the word I'm grasping for here.
Shortly after America’s entrance in to World War II, The Courier launched "The Double V Campaign" (Double V). Under the theme of "Democracy: Victory at Home, Victory Abroad" The Courier remained patriotic, yet pushed for civil rights for blacks. It was very important that the campaign show loyalty towards the war effort, since the black press had been criticized for pushing their own agenda ahead of the national agenda.
And half a century later, we still haven't quite managed to get that "Victory at Home" bit working properly. Maybe next war. . .
Although, according to Barbara Ehrenreich, we did strike a victory for socialism in Iraq this last one.
Did I say socialism? Make that democratic socialism, verging on utopian anarchism. In President Bush's vision of the ideal state, there will be perfect democracy combined with a sweetly forgiving attitude toward wrongdoers. Already, Iraqis are free to demonstrate by the thousands, shouting, "Americans get out!" and even ruder things. Commenting on the looting that swept Baghdad in the first days of that city's invasion by U.S. troops, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld stated (defense lawyers please take note): "It's untidy. And freedom's untidy. And free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things."
That's not, I suspect, what Rumsfeld was saying after the rioting that followed the Rodney King decision.
Interesting comparision there. You know, an enterprising international affairs consultant could probably make good money doing a global search and replace on The Kerner Report, substituting "Iraqi" for "negro" and presenting it as. . . nah, that's crazy talk. Besides, any talk of plagiarism just opens the door for discussion of J*ys*n Bl**r, and nobody wants that.
Well, I don't anyway.
Want to know more? There's a brief bit about the Double V Campaign at World War II and the Origins of the Modern Civil Rights Movement: Outline:
The Double-V campaign was the response of African-Americans to World War II. In the aftermath of World War I, in which W.E.B. DuBois and the NAACP's call for African-Americans to join the war effort in hopes that they would be rewarded with increased civil rights upon their return, the NAACP and the nation's black newspapers urged blacks to simultaneously support the war against fascism and to work for racial justice at home.
Malcolm X's avoidance of military service is mentioned a bit further down the page. Today is his birthday, and it's mostly being observed in the traditional fashion of ignoring it altogether. I expect I should wrap this up with some fiery quote of his about fighting in the white man's war or somesuch.
Here I am, back in Mecca. I am still traveling, trying to broaden my mind, for I've seen too much of the damage narrow-mindedness can make of things, and when I return home to America, I will devote what energies I have to repairing the damage.
Struggling against narrow-mindedness seems like a contribution to that ever-elusive Victory at Home.
Brief update, of a sort: Odd, that the editors at The Courier felt it necessary to very demonstrably "remain patriotic" and "show loyalty towards the war effort" while offering a critique of (some aspects of) American society.
Ok, "odd" may not be the word I'm grasping for here.
"Surprisingly contemporary?" No, that's two words. . .