Sunday, 17 June 2012

Courage has no colour.

By Vee8.

I’ve just been to the cinema this afternoon, and yes, I promise you this will be on topic. I saw ‘Red Tails’ the true story of the WWII American 332nd Fighter group, the ‘Tuskegee Airmen’ the first all black American fighter squadron. These guys faced the most appalling racism and bigotry right from the start, and the whole Tuskegee programme was set up as a sop to those who thought blacks could ever fly, and was expected to fail. This was in a time in American history when blacks were forbidden from combat, and deemed only fit to drive trucks, carry supplies or cook. There were many supposedly intelligent people in the higher echelons of the military, and congress, who fervently believed that black men lacked the cognitive abilities to process information fast enough to survive in combat, that blacks were inherently lazy, stupid and cowardly. There were even scientific and medical records that supposedly proved that the blood vessels of a black man’s brain were significantly smaller than a white man’s, and that therefore could not carry enough oxygen to the brain at combat altitudes. All now known to be fallacies of course, but these myths and racist lies were repeated and repeated until they were accepted as proven and unquestionable facts.

And here’s the point. Those myths spread during the early days of WWII were accepted just the way many myths that surround the McCann case are accepted, such as the McCanns changed their stories, the dog indications can only have one meaning, they only have to ask and the case will be reopened, and so on. But lies they were, and lies they remain. The 332nd ended the war as the most highly decorated fighter group in the US Air Force, and were eventually personally requested as the escorts of choice by the bomber groups. Lies will always be found out, and the liars humiliated, and just as the congressman who did everything he could to stop the Tuskegee flying programme succeeding ended up in shame and ignominy, so too will those like Bennett, Amaral and others who try and stop the McCanns from finding Madeleine.