(Yes, I’m quite aware I’ve read too much Spider Robinson)
But still. To Racism!
It’s 4:36 in the morning and Arts & Entertainment is showing “Go for Broke”. For those of you benighted philistines who don’t know, “Go for Broke” is basically a World War II propoganda film that came out seven or eight years too late. It tells the story of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, the most decorated military unit in the history of the United States (given time of service and size of the unit). Just to hit the highlights, the 442nd RCT and 100th Btn. received nearly 9,500 Bad Luck Charms (Purple Hearts), 560 Silver Stars, 4,000 Bronze Stars and 7 Unit Citations. http://www.nikkeiheritage.org/research/442.html.
Yes, the 442nd receives the lion’s share of the publicity, partially due to the attention from the movie. The 100th Battalion is only mentioned in passing during the movie, leaving their contributions largely unheralded.
Yes, it’s propaganda. Yes, it’s manipulative. Yes, the acting is… well, wooden would be charitable. Yes, it’s simplistic. But, at the same time, there’s a truthfulness about it that transcends the crappy writing. Oh… and if that wasn’t enough, it stars Van Johnson, which is damn near a requirement for a good war flick as far as I’m concerned.
It’s utterly beyond me, truly. To quote a somewhat popular song, “I ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed,” but I don’t get it. We are talking about people that were put into what are generously described in these days as “Relocation Camps” who still volunteered for combat duty with the Army of the government that put them there. And still people ascribe the the moronic belief that the color of someone’s skin or the slant of their eyes is the most important factor in a person.
To paraphrase Dennis Miller, “Why bother to hate someone for the color of their skin when there are so many OTHER reasons to hate them?”