“Buffalo Soldiers”: Oppressed people given guns and sent out to kill other oppressed people.
If Star Wars Creator George Lucas plan was to create a new generation of Buffalo Soldiers with his latest film, Red Tails, then he did a good job trying.
He put together a team of Black talented professionals to make the film; including Director Anthony Hemingway, (previously known for his directing in shows like The Wire); Boondocks creator Aaron McGruder who was one of the writers; and high-profile actors like Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard.
With this team Lucas was able to help Red Tails reach the 2nd spot of the Top 10 on its opening weekend. It was a film filled with plenty of action, lots of dog-fight battle scenes. And it was hard not to cheer on the protagonists as they fought Nazis in the air. (How could anyone be against the guys fighting the Nazis???)
But, it cannot be denied that the main thing this film does, is encourage Black people, (and other people of color), to fight for this country--a country that cares nothing about them. The U.S. Air Force loved the patriotic message so much that they even had ads running before the movie and promoted the film on their website.
A lot of commotion was raised by progressive people after Lucas went on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to promote Red Tails. During the interview he revealed to Stewart that he had to finance the $58-million himself because none of the major Hollywood studios would finance an expensive film with an all-black cast. "It's an all-black movie. There's no major white roles in it at all. It's one of the first, all-black action pictures ever made," he told Stewart.
And, while it is true that there is much racism in Hollywood, this film sets a bad precedent at a time when the U.S. is carrying out two unjust occupations in Afghanistan and Iraq, using drones to drop bombs on countries like Pakistan, and is gearing up for a possible war with Iran.
A couple years back, Carl Dix, spokesperson for the Revolutionary Communist Party, wrote an article called, Don't Be a Buffalo Soldier! In it he says the following:
"Some people think the legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers is something to be proud of. Colin Powell kept a Buffalo Soldier statue on his desk when he was a top official during both of the Bush presidencies. Colin Powell, who tried to cover up the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam war, who was a major architect of the 1st Gulf war and who went to the UN and lied thru his teeth to justify the invasion of Iraq in 2003, finds the Buffalo Soldiers inspiring. He called them "the wind beneath my wings" and especially cited their "loyalty." Later they were sent by the U.S. to fight Mexican Revolutionaries like Pancho Villa. This is a shameful legacy, and it’s no wonder that a war criminal like Colin Powell is inspired by it.
If you follow in the footsteps of the Buffalo Soldiers, you will be called on to do just like they did: commit horrible acts against people who have done nothing to you, and you will do it in the service of a system that has carried out terrible crimes, including against the masses of African-American people, and you may end up giving up the only life you have in the service of that foul system."