Sunday, August 21, 2005

RedBall Express: Tom Hanks in Black?


When I woke up today I started listening to 1150 AM, Johnny Wendell was passing the ball to Dr. Firpo Carr. I was informed that a guest on today's show would be Colonel Emmitt Simmons, who'd served in the Army during WWII. Carr has promised over the weeks that he'd get the aging hero on the air and thus he did. The good Dr. has written a book called Germany's" Black Holocaust which uncovers some of those glaring historic omissions that seem to have "slipped through the cracks."
In Carr's tome you'll find out about The Red Ball Express which was comprised of black quartermasters fighting in the U.S. the Army. These cats wreaked havoc on the Schutzstaffel from Normandy going into Paris back into the Rhineland...but wait! There's more...


The Red Ball Express was a top-deck group of soldiers who supplied the American forces with ammunition and food. They were all black. Europeans had never seen anything like it, son...and Colonel Simmons had a few more surprise to tell during the course of Carr's" broadcast. This guy called in whose grandparents had told him about Simmons' outfit had stormed in and liberated the prisoners at Dachau. I'd heard/ read about the Tuskegee Airmen but the Red Ball Express, it was another story altogether: "it was another story." These dudes were doing the same sort of heroic service as their black airborne counterparts were but with an infantry on the ground. The Tuskegee heroes played a pivotal part in obliterating one of the largest munitions depot/ supply facilities located in the Dresden region by request of all white bomber crews embarking on the mission who knew that black or no, the Tuskegee crew had the minerals to cover thier asses in the air...the black airmen escorted the U.S. bomber pilots straight into the airspace without a hitch -- this helped effectively cut off necessary channels of supplemental materiel to the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei Völkisch party line of white supremacy...

Simmons touched on how white U.S. soldiers would tell Europeans that their black countrymen had tails...how Eleanor Roosevelt made remarks in the press about the history books excluding black soldiers...Carr also spoke about Hollywood's whitewashing of that sepia-toned chapter in our nation's past and about how it felt getting "whited out" of history, going to officers school in the south and having to "straighten out" white subordinates -- the film Saving Private Ryan was essentially lifted from Simmons' real-life exploits...about talking to Jesse Owens in an L.A. speakeasy and how Owens never got over never receiving his propers for breaking track records at the '36 Olympics -- and he never did in his lifetime -- he eventually died penniless which is the inverse of what happened to Mark Spitz who could pay the bills with endorsements for his swimming feats...

Col. Simmons went on to reflect on the revolting turn of events he had to negotiate when he got back to the states in '46 -- after having helped squash Hitler's whole "master race" theory, he had to "come back home" to shake Jim Crow's hand...The Colonel went even further still by touching on how it fucked with him to see signs that barred him from water fountains and applying for jobs that he was more than qualified for...how, right here in America, in Santa Anita, CA there were internment camps for Japanese Americans...how the government considered Hispanics and Filipinos "whites" because the U.S. was afraid that the Germans were going to try and come up through Mexico/ South America and that only until the 70s was this modus operandi eschewed for the (dated) way we still do things on that front to this day...isn't it ironic? Don't ya think? History's always been written by the winners and that's the triple truth, Ruth...what's amazing is that Colonel Simmons is a prescient, living piece of history...and resides right here in Los Angeles...and few people know about his story...remarkable, yo...

Note: The picture above is one of the fabled Buffalo Soldiers whom Bob Marley sang in tribute to. These men helped the US settle the America's Western "frontier" which ultimately brought an end to the Native American horse culture of the Great plains...talk about dirty work...Laters...







Buffalo Soldier

Buffalo Soldier.
Dreadlock Rasta.
There was a Buffalo Soldier in the heart of America...
Stolen from Africa; brought to America.
Fighting on arrival; fighting for survival.

I mean it.
When I analyze the stench - to me it makes a lot of sense:
How the Dreadlock Rasta was the Buffalo Soldier!
And he was taken from Africa; brought to America.
Fighting on arrival; fighting for survival.

Said he was a Buffalo Soldier. Dreadlock Rasta.
Buffalo Soldier -- in the heart of America.
If you know your history, then you would know where you're coming from.
Then you wouldn't have to ask me, who the heck do I think I am.

I'm just a Buffalo Soldier in the heart of America.
Stolen from Africa; brought to America.
Said he was fighting on arrival; fighting for survival.
Said he was the Buffalo Soldier win the war for America.

Dreadie:
Woah, yo, yo. Woah yo-yo-yo.
Woy yo-yo, woe-yo, yo-yo-yo...

Buffalo Soldier troddin' through the land, woah, yo!
Said he wanna ran, then you wanna hand -
Troddin' through the land. Yeah, yeah!

Said he was the Buffalo Soldier; win the war for America.
Buffalo Soldier!
Dreadlock Rasta!
Fighting on arrival; fighting for survival.
Driven from the mainland [of Africa] -
to the heart of the Caribbean...

Singing:
Woah, yo, yo. Woah yo-yo-yo.
Woy yo-yo, woe-yo, yo-yo-yo...

...troddin' through San Juan in the arms of America.
Troddin' through Jamaica...the Buffalo Soldier.
Fighting on arrival; fighting for survival.
Buffalo Soldier.
Dreadlock Rasta...

Woah, yo,-yo. Woah yo-yo-yo.
Woy yo-yo, woe-yo, yo-yo-yo...


Note: I got into Bob's lyrics way back when I was in high school and I played his LPs often, so much, in fact, that when I came back home to visit during Spring break all of my little cousins -- ages 3 to 10 -- knew all of the lyrics to his tunes verbatim -- my mom had played mix tapes of reggae I'd made for her so many times that the children who frequented her house knew Marley tunes ithat they'd never heard elsewhere nside and out...I often wonder how much of the wisdom therein they've retained...now that they're adults...

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