The Jesse Owens story, the lone black man against the Third Reich. One heck of a story I can’t wait to see. How else do you put it? An American hero going up against the anti-Semitic and racist Nazi regime. Hitler versus the red-white and blue. Rah! Rah! Rah! Hotdogs and apple pie America! But that is ignoring what was going on in the south for millions of blacks for another 30 years. A large section of our country, and a large number of our people have a really ugly past. And it is no longer hidden.

It would be another 30 years after the 1936 Berlin Olympics before America even started to get it’s act together race wise. 30 more years of lynching’s. 16 more years of segregated military. 30 more years of segregated schools. 30 more years of beatings, shootings and police dogs being sic’d on protesters. 30 more years of trying to integrate buses, lunch counters and workplaces. Hell, it was 30 more years before black Americans got the damn right to vote! We’re still trying to figure out fairness in hiring and sentencing.

Yeah I suppose Americans can look down their nose at the “worse” Hitler era Germany. But good grief, we conveniently ignore a lot of national sins. One of the more ironic was from 6 or 7 years past the 1936 Olympics. During WWII some German POW’s were brought to America and put on work details. Often these were road crews going through small towns. At lunchtime the guards would take the crew to a local café. If it was in the south, the white German POW could eat there, but not the black American soldier guard!

I’ll no doubt see the movie, I love historical pieces like this dealing with ‘big’ issues. But I won’t have rose colored glasses on. Much like with the holocaust movies that leave out the 5.3 million “other”. Not to mention China’s completely ignored holocaust of 50 million plus murdered.

Jim Roach

aaa Fingers (2)

About Iowa Life

Experiencing life in Iowa.
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