Red Tails, Real American Heroes of World War II
After visiting the movies the other day, I’m excited about the preview I saw of a new movie coming out in March of 2012, the iconic story of African-American aviators of World War II, Red Tails.
I have to also say I’m not a big fan of Hollywood. They don’t seem to get much right and I can count on one hand the movies I’ve seen lately that have inspired me or made much of an impression. The Liberal bias taints entertainment as much as it does the news. The concept of heroes seems to be an outdated or passé notion to the film makers these days. The writers and directors concentrate more on the so called anti-heroes that the audience can’t engage with rather than a hero who inspires. So too the producers of our films spend a lot of money on special effects and very little effort in developing a good script.
What is an anti-hero anyway? Is it a villain with a good public relations department? Why are anti-heroes praiseworthy? Where are the role models for our kids? What is Hollywood thinking?
So, I don’t go to movies much and so Hollywood doesn’t get a lot of my money. Red Tails may be an exception, provided Hollywood doesn’t screw up the script too bad. It appears to be a retelling of the story of young African-American aviators of World War II who had to fight racism as they attempted to assert their right to fight for their country. It does for the big screen what Larry Fishburne and another all star cast attempted to do for the small screen in a 1995 TV special called, The Tuskegee Airmen. I haven’t seen that one either but I’m going to try to find it, for comparison purposes. Fishburne of The Matrix fame, is one of the best actors of America today belonging to the same class as Denzel Washington and Morgan Freeman, two of my other favorites. If the actors in this new film are as good as Fishburne, Red Tails promises to have very good acting indeed.
I’m already encouraged on that front. Amongst the top actors billed for this film are Cuba Gooding Jr. of Jerry Maquire and a Men of Honor; and Terrance Howard of Iron Man. Initial preview in theaters makes me believe that the special effects of this movie will be pretty good as well.
There are two things that draw me to this movie; the heroes facing impossible odds and the aviation aspect, I love P-51 Mustangs! There is something about the smell of diesel fuel and the sound of a roaring turbine engine. Go guns blazing!
Hollywood loves this kind of film too, and they occasionally trot out this theme not only because it makes them money but because of their high and mighty attitude. They think they know better than we about the tragedy of racism in this country. It’s remarkable how long we’ve been fighting this battle, ever since slavery was established in the American colonies, racism has been our curse. It’s important to remember when watching films like this that we are restricted by the lens of history presented by the film makers. The story depicted is of real men with real historical nuance, flaws and strengths. It’s not just, white man racist, bad. Black guy hero, good. It’s much more complicated than that. Yes there is racism, even today, but not everyone is like that. We’ve had black American heroes in this country since this country was founded, from the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, Viet Nam and Korea, the turbulent 60s Civil Rights movement and even today. Many Caucasian heroes of those time periods have had no problem standing shoulder to shoulder with them every step of the way.
It is also important to know that progressive historians have carefully erased history to cover the fact that the back-stepping we’ve done as a nation on the civil rights front has been mostly their fault. Washington integrated the army when he was commander in chief. We had African Americans fight on both sides in the Civil War. During reconstruction, we had a high number of African Americans serving in congress, but when white progressives came back into power in the South, African American Civil Rights leaders lost the gains they made and plunged us back into segregation, which resulted in the Civil Rights Movements of the 50s and 60s.
Regardless of how this movie plays in the box office, the Tuskegee Airmen are real heroes for all Americans and are worthy of our hero worship. They were respected then, and deserve our admiration now. African American youths would do well to stop emulating their favorite Rap Stars and take a look at what real heroes look like. Maybe their communities wouldn’t be so messed up.
Veterans of the Tuskegee Airmen operate a foundation called the Commemorative Air Force Red Tail Squadron. Their website is redtail.org. Their stated goal is to share the inspiring legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African American pilots and crew. They’ve restored a P-51C Mustang fighter and they take it on tour at air shows around the country. I invite readers to take a look at it and donate. They’ve got a lot of special gift items for sale too. Sales go to keep the aircraft flying. It is an inspiring sight to see.
It is encouraging to me in the age of modern media and its relatively negative, secular message that there is sometimes a positive alternatives. Real heroes exist and they can be found in history, if we only look. Regardless of your back ground, everyone, no matter how old, can look up to these real American heroes know as the Tuskegee Airmen.
I look forward to seeing this movie when it comes out in theaters.