Revolution Online, December 14, 2008
Reader Responds to Carl Dix Article in Revolution:
Buffalo Soldiers Are Heroic
There are countless times throughout world history that minorities have been manipulated and or forced to fight on behalf of European and/or American interests. Instead of disrespecting the legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers, who are and deserve to be heroic to all Americans, but especially to African Americans because their contributions in the so-called “Civil War” helped to change the tide of the war to abolish slavery, you should be showcasing the unjust capitalistic elites who constructed the wars and pitted black against brown, etc. Will you be writing about Indians who fought on the side of the British during the Opium wars in China against the Chinese also during the 19th century? Or any other time in history that the oppressed have had to fight each other on behalf of their oppressor? Or are you only singling out the Buffalo Soldiers that were under colonial rule at the time?
Your blame-the-victim mentality is disappointing, especially in a newspaper such as this. You should be spreading the truth about your “heroic” past presidents and the massive atrocities they administered to the Native American peoples. Remember also that many Native Americans Cherokees also owned slaves.
Be fair. Be just. Be truthful.
Response from Carl Dix:
What’s So Heroic About Fighting for This System?
It is true that countless times throughout history oppressed people have been enlisted to fight other oppressed people for the oppressors who rule over them. This is a legacy the masses have to break out of if we’re going to have a chance to bring into being a future where the misery and brutality of today has been ended. The framework we have to come at the legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers from is what does humanity need. We need masses of people signing up to join the emancipators of humanity not enlisting in more wars for empire.
Yes Black troops fought heroically in the U.S. Civil War and suffered sky-high casualty rates in that war. That was fighting heroically in a just cause—ending slavery. Everyone who opposes injustice has to see this as something that was good. But what was heroic about being a part of the genocidal wars the U.S. waged as it stole the land from the native inhabitants of this land? What was heroic about fighting for the U.S. as it seized Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Cuba from Spain and made them its own colonies? What was heroic about fighting Pancho Villa and other Mexican revolutionaries for the U.S.? And I could go on and on.
This legacy is shameful, not heroic, and people need to break with it. Sharply calling this out isn’t blaming the victim—it’s challenging people to stop being played for suckers by this set up and join in fighting for what’s in our interests. The heritage people should uphold and even celebrate is that of masses of people rebelling against oppression and the system responsible for that oppression. Soldiers who refuse to be a part of fighting other oppressed people for this system are the ones we should uphold and support.
This question—whether to fight for this system or not—is one that will be increasingly posed to the masses with the election of Obama. The ruling class is working to suck people into buying their wars—wars that only serve the interests of the imperialists. Things had reached the point where broad sections of people wouldn’t buy into these wars if it was Bush selling them. If it’s Uncle Bam on the recruiting poster, saying he wants you for their wars, they’re still wars for empire, wars that will rain death and destruction down on oppressed people in other parts of the world. No one who opposes oppression should want to sign up to fight those wars.
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