For decades, leftists have been on a crusade against America’s heroes.
They’ve succeeded in convincing generations of schoolchildren that Christopher Columbus was a genocidal maniac and that the Founding Fathers were vicious racists worthy of only derision and scorn.
But now they’ve set their sights on the Greatest Generation — the men and women who literally saved civilization from Nazism in World War II — because some espoused some very ugly social attitudes that also happened to be mostly mainstream at the time.
As part of a Virginia Tech project dubbed “The American Soldier in World War II,” researchers are combing through 65,000 pages of surveys of Army soldiers stationed at military bases around the world and even in combat between 1941 and 1945, The Washington Post reported this week.
Rather than presenting a cross-section of views from the time, the excerpts cited in the Post make it appear this project — available on a website since Dec. 7 — was conceived with the singular intent of smearing these brave men and women.
It comes across as an attack on the living veterans of that war, whose remaining numbers are just over 240,000 and rapidly dwindling, in their twilight years and just in time for family gatherings at Christmas.
“White supremacy must be maintained,” an unnamed American soldier wrote in his August 1944 survey. “I’ll fight if necessary to prevent racial equality.”
“I’ll never salute a negro officer and I’ll not take orders from a negroe,” the soldier continued. “I’m sick of the army’s method of treating …[Black soldiers] as if they were human. Segregation of the races must continue.”
This racial division is echoed by others, including a black soldier who wrote from his perspective in a segregated Army.
“It is impossible to understand how the brains of the Southern white man works and just what can be the cause of so much … hate that is imposed upon the Negro soldier,” he wrote.
“With all the patriotic speeches … he takes time out to heap insults and abuse upon the Negro soldier who is doing all that he can to further the war effort,” the anonymous respondent lamented.
The surveys also included one from a homosexual soldier who felt he was forced into military service, though able-bodied men were drafted regardless of their personal feelings on the matter.
“Most of us were inducted against our will,” he wrote. “Things are being made harder for us because we are something that we could not help,” he pointed out.
“Even as a leopard cannot change its spots,” his comments later went on, “neither can we curtail our homosexual inclinations. … I’ll just try not to get caught.”
At one time, there were about 500,000 such surveys collected via the Army Research Branch, meaning it was a sampling of a broad swath of the American military population nearly 80 years ago.
But Edward J.K. Gitre, the assistant professor of history at Virginia Tech who is directing the project, speaks of the project as a harsh look at the reality of a generation so revered.
“It does speak to a generation,” Gitre told the Post. “The good, the bad, the ugly, heroic, not heroic.”
Though Gitre has touted his project as a way to “humanize” the soldiers, as a 2019 news release from Virginia Tech described it, the tone of the Post’s article gives the overwhelming impression of deliberately applying today’s standards to yesterday’s people in order to undermine the great things they accomplished.
Whatever the merits of the project itself, the Post’s coverage is an attempt to appeal to the progressive mindset of 2021.
Its headline makes that clear from the beginning: “‘Greatest Generation’ survey on race, sex and combat during World War II runs counter to its wholesome image.”
Its first paragraph focuses on an apparently white soldier obsessed with maintaining “white supremacy.”
It stresses racial grievances and the put-upon gay conscript.
It highlights negative attitudes toward women.
And, naturally, it includes a negative look at the media of the time.
“Lets leave the news reporters in the states,” one soldier wrote, apparently unhappy with the positive publicity being accorded to Marines. We “will tell them when its over and that’s all they have to know.”
A Post reader will come away with the impression that the entirety of the American military of World War II was an organization of sexist white supremacists as dedicated to defending racism and misogyny as it was to defeating fascism on a global scale.
This is the same, revolting mentality that fuels mobs to tear down statues in the name of racial justice, even when the people they represent were actually on the right side of history.
“Statue of Hans Christian Heg, an anti-slavery activist and American Civil War soldier, was beheaded in Madison, Wis. and thrown in the lake. The Forward statue was also toppled,”journalist Andy Ngo wrote in a Twitter post as the George Floyd riots were ramping up throughout the country in June of 2020.
Statue of Hans Christian Heg, an anti-slavery activist and American Civil War soldier, was beheaded in Madison, Wis. and thrown in the lake. The Forward statue was also toppled. #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/kx0OTbcMyR
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) June 24, 2020
Just like the men who founded this nation, the Americans who served in the armed forces during World War II were often flawed and devastatingly mistaken in their worldviews — and perhaps even racist.
However, they put their lives on the line for the chance for freedom and equality for all, and their legacy is the reason we can look back at such views with disgust.
We owe these fine people a debt of gratitude — and the mercy of overlooking the sins of the past — especially during the Christmas season when we can gather in peace and liberty to worship as we please, assemble as we please (except in blue states) and live as we please.
They weren’t perfect people by any means, but they were willing to fight for what’s good and beautiful about America — and that’s what the left is really trying to tear down.
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