Today's Revolutionary Moment
White folks, the Republican kind, are so slow on the draw sometimes. Do they really believe that brown and black folks are going to go back to Jim Crow and pseudoslavery willingly? Passively? I got news for you: the younger generation is utterly unimpressed with legacy of the 60s. Those kids in the streets making noise about immigration? They're showing you their polite side. They have other facets:
(CBS) Graffiti painted by Chicago gangs is showing up in Iraq.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports the graffiti shows the increasing gang activity in the Army.
Military leaders are concerned some soldiers may be supplying gangs at home.
Some gangs encourage their members to join the Army to learn urban warfare techniques and teach other members.
Chicago police have reportedly seen evidence of gangs getting help from soldiers, and the FBI visited Army bases to check into gang activity.
Now, I always take "gang" reporting with a grain of salt (or boulder) and you should too, but this smells real to me, based on my own interaction with various gang members on the South Side. And it's more complicated than this blurb suggests. "Gang" members include law-enforcement officials, people who fit right in the military and who are never thought of by their commanding officers as anything other than reliable Gunney Sgts and good supply clerks.
The people in Iraq are reservists, which means they have lives and families and probably didn't want or expect to go to war. Despite what we're told about the military's rightward tilt, that notion has more truth with respect to the commissioned class, not the non-coms and grunts. My grandfather told me very interesting stories about being a black man in Uncle Sam's army, and I don't think anything's changed since his time.
Vets are coming home to things like effective economic depression in their neighborhoods, no or poor VA care for their war-related injuries, and a fractious political climate that offers them no hero-worship or respect. They are told on all sides to be quiet, vocal, "normal," patriotic, loyal, critical, forgetful, and "decent" about their experiences. They also know how little they have accomplished, and at what cost.
Please believe me when I say that there is an entire "underground" society in America, one with its own economy, political organization, and military. This story should surprise no one, given how much this nation spends on guns and the warriors to use them, and the fact that the majority of them are people of color. I like to think of it as an example of how "trickle-down" really works.