Some perhaps wondered when the Almighty would come to end a world few knew much about, including attitudes and behaviors beyond old testament beliefs of doom and gloom. An argument can be made that John F. Kennedy and his siblings courageous and giving lives were DNA predictable perhaps a hundred years before we ever knew and loved four consecutive generations of goodness spanning significant events for "the least of us":
(1) Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy
(2) Her Kennedy offspring as brother and sister in Christ to a lot of Kennedys and billions of others who would believe and understand.
And, less African-Americans should ever forget 50 years between 1960 and 2010, ... Cardinal virtues of faith, hope and love came out of the east in face of neo-Platonists who reasoned "the least of us" were not deserving or ready because we lacked courage necessary to be free. In their reasoning, superior people would never have accepted slavery and rather have been put to death than accept life as a slave; but many Kennedys and others in Massachusetts believed otherwise before and after the great war many believers perceived as battles of Armageddon.
A fascinating reference fact for us is the Civil War website documentation of many Fitzgerald and Kennedy young men from Massachusetts that served in Union military and naval forces; and, some were named Joseph, John, Robert and Edward. And they would have known that African-Americans like Samuel Ceasar on left, who served in the 5th Cavalry Regiment (U.S. Colored Troops) were also patriots.
And so were more than 700,000 young White men who served honorably in the hundreds and thousands of campaigns and battles necessary for "the least of us" to be free and citizens today. We would argue the Fitzgerald's and Kennedy's along with many other Irish Catholics in Massachusetts likely saw and acted on our behalf long before we knew them to be in pursuit of goodness. The Irish potato famine that generated so many suffering immigrants was in effect an asset for the cause of Black emancipation.
For us, it is important that educated youth of African heritage everywhere know and understand that liberation and equality could never have been obtained without souls like the Kennedy color and kind, and ought not be hip-hoped away in poetic raptures and rhetoric by voices and fiction writers that know not that they know not how liberation was achieved, ... beginning with the man from Galilee. Without an understanding of HIS philosophy that inspired many millions such as the Kennedy's, it is unlikely that we can comprehend what inspired them to live and do as they did.
The site is not about organized religion but courage, faith, hope and love that helps document our speculation that Fitzgerald and Kennedy soldiers and sailors unfamiliar to us, ... were related to the pursuit of goodness we saw and heard in our 20th century lifetimes. Indeed, there was a Kennedy (perhaps Black, Mulatto or White) who also served in the famed 54th Massachusetts Regiment (colored troops) commanded by Colonel Robert Shaw, a young man born into a prominent Boston family that gave him up to glory in helping save the union and salvation of "the least of us."
Others like John (Honey Fitz) Fitzgerald on left below were born (same year as Lee Lowry) during the great emancipation war. His faded picture is on left. Both men fathered offspring, with Fitzgerald raising up six in the body and spirit of Christ, and Lee Lowry raising up nine in the same faith.
Even though of different states, denominations and even color they shared the common virtues and values including love of country. And, both would have daughters and grandsons who volunteered and served honorably during World War II in pursuit of goodness. We would argue their glory came in the generations generated that helped others long after death, if we choose to remember them as having lived a useful life?
They had a lot in common but a hundred years and three generations would be required before the world could understand why and the mystery in our faith that HIS spirit of goodness is without ending or easy to understand. We can document events and people but cannot prove a metaphysical purpose in life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. But, we have free-will to believe.
We are inclined to believe goodness spans more than a single lifetime and is fostered by: virtues of courage, faith, hope and love; and values of life, liberty and pursuit of happiness by people of many colors and places. It is not found by seeking affirmative actions among the dead, and believers ought to remember philosophy that goodness even when crucified will rise again in the cause of salvation. So, why do so many people believe in something our most advanced learning and reasoning cannot prove to exist?
We cannot reason the Kennedy siblings inherited their charm from maternal grandfather "Honey Fitz" but all could sing the sweet sounds that my Aunt Adaline Kyle Atkins Brown and millions of women like her, young and old, loved to hear. It was a song many men loved to sing along with their barbershop quartets, and boys learned from fathers and team-mates to congregate closely in order to perform. Sweet Adaline
It is a very difficult task but a review of the beginnings and lives in pursuit of goodness is helpful in deciding who you are relative to others, of all colors, both at home and abroad. For us, the movement of hidden hands, spiritual projection of goodness is not easy to comprehend except by faith alone that such energy exists far before and beyond our own lives.
We are concerned that youth generations (born after World War II) of African-Americans should not be ignorant as to why older ones like Jesse Jackson and John Lewis, still alive and kicking, ... tend to view the Kennedys as brothers and sisters in spirit of Christ. By contrast, many enlightened and educated African-American ministers of the gospel are inclined to accept Clarence Thomas as related in the flesh; .... but not the spirit that helped lift us or anyone else UP during the past fifty plus fifty plus fifty years (five generations of evil and good) the Kennedys saw and heard in their focus on Christ.
They saw and heard evil that propagated Adolf Hitler was the long awaited Messiah to save the Aryan race for rule over all other races and extermination of those not deserving of his salvation. They saw and heard boasting by Mussolini that Italians were going to bomb Ethiopians back into the stone age. They saw and heard proclamations from all over the world about who was superior and who was inferior to who. And, a real world Armageddon erupted for them to see and hear!
While most able bodied young men of sound minds in the English speaking world "including many in places like Ghana and the Virgin Islands) were conscripted into military services to help wage war against the Axis Powers, ... there were many others like Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. who did not wait for conscription but rather volunteered for the most challenging aspects of the war such as combat aviation and submarine service. The rigorous testing and training demands of such service generally eliminated most youth who sought to do so and only the very best, brightest and courageous were chosen. A degree from Harvard or Yale was affirmative action only to the extent that initial entry testing often occurred on the campus of choice; but, without the required stamina and other mental-physical attributes, most applicants were sent away to seek other endeavors in the military services.
Young Joe was one of the relatively chosen few Americans, British, Canadian and Australians the Allies depended so greatly on during the very dismal years of 1940-1944 when victory was always in doubt. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor because against all the odds, he climbed into the cockpit of a plane loaded with dynamite intended to destroy a Nazi German submarine pen off the coast of France in the hope that doing such would hasten the end of a submarine warfare that had killed tens of thousands of American and British sailors. His body was never recovered after his plane exploded mid-air but the spirit that drove him to try and be helpful, ... we now know did not die.
It was a very significant event time-line in the history of African-Americans wherein very few White men of authority and influence believed "the least of us" mothers could possibly have conceived, birthed, nurtured, inspired, motivated and educated even a few young men with the courage, faith, hope and team spirit necessary to be a combat aviator. Hollywood projected images of African-Americans prior to the war had been devastating with many Black actors like Willie Best (on left) and many others helping to indoctrinate the widely accepted view that African-American young men were stupid, lazy, uneducated and certainly not courageous, ... and in fact scared of their own shadows and worse. The use of Blackface makeup by Black and White entertainers was very common and characterizations of African-Americans as inferiors to Whites and even animals such as family pets of Whites was desired and expected by movie fans.
Willie earned a lot of money appearing in over a hundred films and was loved by movie producers, directors and fellow actors for his characterization of young Black men in America. Men like Bob Hope thought of him as wonderful. So far as we can determine, he did not generate any goodness for anyone and died young. Before death, he had to have known that men of his color secretly despised him as a traitor to his ancestral kin that had fought and died in the Civil War to give him freedom to stand and walk like a man, ... not "Stepin Fetchit." Anti-Black bigotry by Jews and Gentiles in Hollywood was rampant.
The big challenge to the Kennedy brothers and sisters listening to Bing Crosby croon his famous big hit about brotherhood was whether or not the song included them. Many of the rich and famous families of the era did not agree that poverty was an issue for them to do anything about; but, we now know millions of youth in the 1920-1930s were inspired to think not simply about what to do with their lives, ... but more so how to hold onto their faith that "the least of us" were their brothers and sisters in Christ. And, yes, there were millions of believers and non-believers in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Caribbean, Europe and even the Pacific who reasoned differently.
There were many ideologies that ranged from governments being indifferent to those such as fascists who boasted that Ethiopia was an aggressor against Italian interests in Africa and would be bombed back into the stone-age to make East Africa safe for Italian and German colonization. Most college educated writers are very familiar with the works of Ernest Hemingway about his experiences and views of takeovers by fascists during the Spanish Civil War; but, likely not a word about fascists conquests in Africa. Black veterans of World War I were outraged but what efforts were made to organize efforts to generate financial support to the cause of maintaining Ethiopian liberty. What did Sutton Generations see and hear?
Others like the Samurai that ruled Japan reasoned Asians could only prosper by being subjected to Japanese economic interests. In America, the infamous Ku-Klux-Klan ideology admired by Adolf Hitler more or less retracted back to its core base origins in the southern rebel states.
Whereas Austrian, Dutch and German Jewry (unlike Jews in Poland and Russia) was highly urbanized with synagogues, beautiful landed estates and other displays of living well, ... African-Americans in the rural south had next to nothing except their personal liberty and wooden church buildings well known to the Klan that burned them at will. The depression slowed urbanization based on industrial opportunities and competition among poor Blacks and Whites; and, subsequently virtually killed Klan organizing capabilities in the industrial north. Closed factories and mills could not be blamed on "the least of us." So, they blamed the Jews!
Tyler Perry is gifted and talented but not an educated man. He likely has never read about real matriarchs like Gutele Rothschild below who upon death of her husband Ansel struggled to make sure sons honored their father's memory by excelling in work he had began. For Gutele, success was viewed in terms of generations long before and after her life. The family, unlike Tyler Perry make believe characters spanned generations stretching from the mid-1700s to beyond the horrors of World War II they were able to survive as a real family in overcoming horrors of the holocaust.
Matriarch's such as Gutele, like Rose Kennedy noted below, were not founders of successful families as Perry would make believe; but, rather partners in paternal relationships that lived beyond their graves even unto the third, fourth, fifth generations and beyond.
Prior to the 1920s, ordinary and distinguished Jews had for centuries been integrated in Western European societies, and some like the Rothschild brothers were often viewed as heroes for their actions and support in helping Europe's monarchs finance resources to overcome the terror of Napoleon Bonaparte. African-American scholars and writers need to comprehend that German Jews were very distinguished and integrated as leaders in Western European society arts, business, education, finance, military, science, and technologies including aristocratic titles and integration by marriage. By all accounts, German Jews were good Germans and served with distinction in World War I, well educated and successful? Can success be measured as money? Is sexuality a virtue or value? What is power?
Now days, only uneducated Jews would measure success to mean having money. Jewish writers of means that matter have led the world in examining issues such as how other groups view some groups such as "the least of us." Jewish scholars are very guarded about images of Jewry generated by the mass media. Before, during and following World War II, many were horrified to learn that much of the propaganda used by Nazi Germany about Jews and other inferiors like African-Americans (called mud people) originated in Hollywood movies. "Never again" is a doctrinal promise about more than simply the Jewish Holocaust but even more pertinent to understanding that scholars who remain silent about bad matters that matter are deputies to it. ditto, etc. African-Americans!
Our concern is that most writers of African heritage are failing to examine issues that advance the positive about us; but rather emphasize the negative such as perpetuation of notions of families and even community development without fathers, grandfathers, uncles, aunts or even cousins dead or alive in the lives of children. The precaution for "the least of us" is to not ever take goodness for granted. German theologians, prior to World War II were among the most distinguished and renowned in Christendom as both Catholics and Protestants. Western aristocrats that included the Roosevelt and Randolph families on both sides of the Atlantic never imagined the evil that emerged in Germany could ever have occurred. And, it was not until after WWII that conservative thinkers like the Fords were able to see and believe what happened in Germany did happen. How could Lutherans have allowed such evil?
Kennedy liberalism, ... like that of the Roosevelt's, Rockefellers and many other northeastern wealthy American families in the 1920s was rooted in what they saw and heard as Christians much more so than ideologies that sought to rationalize and reason human relationships, minus the philosophy of Christ. Ideologies of imperialism had generated World War I and loss of tens of millions in lives. To do or not to do to or for others? That was the big question in America, Asia and Europe as various ideologies such as capitalism, communism and fascism fluttered and flourished in the world's nation-states including United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.
The world-wide depression that erupted with the stock market crash of 1929 challenged many super-rich families to not only hold onto their financial wealth but also their faith as brothers and sisters in Christ as their light. The vast majority of rich people and their religious identities certainly did not perceive themselves to be brethren with people legally and socially categorized and classified by schools and mass media to be their inferiors. When the lights went out in Europe and all over the world, ... the sons and daughters of many rich and poor men and women (not all) were forced to embrace in a common cause to enlighten humanity
The Kennedy family is an example of people who are all of different personalities but of the familiar characteristics we admire. Their virtues and values are not perfect but an example we have seen and heard for the past fifty years as helpful to "the least of us" ... while many others of equal or greater wealth have chosen to envy and hate them for trying to pursue goodness (affirmative action) beyond the walls of organized religion and tax-deductible charities. The Kennedys knew that except government initiated economic and social changes that included conscription and hiring of African-Americans during World War II and the Korean War, ... injustice and differentials based on race would have remained etched in fabric of a racist society nurtured by government and private enterprise managers, lawyers, police, judges, journalists and even entertainers.
We are fascinated about the character of those who would have them remembered to be less than the patriotic Christians they were. Selfish critics like Rush Limbaugh is reflective of ancestors like himself, having avoided military service in World I, World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War. Civil War website indicates some of his ancestors did enlist as rebels against the U.S. Government, and that should never be confused as patriotism.
Indeed, even during the great war, him and his kind, ... managed to avoid rather than help defeat Axis Alliance of Germany, Italy and Japan. It is even more amazing that this self described champion of individualism and private enterprise has been generated by a family of men who seemingly have all lived on government paychecks for at least the past 100 years. We make this point to emphasize that moral worth is inherent in the spirit of Christ, ... and people like Limbaugh self-described conservatives have never advanced the cause of Christianity in America or anywhere else, and certainly are not called by Christ to judge Kennedy worthiness to "the least of us."
JFK on the far right in the picture below did not fear and open fire on the two Black men who happened to find him and his ship-wrecked crew. Rather, he used his inherited Kennedy charm and smile to seek and entreat Christian virtues he discovered them to possess. One might even say he received and accepted the much prayed for salvation, ... sent to him by the Lord that he probably prayed to during trials and tribulation of nearly being killed and captured by the Japanese. The sons of Nippon would surely have executed him and his men. Think about this possibility of being attacked by sharks while seeking rescue in the channel waters, or probability of a broken back, ... and leadership passed to another crew member who might have surrendered or even opened fire on the strange Black men who discovered them? What would Lt. George Bush, also a very courageous Harvard man who was one of the northeast rich elites in the Pacific, ... have done? (Note: President George Bush, Sr. was also awarded a silver star for his display of courage in the same very bloody campaign by the U.S. Navy).
Knowing all this and more about natives in the Solomon Islands, JFK had the courage nevertheless to seek embracing two Black strangers that unexpectedly appeared. We have to assume that he also had great faith that he and his crew would be rescued and probably prayed like he had never prayed before; and, he was not stupid. A favorite fable told around soldier campfires is about non-functional faith:
Though employed by the Australian coast watchers, Gasa and Kumana nevertheless required a lot of courage not given to ordinary men. Who is to say they, like JFK, with firearms at the ready were not inspired to the goodness that we now know as facts. Armed men in the tensions and surprise of strangers will almost always shoot first and ask questions later but JFK did not see these Black men as his potential enemies and the rest is history that Hollywood screen-writers 50 years ago understood, ... faith and fate of a gifted child called and able to perceive a common humanity in "the least of us."
In the movie about his life and challenges as a young naval officer in the Pacific, Hollywood movie-makers to their credit did not, or Kennedy probably vetoed, any typical artistic expression, casting and characterizations of tribal men as naked savages with war-paint, feathers, and skulls and bones. And, aspiring black actors and walk-ins were spared the challenge of getting a day's pay as an actor to denigrate "the least of us." Perhaps we should thank JFK since like his father before him, he reviewed and essentially approved the script before the movie was made.
The miracle was not that he survived Japanese sinking of his boat, but rather the acts of courage, faith, hope and love during days of ordeals above and beyond what average men would have overcome. And it came to past that writers, and preachers too, should know many young men and women like young John F. Kennedy answered "send me" when the call sounded, "Who will I send?" It is irrational to imagine pursuit of goodness without men like him!
Indeed, anyone who doubts the killing that raged in first half of the 20th century was not a biblical proportion Armageddon, ... likely also cannot imagine more than a hundred million violent deaths including Africans, Asians, Europeans and over 450,000 Americans. The entire world was engulfed in it! Ghana alone, as colony of the British Empire, had over 65,000 young men in Burma during World War II. Young men from many locations in colonial Africa and the Caribbean helped Great Britain fill the need for millions of youth along with those of the United States and Soviet Union to fight and defeat the Axis tide.
"... troops in Burma stop work briefly to read President Truman's Proclamation of Victory in Europe." May 9, 1945. S/Sgt. Yarnell. 111-SC-262229 (african_americans_wwii_012.jpg)
Black men too often ignored saw and heard it all that scholars tend to ignore and go on oblivious of the courage, faith, hope and love demonstrated by many unknowns among "the least of us." We would hope that scholars will begin to comprehend what happened in Burma when young men of African heritage from Africa, the Americas, and Europe, ... met each other in a common spirit? They all had in common the Pan-Africanism of Marcus Garvey (a hero to their generation) who saw young men like them (not artists) as the vanguard for a functional Renaissance. In fact, it was this congregating of faithful men hopeful for a better tomorrow that helped inspire the founding of modern-day Ghana.
The big picture of the bigger than life Pacific Ocean for certain is beyond abilities of many writers to understand the world outside their ghetto based ideologies rooted in single-mother households often without grand-parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins or even self esteem. And too often induced by mind altering drugs that distort realities of existence as beneficiaries of goodness by prior generations. A lot of otherwise best and brightest baby-boomers, born after 1945, were blessed with world-war survivors that included young men like John F. Kennedy and Harry Belafonte.
Had Japan not surrendered, the planned invasion was predicted to cost at least a million American lives including African Americans and probably young Jack Kennedy and his brother Robert also in the Navy. We say, the Kennedy's like Belafonte are an important milestone in African heritage history up from a challenging past that included World War II, ...the possible undesired outcome of which during 1941-1944 threatened not only Jews in Europe but also "the least of us" in Africa and Solomon Islands in the Pacific.
Take time to travel and learn outside the ghettoes of despair and destructive new generations. Perhaps visit people and places of courage such as the University of Papau New Guinea.
They have children to educate and many stories to tell about their faith, hopes and love of others many would like to know. With some seven million inhabitants, they are perhaps the lesser numbers of "the least of us" and speak some 850 different languages in cultures that essentially have not traveled or urbanized.
But, mothers and potential mothers like the native pictured on left have given or will give birth to a new generation of believers up from a fractured past like others among "the least of us."
Enlightened and educated African-Americans like Attorney Robert L. Vann, publisher of the Pittsburgh Courier and all Black College Presidents and Chaplains knew the war being waged was something that would very much impact the future of millions of Black children not yet born. They saw and heard what fascism did and was doing in Africa (including South Africa), Asia and Europe where human beings deemed inferior were categorized and classified, ... to be treated as such. Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia had warned the League of Nations and world of preachers, teachers and politicians back in 1937 that doing nothing to stop the wanton Italian bombing and invasion of Ethiopia was an omen of Armageddon begun.
And mind you all to forever remember that had Japan not surrendered in 1945, there would have been at least a hundred thousand African-American gold star mothers by Christmas. The war plans and capabilities of both the British Empire and United States duly anticipated a long and bloody invasion of the Japanese home islands, and casualty predictions included the many African heritage troops that would have been engaged. It is silly for any enlightened and educated scholar to dare suggest any less than a million American young men would have died in the first week or weeks of the scheduled invasion.
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