Another WWII film, another open wound





More than 700 African-American Marines served on Iwo Jima in World War II, running ammunition to the front lines and burying the dead, among other harrowing duties.

These men, in addition to facing the Japanese, had to endure bitter racism from their white counterparts. When they came home they received no respect or honor for their sacrifice. These elderly warriors are asking why they are being made to feel the same neglect again.

Hollywood has made another movie, called Flags of Our Fathers, about the Iwo Jima battle. It's directed by Clint Eastwood and produced by Eastwood, Steven Spielberg and Robert Lorenz.

Unlike Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan, this movie shows a couple of African-American soldiers briefly in a cutaway shot on one of the ships heading toward Iwo Jima. At the end of the film, if you hang around long enough, you'll see one photograph that features a few black Marines in prayer.

Lorenz told me that blacks who are burning up the phone lines on talk radio and angry bloggers have it wrong. He said 12 black extras were used in the landing scenes. "They are there in this film ... but the focus of this film is the story of the flag raisers. This film is very much about racism and the treatment of Ira Hayes, the Native American flag raiser. "...


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