Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: I have mingled freely

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I have mingled freely

In the letter "I have mingled freely" from a black soldier to the New York age written on August 11,1899 he talks about his feelings. He states in his letter that , "Aall this would never have occurred if the army of occupation had treated them as people. A Tennessean told me of how some fellows he knew had cut off a native woman's arm in order to get a fire inlaid bracelet. The government only pays us $13.00 per month; that's starvation wages. White men can't stand it. They talk with impunity of 'niggers' to our soldiers, never once thinking that they are talking to home "niggers" and should they be brought to remember that at home this is the same vile epithet they hurl at us".
Here we see the soldier in a difficult situation because first he is a United States soldier and must act and take orders as one. If he doesn't then he will have to face the possibilities of being considered a traitor, of having his fellow white officer criticize him for not being loyal and attribute that fact to him being black.
On the other side the soldier can also relate to the victims of this war because of the injust punishment which is being given to them. He realizes that they are not being treated as people but as objects and material there for the taking. The soldier realizes this because he too is fighting his own war at home, which is a race war.


Blogger A. Mattson said...

This article seems to have affected several students. It is a harsh view of what an occupation can be like when an invader tries to fight a war of counterinsurgency against an unsympathetic population. It is hard to reconcile our intentions with the manner in which we imposed American rule in the Philippines. How do we make sense of our reasons for this liberation in light of facts like these?

2/20/2006 10:41 PM  

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