Sunday, June 26, 2011

Korean War led to Obama's presidency?

While surfing the web this morning, I stumbled upon this article. It may be a little bit of stretch, but interesting and informing article nevertheless. Below is the translation.

<Source : 6·25 전쟁은 오바마 대통령 당선의 일등공신, 어떻게?>

President Barrack Obama and the Korean War seem to have no relevance with each other; however, the emergence of a Black President had a lot to do with the Korean War. It is because the civil rights movement in the 60s essentially began with the Korean war.

Martin Luther King's peace march in Washington D.C. might have happened a lot later if it weren't for the Korean War. The social status of Blacks might be a lot behind as well.
This, I believe, is one of the most important moments of the US History.
6.25 War, or the Korean War as it is widely known, is recorded as the first war in which blacks and whites shared barracks together. Two races went through death valleys together and learned what it means to be "together" for the first time.

This war made black people dream about a society without discrimination. Now part of the proud American society, perhaps the African American community should look back at the history of this war.

For a very long time, blacks have been a part of the American Armed Forces. From major wars like the Civil War and other conflicts, blacks have been part of everything. Whites used to call them 'buffalo'. For their dark skin color and big physical build.

Starting with the two World Wars, blacks really started becoming a big part of warfare. This is when the doctrine of 'Separate but Equal' prevailed the American society. According to this belief, they made blacks-only-units.
Insignia of the 92nd Infantry Division
A great example of this racial discrimination is the 92nd Infantry Division. All soldiers were black from all over the nation, but all officers were white. Commander of the division back then was Edward Almond. He always blamed the blacks when he couldn't produce good results. His excuses always pointed at the supposedly 'inferior' race that was difficult to command and control. He even once said that they should send them all back to the US and make them hunt for buffalo instead of Nazis. (Later, he participated in the Korean War as well... and become a 3-star general)
Monument for 'Buffalo' Soldiers, Kansas
The first one to order for racially integrated units was the President Harry S. Truman. Knowing that if he pushed for a legislation in the Congress, he would be met with mad opposition, he issued an executive order as the commander-in-chief.

Starting with the Korean War, all soldiers shared  barracks regardless of race. If an officer barred a person of color from using any facilities, he would be punished. So they couldn't discriminate black soldiers... at least openly.

The point when white soldiers started treating black soldiers with real sincerity was towards the end of the war. Nearing the armistice, many fierce battles were taking place. At the point of life and death, they began to feel the companionship, comradeship. It was only obvious that white soldiers started feel differently.
Integrated U.S. unit during the Korean War
The first white 'allies' that participated in Martin Luther King's movement were Korean War veterans. Could the movement succeed without the support of these folks? Without this vets, this movement could have turned deadly and bloody.

The war that brought division to the Korean peninsula brought unity to America. What an irony that is history.

The reason Obama could become the president of the USA is thanks to the civil rights movement. So, perhaps Obama should think more seriously about how to solve the problems and conflicts that hover the two Koreas today.

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