The US Military: On the Leading Edge Again
January 27, 2012
The new George Lucas movie “Red Tails” is doing unexpectedly boffo box office, much to the chagrin of Hollywood observers who predicted that the lack of a big name white star in the cast would doom the film to a niche audience.
Lucas appeared on “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” earlier this month and claimed that major studios showed no interest in the film when he went to pitch it.
“It’s because it’s an all-black movie,” he said. “There’s no major white roles in it at all. It’s one of the first all-black action pictures ever made.”
“We’ve come a long way from when Martin was marching in the streets and getting rocks thrown at him. We’ve come a very, very long way,” Ne-Yo said. “However, even with that being said, we got a long way to go. As a black person, period, we’re kinda constantly in a state of proving, which is something that I came to wraps with a long time ago.”
Despite the studios’ lack of interest in the film, Ne-Yo decided to let the success of “Red Tails” speak for itself. “At the end of the day, you complain about it, or you prove them wrong,” he said. “I feel like this was a matter of just proving them wrong.”
Why is this relevant?
Because today, the military is once again leading the nation in a critically important way, by being early adopters of renewable technology that is saving money, and soldiers lives, by decreasing reliance on fossil fuels. President Obama doubled down on this theme in his State of the Union address.
Another major point President Obama stated in his speech is that the U.S. Department of Defense, the world’s largest consumer of energy, will make one of the largest commitments to clean energy in history, with the Navy purchasing enough capacity to power a quarter of a million homes a year. He did not offer any specifics, but it is possible that he is setting a more aggressive renewable portfolio standard for the military, which currently is set at 25 percent of its power consumed to be derived from renewable energy sources by 2025.
The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has a tradition of accelerating technological advancements, serving as early adopters and impacting the broader commercial market in such areas as aviation, computing and GPS. For the past several years, the DoD has been playing this same role in the renewable energy space.
The spiritual heirs of the Bull Connor racists who resisted integration of the military are today’s tea-party-troglodyte climate deniers. A little googling will show the current tea party line is “Clean energy is being Shoved Down the Military’s Throat”. (always the sexual innuendo – its a template that speaks volumes)
They are being pushed back and proved wrong on a daily basis, but history shows ignorance has never ceded ground without a fight. It won’t happen unless all of us are willing to let our voices be heard above the small, bigoted and backward minority.