Monday, October 19, 2020

One o’ them two dollar words...

Clarence Douglas Jones, U.S.Navy 1942

     After Pearl Harbor, my father enlisted in the Navy to fight Fascism. On December 11, 1942, his ship, USS SCOTT was torpedoed, and sunk off the coast of Africa during the Allied invasion of French North Africa. The torpedo hit the Starboard side; the ship burst into flames and foundered, but owing to the availability of landing craft for rescue, casualties were limited to 59 men. My father was a landing craft pilot. He was only 17 that day.

    Now, Fascism was too big a word for a 16 year old Virginia farm boy with a sixth grade education, but he knew it by its true names. He knew the bully harming weaker folks, too young or too old to stop them; the bigot hating the “coloreds” and the “come-heres”; the big man belittling women and treating them as chattel; the straw boss rewarding his buddies; the revivalist bathing in the baptismal font with a gifted jug of bootleg whiskey, before launching into an hour of fiery brimstone, and eternity in the sky. Yeah, fascism was one o’ them two dollar words, and where he was raised, and where I was raised, life, all life was precious and was not ours to rule or roll over.

     Here we are, nearly 80 years later, still fighting Fascism; we just have to VOTE.