Author Topic: Sunken slave ship found off Alabama coast  (Read 3431 times)

Offline Battle

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Re: Sunken slave ship found off Alabama coast
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2018, 12:18:36 pm »
Tuesday, 14 August 2018

John Legend wants Louisiana to remove 'white supremacy' from its constitution
by Lisa Respers France

As part of his continued work in criminal justice reform, John Legend is calling on Louisiana to change its constitution.

In an opinion piece published by the Washington Post Tuesday headlined "It's time for Louisiana to strip white supremacy from its constitution," the singer writes about the state's continued acceptance of non-unanimous jury decisions, which he calls "a 120-year-old measure put in place to suppress the rights of African Americans."

"Louisiana is one of only two states -- the other is Oregon -- in which a person can be convicted of a felony and sent to prison without a unanimous vote of the jury," Legend wrote.

"As a result, Louisiana prosecutors do not truly have the burden of proving their case 'beyond a reasonable doubt.'

They only need to persuade 10 of 12 jurors to send a defendant to prison, even for life."

According to the star, the result is "a state justice system in which felony trials are held without the full participation of African Americans."

"Here's why: During Louisiana's all-white constitutional convention in 1898, delegates passed a series of measures specifically designed to 'perpetuate the supremacy of the Anglo-Saxon race in Louisiana,'" the piece states.

"Non-unanimous juries were one of those measures, and the intent was clear: If the federal Constitution required that African Americans be allowed to serve on juries, the state constitution would make sure that minority votes could be discounted."

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Offline stanleyballard

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Re: Sunken slave ship found off Alabama coast
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2018, 04:32:33 am »
Agreed.  Many of us as so called Blacks do not know that American laws were setup for us to be subjugated and placed into the prison industry complex.  Simply:  chattel slavery has not ended but became more insidious now entrapping over 2 million of us.

Curses upon so called Blacks- obvious even to the blind.

Offline Battle

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Re: Sunken slave ship found off Alabama coast
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2018, 04:20:34 am »
Friday, 19th October 2018
Brat tells prison inmates, "You think you're having a hard time -- I've got $5 million in negative ads"
by Caroline Kelly

(CNN) Virginia Republican Rep. Dave Brat drew parallels Wednesday between the campaign attack ads against him and the challenges faced by inmates at a Virginia prison, according to the Washington Post.

"You think you're having a hard time -- I got $5 million worth of negative ads going at me," Brat told Chesterfield County Jail inmates Wednesday, The Post reported.

"How do you think I'm feeling?

Nothing's easy. For anybody. You think I'm a congressman. 'Oh, life's easy. This guy's off having steaks,'" Brat continued, in a recording published by The Post. "Baloney, I got a daughter, she's got to deal with that crap on TV every day. It's tough.' "

In a statement after the event, Brat called meeting with those struggling with addiction "one of the most moving experiences" he has a congressman.

"As a Christian, we love the least of these -- we visit those in prison," Brat said in a press release. "As a Member of Congress, one of the most moving experiences I have in this job is talking with recovering men and women fighting to rebuilding [sic] their lives."

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Offline Battle

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Re: Sunken slave ship found off Alabama coast
« Reply #4 on: November 11, 2018, 10:52:24 pm »
Tuesday, 7th November 2018
Colorado Votes To Abolish Slavery, 2 Years After Similar Amendment Failed
by Bill Chappell

Colorado voters have approved an amendment to their state's constitution that completely abolishes slavery — by stripping out language that still exists in the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which bans slavery and servitude "except as a punishment."

Amendment A answered the question:

"Shall there be an amendment to the Colorado constitution that prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime and thereby prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude in all circumstances?"

The amendment was put on the ballot with overwhelming bipartisan support from Colorado's lawmakers. It will change Article II, Section 26 of the state's constitution, which has stated for more than 100 years:

"Slavery prohibited. There shall never be in this state either slavery or involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime, whereof the party shall have been duly convicted."

The new version will shorten that second sentence to say, "There shall never be in this state either slavery or involuntary servitude."

Explaining the debate over the now-approved amendment, member station Colorado Public Radio reports:

"Proponents, including Abolish Slavery Colorado, argue that the state constitution should be updated because it represents a time when not all people were seen as human beings or treated with dignity. Opponents say the change could result in legal uncertainty around current prisoner work practices in the state."

Tuesday's vote showed 65 percent in favor of the amendment, with 35 percent opposed, according to the Colorado secretary of state's election tally at 12 p.m. ET Wednesday. The result was well clear of the 55 percent required to pass an amendment.

Colorado's original language closely mirrored the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. As ratified in 1865, that amendment states:

"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."

This was the second time Colorado voters have considered the issue.

A similar measure was offered in 2016, but the language on that year's ballot was deemed too convoluted.

Some voters said they weren't sure whether a "yes" or "no" vote meant they were for or against striking the exception clause.

Critics of the amendment have also said it "could interfere with prison labor for things like fighting wildfires," as member station KUNC reported.

The measure's backers say such programs wouldn't be affected because inmates voluntarily agree to take part.

Ahead of Tuesday's vote, the Colorado chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union issued a call to approve Amendment A that said:

"After the Civil War, many states, mostly former slave states, immediately exploited the 13th Amendment loophole allowing slavery and involuntary servitude as a punishment for crime. Many former slaves were arrested and then put back into slave labor conditions through convict leasing, a lucrative practice that generated more than 70 percent of total state revenues for the state of Alabama in 1898. From the 1920s through 1941, convict leasing was gradually eliminated through state laws and by presidential executive order. The constitutional loophole, however, was never removed."

Constitutional law scholar Richard B. Collins, a professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder's law school, offers a different reading, calling it specious to say that the original state amendment endorsed slavery.

"Colorado's provision is a virtual copy of the 13th Amendment," Collins said in an email to NPR, "and there is no reason to think that those who adopted our state constitution intended anything different from the federal original."

Noting lawmakers who pushed for the 13th Amendment, Collins says, "The heroes of the abolition movement did it: Lincoln, Thaddeus Stevens, Benjamin Wade, John Bingham. Is it plausible that they intended to allow slavery in prisons?"

In terms of the potential legal impact of Amendment A, Collins said,

"Of course prisoners' lawsuits will invoke this measure to advance claims against our prisons."

The question now, he added, is "what will our courts do with that?"

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« Last Edit: November 12, 2018, 09:07:41 am by Battle »

Offline Battle

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Re: Sunken slave ship found off Alabama coast
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2018, 02:32:01 pm »
Wednesday, 14th November 2018
Former Navy captain pleads guilty to ghostwriting 'Fat Leonard' emails
by Euan McKirdy

(CNN) - A former US Navy captain has pleaded guilty to criminal conflict of interest charges after it emerged that he had provided secret public relations services for a defense contractor at the heart of the so-called "Fat Leonard" bribery scandal.

Jeff Breslau is one of dozens accused or convicted in the Pacific-wide corruption scandal, the biggest in US Navy history.

According to the US Department of Justice, the former officer, who retired with the rank of captain, received $65,000 from Leonard Francis -- the contractor who pleaded guilty in 2015 to bribery and fraud charges.

Breslau provided "consultation services" to Francis' Singapore-based company, including ghostwriting emails to Navy personnel from Francis, providing talking points to to the defense contractor in advance of his meetings with Navy officials, and providing other advice.

He did not disclose the role, nor the payments, to Navy command.

From 2009 until 2012, Breslau was assigned as director of public affairs for the US Pacific Fleet, according to a Justice Department press release.
It was from the tail end of his time in the role, and into his next posting at the Joint Public Affairs Support Element in Norfolk, Virginia, that he provided Francis with consulting services.

From March 2012 to September of the following year he "authored, reviewed or edited" dozens of documents, as well as writing at least 135 emails providing advice to Francis, and least 14 instances of providing talking points in advance of meetings that the contractor held with high-ranking Navy personnel.

In addition he "'ghostwrote' numerous emails on Francis' behalf to be transmitted to US Navy personnel," according to prosecutors.
According to Breslau's plea agreement, his "willful illegal conduct" in providing consulting services to Francis and his Singapore-based ship husbanding company Glenn Defense Marine Asia (GDMA) "substantially disrupted the functions of the US Navy."

Breslau, who is scheduled to be sentenced in February, faces up to five years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine for his role in the scandal.

Biggest Navy scandal in history

The investigation into what would emerge as the largest corruption scandal in US Navy history began in 2013, and has touched on capitals and ports across the Pacific, including Singapore, Tokyo, Bangkok and Manila.
In March 2017, acting US Attorney Alana Robinson described it as "fleecing and betrayal of the United States Navy in epic proportions, (which) was allegedly carried out by the Navy's highest-ranking officers."

Since the investigation began, multiple Navy officials have been arrested and accused of accepting cash, prostitutes and all-expenses-paid trips in exchange for steering ships to ports where Francis' company operated, providing services such as fuel and tugboats.

In June of last year, Michael Brooks, who served as the US naval attaché at the US Embassy in the Philippines from 2006 to 2008, was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison after admitting to using his influence to benefit Francis in exchange for "bribes of travel and entertainment expenses, hotel rooms and the services of prostitutes," the Justice Department said.

Along with prostitutes, Francis and his company provided scores of US Navy officers with tens of millions of dollars in bribes, including cash, luxury travel, Cuban cigars, Kobe beef and Spanish suckling pigs, prosecutors said.

Francis, whose nickname comes from his then 400-pound heft, admitted bribery and fraud charges in 2015.

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« Last Edit: November 14, 2018, 07:38:17 pm by Battle »

Offline Battle

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Re: Sunken slave ship found off Alabama coast
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2019, 02:53:28 pm »
Saturday, 12th December 2019
US Navy sub commander demoted after hiring prostitutes in Philippines
by Lukas Mikelionis

A Navy submarine commander was disciplined and demoted last summer after admitting to paying for female prostitutes while stationed in the Philippines.

Capt. Travis Zettel lost the confidence to command the attack submarine USS Bremerton and was relieved of duty back in August following the investigation.

The investigation by the U.S. Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) was launched following a sailor’s tip to the Department of Defense Inspector General’s hotline, saying Zettel told him he “requested/ordered ten girls to arrive at the hotel,” according to documents obtained by the Kitsap Sun.

The sailor later saw the commander with around 10 “provocatively dressed females outside the front door of the hotel.”

Another sailor also apparently enjoyed the company of women and was seen with three “local females holding onto his arm as he was wandering around” and greeting his fellow sailors.

The incident occurred in March 2018, while being ported in Subic Bay in the Philippines.

The criminal investigation began in May.

NCIS agents reportedly confronted Zettel with the allegations. He admitted “culpability in the payment of female accompaniment,” according to the documents released to the publication.

The second accused sailor was interviewed, but he “did not participate in prostitution.”

He wasn’t disciplined.

Zettel became the commander of Bremerton, the Navy’s oldest submarine before its recent decommission, in August 2016.

“Becoming the 15th commanding officer of the now 35-year-old ‘American classic’ is a proud moment for me and my family,” Zettel said in 2016 after taking control of the sub.

Following the investigation, he was reassigned to the staff of Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor-based Submarine Squadron 19, Navy officials told the Kitsap Sun.

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Offline Battle

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Re: Sunken slave ship found off Alabama coast
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2019, 08:21:48 am »
Wednsaday, 20th March 2019
Harvard sued over use of photograph of enslaved African
by Deirdre Fernandes

A Connecticut woman is suing Harvard University for allegedly profiting from a photo of her family’s patriarch, an African slave who was forced to pose naked in what historians believe is one of the oldest images of enslaved people in the United States.

Tamara Lanier, a former chief probation officer in Norwich, said she has repeatedly asked Harvard since 2011 to stop using the daguerreotypes of a slave named Renty and his daughter, Delia.

The photos were commissioned by a Harvard professor, Louis Agassiz, a biologist who used the images to bolster his argument of white superiority.

“For years, Papa Renty’s slave owners profited from his suffering,” Lanier said in a statement. “It’s time for Harvard to stop doing the same thing to our family,”

The photo, used most recently on the cover of a 2017 book on anthropology, depicts an older black man with white hair. His bones are visible, and he looks directly at the camera. He appears naked from the waist up.

The photo was taken in 1850 in South Carolina, where Renty was enslaved on the B.F. Taylor plantation, according to Lanier.
In her lawsuit, filed in Middlesex Superior Court, Lanier requests that Harvard return the daguerreotypes and cease to license the images.

Harvard officials could not immediately be reached for comment on Wednesday.

The lawsuit raises new questions about how American universities should address their ties to slavery and come to terms with the racist views espoused by former presidents, benefactors and prominent professors.

In 1838, Jesuit priests sold nearly 300 slaves to save Georgetown University from financial disaster and to pay off its debt.

The descendants of the slaves have demanded restitution.

In 2017, Colby College announced that it would name a building for a former slave who for 37 years, beginning right after the Civil War, worked as the school’s janitor.

After student protests, Harvard in 2016 agreed to remove a shield used by its law school that included sheaves of golden wheat, a reference to a slaveholding donor’s coat of arms.
The images of Renty and his daughter were long forgotten until 1976, when they were discovered in a corner cabinet in the attic of Harvard’s Peabody Museum.

A museum employee expressed concern for the families of the men and women depicted, but Harvard made no effort to locate descendants, the lawsuit alleges.

In 2011, Lanier wrote to Drew Faust, then Harvard’s president, detailing her ancestry and ties to Renty and Delia.

But Lanier said she was unsuccessful in getting the photos returned.

Since then, Lanier said she has been gathering documentation of her ancestry and consulted with genealogical experts to validate her ties to Renty and Delia.

According to her research and family lore, Lanier believes that Renty was her great-great-great grandfather.

He was captured by slave merchants and sold to a plantation in South Carolina, she said.

Renty taught himself to read and helped other slaves learn, Lanier said.

He also held secret Bible readings and Bible study on the plantation, adding further insult to the use of his image to suggest black inferiority, Lanier said.
“Papa Renty was a proud and kind man who, like so many enslaved men, women and children endured years of unimaginable horrors,” Lanier said.

“Harvard’s refusal to honor our family’s history by acknowledging our lineage and its own shameful past is an insult to Papa Renty’s life and memory.”

Agassiz was a Swiss-born scientist who came to Harvard in 1847 to teach zoology.

He is considered one of the founders of modern American scientific tradition and referenced in Charles Darwin’s “The Origin of Species.”
But he did not believe that humans all belong to the same species.

He commissioned 15 images of male and female slaves in the South shown from multiple angles to categorize and analyze racial differences.

His theory and science was used to justify slavery and later segregation, and Harvard has yet to sufficiently refute his work, according to the lawsuit.

“These images were taken under duress, ordered by a Harvard professor bent on proving the inferiority of African-Americans,” said Michael Koskoff, a lawyer for Lanier.

“Harvard has no right to keep them, let alone profit from them. It’s about time the university accept responsibility for its shameful history and for the way it treated Papa Renty and his family.”

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Offline Battle

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Re: Sunken slave ship found off Alabama coast
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2019, 07:25:56 pm »
Wednesday, 10th July 2019
Officer accuses general of sexual misconduct
by LOLITA C. BALDOR (Associated Press)

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — A senior military officer has accused the Air Force general tapped to be the next vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of sexual misconduct, potentially jeopardizing his nomination.

Members of Congress have raised questions about the allegations and the military investigation that found insufficient evidence to charge him.

The officer told The Associated Press that Gen. John Hyten subjected her to a series of unwanted sexual advances by kissing, hugging and rubbing up against her in 2017 while she was one of his aides.

She said that he tried to derail her military career after she rebuffed him.

The Air Force investigated the woman's allegations, which she reported days after Hyten's nomination was announced in April, and found there was insufficient evidence to charge the general or recommend any administrative punishment.

The alleged victim remains in the military but has moved to a different job.

"My life was ruined by this," she told the AP.

The woman asked to not be identified by name.
The AP routinely does not name victims of sexual assault.

The accusations against Hyten come at a time when the Pentagon has had an unusual amount of turmoil in its senior ranks, with only an acting defense secretary for the past six months.

One of puppetine's nominees for that position recently withdrew after details of his contentious divorce surfaced.

On Sunday, an admiral selected to be the top Navy officer withdrew due to what officials said was an inappropriate professional relationship.

It's unclear when, or if, Hyten's confirmation hearing will move forward.

It has not been scheduled, despite the fact that the current vice chairman, Gen. Paul Selva, is scheduled to retire at the end of the month.

Air Force Col. DeDe Halfhill, a Pentagon spokeswoman, said Wednesday that Hyten's nomination remains on course.

"With more than 38 years of service to our nation, Gen. Hyten has proven himself to be a principled and dedicated patriot," she said.

A senior Air Force official said investigators went through emails, conducted interviews and pursued every lead, but did not uncover evidence to support the allegations.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss personnel matters, added that they also found no evidence that the woman was lying.

Last month, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Tammy Duckworth sent a letter to acting Defense Secretary Mark Esper asking why Hyten was not removed from his post amid the investigation.

The letter, obtained by the AP, raised questions about whether he received special treatment.

The woman making the allegations said she, too, wonders if Hyten received special treatment because of his rank, and she fears her honesty and motives will be questioned because of the circumstances and timing of her allegations.

The woman began working for Hyten in November 2016.

Though he is an Air Force general, she is in another military branch, which she asked the AP not to disclose.

The officer said the unwanted sexual contact, kissing and hugging began in early 2017 and recurred several times throughout that year when she was working closely with Hyten.

She said she repeatedly pushed him away and told him to stop.

In December 2017, when they were in southern California for the annual Reagan National Defense Forum, Hyten came into her room wearing workout clothes and hugged her tightly and rubbed up against her, according to the woman.

She said she told him to leave.

Hyten then asked the woman if she was going to report him.

She said she told him no.

The woman said she didn't report the incidents at the time in order to avoid embarrassment, and out of fear of retaliation.

She was also thinking about retiring, and believed Hyten was as well, so she concluded that he would not pose a risk to any other service members.

She later learned that she was under investigation by Strategic Command for what officials said was "toxic" leadership behavior.

That allegation surprised her, she says, because Hyten was familiar with her leadership style and "encouraged" it.

He had given her glowing performance reviews, some of which were reviewed by the AP.

"I was not the most popular officer in the command. In fact, one could say I was not popular at all," she said.

"But I was very successful in turning around an organization."

In her interview with the AP, she showed copies of performance reviews from Hyten in which she was ranked as the top officer out of 71 on his staff.

Hyten wrote that she had "unlimited potential to lead and serve with distinction as a multi-star" general.

"Exceptionally competent and committed leader with the highest level of character," Hyten wrote, adding that "her ethics are above reproach."

The investigators issued her a letter of reprimand for her leadership and she was removed from her job at Strategic Command.

She submitted her retirement.

But military officials in her branch of service determined her retirement was coerced and they rejected it.

They then moved her to another senior job in the Washington area.

As she moved into her position, the officer received another negative evaluation by Hyten, which she appealed.

During the appeals process, Hyten was nominated for the vice chairman position.

The woman said she decided she couldn't live with the idea that Hyten might assault someone else if he was confirmed for the job.

She reported the sexual misconduct to the Defense Department inspector general.

Because the charges involved criminal sexual assault, the case was referred to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and a formal investigation into Hyten was launched.

Several weeks later, Gen. James Holmes, the officer in charge of the investigation, decided not to press charges.

Asked whether she has ever filed similar complaints, the officer said she was one of several who reported a commander for sexual harassment in 2007 in Iraq.

The woman told the AP she believes Hyten has committed "the perfect crime where no one will ever believe me."

"I've already completed a successful career," she said.

"I had nothing to gain from doing this."

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Offline Battle

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Re: Sunken slave ship found off Alabama coast
« Reply #9 on: October 24, 2019, 05:04:08 pm »
Thursday, 24th October 2019
Navy lieutenant and wife charged with defrauding the United States

by ABC News

A U.S. Navy lieutenant and his wife have been arrested for conspiracy to defraud the government, making false statements to investigators and illegally possessing a firearm, according to court documents.

The two, arrested Oct. 17, have been in custody and were expected to appear in court on Wednesday.

The indictment accuses Fan Yang, who was stationed in Jacksonville, Florida, and held a top secret clearance, and his wife, Yang Yang, of attempting to transport inflatable boats through Hong Kong with their final destination being the People's Republic of China.

The documents said Yang, who came to the United States in 1999 and became a citizen in 2006, was actively serving in the Navy in a "sensitive anti-submarine warfare unit."

The pair raised eyebrows when they attempted to purchase engines specifically marked "for military use" through a shell company they set up, authorities said.

The husband and wife, who lived on the base, requested time off to travel to "Disney" but allegedly traveled to Sioux City, Iowa, instead, the documents said.

It is not immediately known why they traveled to Iowa, and Yang lied to his Navy supervisors about the trip, according to court documents.

Credit card records showed Fang purchased a one-way ticket for a Chinese national -- the person for whom the couple allegedly helped obtain illegal firearms.

In one instance described in court documents, Yang purchased a Sig Sauer MK25 P226 handgun with the Chinese national's initials on it with the inscription "Never out of the fight," engraved on the gun.

Court documents said the two helped get the man, Ge Songtao, firearms for more than two years.

Court documents also said that Yang lied on his background check to acquire the top secret security clearance.

Between 2016 and 2019, Yang was listed as the Chief Consultant of BQ Tree Inc., the shell company, court documents said.
They were allegedly wired $205,000 over the course of the three years by Songtao's company.

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Offline Battle

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Re: Sunken slave ship found off Alabama coast
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2020, 09:37:34 am »
Sunday, 19th January 2020
Next U.S. Navy aircraft carrier to be named after African American Pearl Harbor hero

by CBS News

The aircraft carrier is the symbol of American power – 90,000 tons of diplomacy, the Navy likes to say.

Almost all of them are named after presidents – until Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly broke with tradition.

CBS News national security correspondent David Martin said, "So, the list of carriers is going to read Washington, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Reagan, Truman, Eisenhower, Bush, Ford, Kennedy … Miller?"

"Exactly right, and I like it when you put it that way," said Modly.

That's Miller as in Dorie Miller.

The next aircraft carrier to be built will be named for the grandson of slaves and a son of sharecroppers.

The official announcement is on Monday, Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday, at Pearl Harbor. 

And Dorie's closest surviving relatives, Florietta Miller and Brenda Haven, are still getting used to having a carrier named after their Uncle Dorie, who served in the segregated Navy in World War II.

"That's a great honor," said Haven.

"because it's been a long, hard road."

Miller was born in Waco, Texas – and his first name was actually Doris.

The name, said Haven, came from Miller's mother:

"Grandmother thought she was having a girl. And it wasn't a girl! Doris turned out to be a boy, so that's where that name came from," she laughed.

Waco has been described in those years as the place where the Old South met the Wild West, and like much of America back then, Jim Crow ruled.

Haven said, "White man was, 'Yes, sir.' White lady, 'Yes, ma'am.' You didn't disrespect whatsoever, don't care how old you are."

There were no economic opportunities for a young black man, so he joined the Navy; at least there the pay was steady.

"Navy policy at that time limited blacks to those duties that were manual, that they thought didn't require a whole lot of intellect," said Regina Akers, a historian with the Naval History and Heritage Command.

"When Dorie Miller came in, he was limited to the Messman's branch pretty much."

"What does a mess attendant do?" asked Martin.
"Basically a mess attendant takes care of an officer," Akers said.

"You lay out his clothes, you shine his shoes, and then you serve in the officers' mess."

Miller served aboard the battleship West Virginia which on Sunday morning, December 7th, 1941, was tied up on "Battleship Row" in Pearl Harbor.

Miller has just finished serving breakfast, and was sorting laundry when the West Virginia was hit by nine Japanese torpedoes and two bombs.

Miller was ordered to the bridge to evacuate the ship's captain, who lay mortally wounded.
As the air attack continued, against all rules, Miller manned a .50-caliber Browning anti-aircraft machine gun and fired on the Japanese planes. He also helped carry and move injured sailors to safety.

"The irony of this is that, back in the '40s, pre-World War II, African Americans were not allowed to have any jobs where they handled machine guns or any type of lethal force," said Modly.

When the Navy, which Miller had joined in 1939, awarded medals to those who had fought bravely, it didn't even mention the name Doris Miller.

Martin asked, "Why wouldn't the Navy right from the start at least identify him by name instead of calling him 'an unknown Negro sailor'?"

"Well, you would have to be a Negro in 1939 to understand that," said Akers.

"The status of African Americans, they were treated like second-class citizens."

Four months later, the Pittsburgh Courier, perhaps the leading African American newspaper of the day, finally published the sailor's name and the Navy grudgingly gave him a letter of commendation.

"In his opinion that's all he warranted," Akers said.

"However, others disagreed. The press, black and white press, disagreed, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People disagreed."

As recorded on Miller's service card in the Navy Archives, President Roosevelt stepped in and ordered him awarded the Navy Cross.

"That was not without controversy," Modly said.

"There were some people who did not want him to receive the Navy Cross, because of his race."

He received the medal from Admiral Chester Nimitz, who noted Miller was the first person of his race to receive such a high honor.

Akers said, "He understood the importance of having a black hero to encourage other blacks to support the Navy's war effort."

Miller went on a speaking tour and became a black celebrity in the same league as heavyweight champion Joe Louis and singer Lena Horne.

Akers said, "Some considered him just as important, just as aspirational, drew just as much hope from him."

Was he comfortable with his celebrity?

"No, not at all," Akers said.

"His goal was really to get to his next ship."

Miller was assigned to the aircraft carrier Liscome Bay, which less than a year after Pearl Harbor, was sunk by a Japanese torpedo. 

Dorie Miller was never seen again.

Haven said, "It's kind of hard thinking of my grandmother, her hurt. She used to say, 'Had I been a white woman, they would have treated me better. But I'm a black woman, and my son is a hero.'"

Over the years his legacy has been honored, including in a larger-than-life statute in his hometown of Waco, but that's nothing like having an aircraft carrier named after him.

There are currently 11 aircraft carriers – an honor reserved for very few Americans.

"Absolutely," said Modly.
The last carrier to be christened was the USS. John F. Kennedy, by his daughter Caroline.
Construction has not yet begun on the USS Doris Miller; it will be seven or eight years before the ship gets into the water.

It will be expected to sail the world for 50 years. 

Akers said, "Like everything else that's celebrated about Dorie Miller, it's gonna draw some criticism, rest assured."

"What would be the criticism?" asked Martin.

"Some may suggest it's more than he deserves. Some may say he was just a guy who did his job when general quarters went off on a shi;, 'What's the big deal?'"

"What was your personal reaction?"

"Oh, I was overwhelmed," said Akers.

"It is tremendous, and it's a reminder, too, that heroism is in no way limited by race, by gender, by background, by rank or rating."

Of the ceremony to take place on Martin Luther King Day, Haven said, "Never would have thought my uncle would have been next to Martin Luther King, or even the same day. That's beautiful!" she said.

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