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On June 7, 1954, Alan Turing, a British mathematician who has since been acknowledged as one the most innovative and powerful thinkers of the 20th century — sometimes called the progenitor of modern computing — died as a criminal, having been convicted under Victorian laws as a homosexual and forced to endure chemical castration.
There’s no record of any NYC mayor ever missing the Puerto Rican Day Parade.
The U.S. government and military claimed to fight for the Four Freedoms and decried Hitler’s racist ideology. But they also scapegoated African American soldiers for sexual crimes abroad, used false stories about rape to justify racial segregation at home and ignored sexual crimes committed by white GIs.
By romanticizing World War II, we have neglected to confront the darker underbelly of American military engagement, which perpetuated racial inequality and a militant form of misogyny, both of which were intensely violent. The racialization of rape had consequences for black soldiers, who are often excluded from popular representations of the “greatest generation.” But it also meant that many of the women who experienced violence at soldiers’ hands went unrecognized and uncompensated. Sexual violence was a flash point for conflict between the United States and its allies throughout the war, and it remains a problem in American bases around the world today in places like Okinawa. Rape is not ancillary to war, but inherent to war-making.
Making Capitalism History Counterpunch
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