In my last post I asserted that all societies indulge in self-glorifying lies. I used the example of the lie about the “Miracle of Dunkirk” during World War II.
I brought up that subject because a big-budget movie titled Dunkirk is currently being made that will echo the lie.
Earlier this year another movie (Race) came out that upholds a different lie. It depicts Adolf Hitler’s fictional snubbing of U.S. Olympic athlete Jessie Owens at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.
U.S. media outlets fabricated this lie to vilify Nazi Germany, five years before the USA entered World War II.
Why am I bringing up World War II again???? This blog is supposed to be about economics.
I mention it because economics must include the fact that most people are herd animals. They behave like livestock. That’s why they willingly die by the millions during wars. (I’ll return to Jessie Owens in a moment.)
Most people claim that they do not believe what the corporate media outlets tell them. In reality, most people believe almost everything the media outlets tell them. If CNN,or CBS, or Fox News calls someone a “dictator,” then for most Americans he is a “dictator.” Period.
At the Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, audiences boo when Russian athletes enter the venues. Why? Russia never did anything negative to Brazil. Why do people boo and jeer?
Answer: the herd instinct. Since the corporate media outlets claim that Russia is “evil,” most people regard Russia as “evil.” Indeed, for purely political reasons the West has banned all Russian track and field athletes from the Olympic Games, and also banned all Russian athletes from Paralympics Games to be held in Rio in September. And the herd is okay with this, because Russia is “evil.” Iran is also “evil.” Hitler and Gaddafi were “evil.” Anything that challenges the tyranny of the rich is “evil.” Anyone who seeks to liberate the herd is “evil.” The herd itself says so.
Anyway, getting back to Jessie Owens, the herd says that Hitler snubbed Owens at the 1936 Olympics.
According to this lie, after Owens won his first gold medal, Hitler stormed out of Olympic Stadium, refusing to congratulate Owens on his victory.
In reality, William J. Baker (Owens’s biographer) confirms that the newspapers made the whole thing up.
Owens himself insisted that it was a lie, but eventually he agreed to go along with the lie in exchange for being appointed to minor symbolic posts in the U.S. government.
On the first day of the 1936 Olympics, Hitler personally congratulated the German winners. In response, the Olympic Committee told Hitler that to maintain Olympic neutrality, he would have to congratulate all winners from now on, or none of them. Hitler decided it would be less time-consuming if he congratulated no one; not even German winners.
There was no “snubbing.” On the contrary, Owens was extremely popular among Germans, who gave him thunderous ovations each time he won at the Berlin stadium. Owens said they were greatest ovations of his athletic career.
Another lie is that the games marked a humiliating defeat for the Nazis, because a few blacks won some medals, while Hitler had predicted a German domination. In reality, Germany did dominate. Germany won more medals than all the other countries; a total of 89 out of a possible 388. (The USA won 56 medals.)
Owens captured the imagination of the German public, and he was the subject of countless admiring newspaper stories in Germany. The Nazis boldly emblazoned Owens’ name on the Berlin Olympic stadium, where it remains today, 80 years later.
[[TRIVIA: German shoemaker Adolf “Adi” Dassler successfully lobbied German athletes, plus Jesse Owens, to wear his personally handcrafted leather track shoes with extra-long spikes. Owens’ triumph and his fame helped to launch Dassler’s shoe-making business. A decade later Dassler started his own company called Adidas.]]
In 1938 the Nazis commissioned German cinematographer Leni Riefenstahl to make an artistic documentary film about the Berlin Olympics. The Nazi film, titled Olympia, portrayed Owens as a hero.
Later the Germans renamed a street outside Berlin’s Olympic Stadium as Jesse-Owens-Avenue. The section of the Olympic Village in which Owens stayed during the 1936 Summer Olympics featured displays about him.
Back home in the USA, racism remained rampant. A small reception was given in Owens’ honor at the Astoria Hotel in New York City, but Owens had to enter the servant’s entrance, because he was a second class (non-white) citizen.
White people so resented Owens’ victory at the Berlin Olympics that they banned him from further Amateur Athletic Union competitions, and they withdrew all offers of money and sponsorships.
President Roosevelt never invited Owens to the White House, or acknowledged his triumphs. “Hitler didn’t snub me,” Owens said after the Games. “It was our president who snubbed me. The president didn’t even send me a telegram.”
Since Blacks at that time were barred from professional sports in the USA, Owens was reduced to working odds jobs (e.g. a gas station attendant) and was even prosecuted for tax evasion. Struggling for money, Owens began to participate in stunt races against dogs, horses, and motorcycles during halftime of soccer matches. Eventually he picked up small amounts of money by giving interviews in which he changed he agreed with the lie that Hitler had “snubbed” him in Berlin.
During World War II the U.S. military was segregated, and Black MPs stationed in the American South often could not enter restaurants where their German prisoners were being served a meal. On 20 June 1943 a three-day race riot began in Detroit, in which the police and national guardsmen killed 25 Black people and wounded 325 more. There were also wartime race riots Los Angeles CA, Mobile AL, and Beaumont, TX.
These facts are concealed by the myth of the “Jessie Owens snub.”
Incidentally a certain blogger claims to oppose austerity, inequality, and neoliberalism, and yet he remains a fanatical supporter of Hillary, who represents all these evils.
Why the boundless hypocrisy? Because for that blogger, one political topic is more important than any other. In fact it is the only important topic. Namely it is a certain country on the eastern side of the map below. I think you know which one.
Hillary is a fanatical supporter of that nation. Thus, when the blogger attacks Trump every single FUCKING DAY, the blogger champions Hillary, because Hillary champions that certain nation on the map. And that nation is all the blogger cares about.
I will not type that nation’s name. It is too abominable.
BELOW: an example of the herd instinct.