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Black opposition to Apollo moonlanding hidden in plain sight

Racial politics in America is not new. In fact, race-baiting dates from the Apollo moonlanding, when NASA was in its heyday.

Published: February 12, 2017, 7:56 am

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    During that time African-Americans expressed their extreme discontent with space exploration. The popular Gil Scott-Heron song “Whitey on the Moon” questioned how a rat could bite the black singer’s sister while white people were calculating successful space projects.

    The truth about black opposition to the space program however, is being hidden in plain sight.

    In a Washington Post report entitled “Racism, Sexism, and Space Ventures” from in November 24, 1973, the complaint was made known that NASA lagged behind other federal agencies when it came to employing non-whites:

    From 1966 to June of this year, NASA’s minority employment increased by only 1.1 percent. The effectiveness of the seven year NASA effort in this field can be gauged by contrasting its current 5.19 percent minority employment figure with the government wide figure of 20 percent. [Racism, Sexism, and Space Ventures, [Pay Archive]Washington Post, November 24, 1973 (PDF)]

    As man was about to land on the moon, black leaders became intensely critical. The black magazine Jet condemned the space program for using public money which they felt should have been spent on welfare programs for blacks. [Blacks Scarce as Men on Moon at Launch, by Simeon Booker, Jet, July 31, 1969]

    Ebony magazine published a similar editorial comparing white men going to the moon to Columbus’s epic voyage to the New World. But to Ebony, the disovery of the Americas led “to one of the most infamous and long lasting rapes of all history”. [Giant Leap for Mankind?, Ebony, October 1969]

    Just a month before, Ebony had reported that blacks opposed what they thought was a misallocation of white taxpayer dollars that should have been spent on alleviating poverty in black communities and Africa:

    From Harlem to Watts, the first moon landing in July of last year was viewed cynically as one small step for “The Man,” and probably a giant leap in the wrong direction for mankind. Large segments of the rest of the population, except perhaps at the time of the first landing, were merely bored. [How Blacks View Mankind’s ‘Giant Step’: Space scientists, laymen see space program from different perspective, by Steven Morris Ebony, , September 1970, p. 33]

    On July 16, 1969, Ralph Abernathy — the heir to Martin Luther King’s civil rights venture to shake out white taxpayers — rode a mule cart, with three mules, along with 150 other poor black people to protest NASA’s launch to the moon. [Protesters, VIPS Flood Cape Area, by William Greider, Washington Post, July 17, 1969]

    Time and Newsweek too bemoaned the “white” nature of the moon launch. Time rhetorically posed the question: “Is the moon white?”

    “On launch day,” the magazine continued, “the VIP grandstand was a miniature Who’s Who of white America; it was disturbing to notice that black faces were scarce.” Opposition to the expensive space program was especially strong inside the nation’s African American community. “Texas, with its oil wells, large farms, and now space center of the world, symbolizes the affluent America,” said Herbert James, the black field director of the National Welfare Rights Organization, “but there exists in this great state a despicable amount of poverty. Starvation and hunger are taking place within miles of the space center.” [The Columbia History of American Television, by Gary Edgerton, p.272-273]

    Black leaders have convinced their nation that America’s taxpayers ought to spend trillions more on pretending race does not exist, except when three black women aim for the moon in a Hollywood tale.

    Hidden Figures, a new movie, now has the painfully-obvious agenda of delegitimising the contributions of white scientists, physicists, engineers, mathematicians, project managers, aviation experts and rocket scientists, writes Paul Kersey in the Unz Review.

    Instead, the movie suggests that America’s greatest triumph evidently hinged on unknown black women manually calculating trajectories even though computers and a white man named Jack Crenshaw had already done the work.

    The obviously inflated contributions of three black women in the film have been awarded a Screen Actors Guild accolade and will no doubt soon produce an Academy Award, Kersey says.

    The new narrative of black excellence in space exploration, is completely devoid of truth, but certain of an attentive audience as women made up 64 percent of the opening weekend viewing, with minorities representing 57 percent of those seeing the film, according to Entertainment Weekly, January 9, 2017.

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