Tuesday, February 2, 2010

David Fagen

According to Wikipedia, David Fagen (1875-?), A native of Tampa, Florida USA, was one of five African Americans who defected during the Philippine-American War. Fagen acquired the rank of Captain in the Filipino Army. Fagen served in the 24th Regiment of the U.S. Army, but in November 1899 defected to the Filipino army. He became a successful guerrilla leader and his capture became an obsession to the U.S. military and American public. He was probably a product of the appeals made by the Filipinos for racial solidarity, calling for African American soldiers to desert the U.S. army.
After two other black deserters were captured and executed, President Theodore Roosevelt announced he would stop executing captured deserters.
As the war ended the US gave amnesties to most of their opponents. A substantial reward was offered for Fagen, who was considered a traitor. There are two conflicting versions of his fate: one is that his was the partially decomposed head for which the reward was claimed, the other is that he took a local wife and lived peacefully in the mountains.

The story that I heard was, during the Philippine- America War, a soldier named David Fagen decided to defect to the Filipino Army because he came to the realization that it was wrong for an oppressed people to fight and kill another oppressed people in the name of an oppressive empire. Some people consider the Filipino's tactics as brainwashing or propaganda. I have a tough time believing the truth to be considered propaganda. Some people think that the ideas of the Filipino Army or the the thoughts that lead to David Fagen's decision are not such a strange concept. I don't think of him as a traitor. He's more of a human rights leader/hero. My boy, Jeremy Richter is the one who brought him up to me recently. You should hear him tell the story. My question is, in honor of black history month, would you be comfortable with the story of David Fagen being told or taught to your child in school. I'd be cool with it; but I've been unplugged from the Matrix for years now. I don't think your average everyday John Q. Public would dig the story of David Fagen being told. But that's just my opinion though, and who the hell am I?
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