The US Navy is now building a new line of replenishment ships.
The first in class is the USNS John Lewis. The remaining ones also will be named after civil rights leaders.
Okay, they’re replenishment ships, not ballistic missile submarines, but really? If the military has to honor civil rights leaders, build a JAG corps office of racial justice or an HR building and name those after civil rights leaders. But I maintain that other branches of the government should be honoring Lewis and other civil rights leaders. Let the Interior department name things after him. And HUD. And HHS. Let State honor him, and Tillie Black Bear and Chief Joseph, too. Let Social Security honor Nellie Bly. But the military? GTFO.
These ships will literally be providing fuel for dropping bombs on brown people the world over, and if we take that even slightly metaphorically the message is obscene. Of course this will only get worse as future civil rights leaders’ names are coopted for this endeavor.
in life John Lewis fueled efforts at peace.
In death he will now fuel efforts at war.
Really seems like the US government isn’t honoring Lewis’ message so much as announcing that it hasn’t gotten the message.
I see it differently. It sounds to me like they got the message loud and clear, and are equally loudly and equally clearly demonstrating what they think of it.
Marcus Ranum says
It’s because “fuckyoufuckyoufuckyou” isn’t a dignified ship name.
Alan Robertshaw says
You raise an interesting point. I think though the argument is more about the role of the military in general, rather than appropriateness or otherwise of naming vehicles after people.
If you’re pro-military you’ll see it as an honour. If you’re anti then you’ll see it as an insult.
But I have no doubt Dorie Miller would have appreciated this for example.
And as for the case in hand, isn’t the only person whose opinion counts John Lewis himself? And he seems perfectly happy with it.