Yes, it would be a a true, because one, one incident comes to mind in that regard. Uh... during that time black, all black movies were just starting to creep out. I, I think later they called em blaxploitation films. But anyway, one uh came out uh one of the first ones called "Up Tight!
" With an all black cast, and pretty much an all black cast, and which exemplified the black militancy. And uh, they were supposed to show it at uh Nha Trang
. And uh, it was being shown in the big open air uh theater. And uh, people came from everywhere to see it.
Blacks came from every town, out in the hills, the army grunts down from the hills – everywhere. Other nearby bases, everyone was coming to see "Up Tight!
" This was the only thing, although we heard about the black experience uh, or what was going en in the States. This was something that, this was a direct uh closeness to it. And uh... we were supposed to have it in the open air theater that night. And uh it was packed. Even whites, even, even whites came.
I mean everybody wanted to see why this was so hot. Uh, the military police were gath, driving around the sides, uh I mean it was just this thing that something was gonna happen although I didn't, I just wanted to see the movie, and as far as I'm concerned most blacks just wanted to see the movie too. So it started off with a funeral of, ah, Martin Luther King, right, and uh, then it was just about in the first part to get good, and the uh base commander... or one of his agents, I'm pretty sure it was the base commander, comes driving his jeep onto the open air theater y'know, right on the... Rrrrr!, gets right out of it and says, "This base is now on yellow alert. No movie." Yellow alert mean uh, meant danger of attack.
And so, I mean he said, "Clear, everyone disperse." And so, uh, I mean everyone was really angry uh... the blacks especially. I mean, instead of dispersing, everybody was uh just gathering around in huddles very angry, uh deciding what to do. Everybody was certain that this was a, a put on. Everybody was certain that this was just concocted. So that uh we could not see the film. And uh, everyone was wondering wh, what to do. Ah, several blacks wanted to just go rioting through the base, just uh, set things ah, aflame and and do other things. Other people just wanted to beat up white people.
And a group of other people, of which I was in that group, we decided to sit down and ah, write a letter to our congressman describing the whole episode. And uh... one of the first lines in the letter was, "We're fighting two wars over here." Y'know. And um, that's why... uh when someone says, "were you fighting, sounds like two wars were going on, that's the first thing that enters my mind. I only heard rumors of anything happening that night. But, at any rate, the uh all that it would've taken was a little push to uh, really to really start something.