Aryan Skynet

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Mau Mau in Vietnam

One of the clichés of the popular mythology of America’s Vietnam experience is that blacks were disproportionately its heroes and victims; but was their contribution to the war effort uniformly praiseworthy or deserving of fellow citizens’ sympathy? When Lyndon Johnson opted to rev up the draft to boost U.S. troop levels in Vietnam, “standards for inductees were reduced,” explains Douglass Hubbard, who served as a special agent with the Naval Investigative Service (NIS) for three tours in Vietnam.

Perhaps the most infamous of programs designed to get the numbers, whatever the cost, was Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara’s Project 100,000, which targeted uneducated young men who often did not meet the usual standards – frequently the disadvantaged living in America’s ghettos. Along with some genuinely good recruits who served with pride and dignity, the Army in particular received a raft of delinquents and ne’er-do wells.1

The radical black political consciousness of the era, moreover, was not left at home as brothers arrived in growing numbers in Vietnam. “African American soldiers were particularly involved in political organizing,” writes liberal activist Richard Moser. “Groups such as the Ju-Ju’s, American Minority Servicemen’s Association, Black Brothers United, US, the Zulu 1200s, and De Mau Mau were established to oppose racism,” he claims, going on to quote a marine named Freddy Smith, for whom “joining De Mau Mau was a routine part of being an African American in the armed forces”:

Just about every black veteran of the Marine Corps … was associated with the De Mau Mau at one time or another. … It was only to educate blacks that didn’t know the UCMJ [i.e., the Uniform Code of Military Justice] or laws of the marines. … We were well versed in it. Some Mau Mau’s just assigned themselves as librarians […] and also lawyers were assigned down at Danang City.

Other activities might have been protests … If a black was given a court-martial and there was a justifiable doubt to his guilt. … Usually we try and ask questions, petition about the court-martial. … A lot of times they used to protest and maybe go on some type of semi-strike which was semi-illegal … sometimes it helped.2

black power

Marines in Vietnam throw the black power salute.

Concerned attorneys and helpful librarians banding together to combat racism through programs of education, legal action, and civil disobedience – it all sounds perfectly wholesome by the standards of the New Left! Black historian Gerald Horne is more forthcoming, however:

During the height of the U.S. war against Vietnam, the Pentagon – according to the New York Times – found “‘isolated instances’ where a black organization called De Mau Mau had existed at [U.S.] military installations;” it “appeared to have been organized among black marines, some of them in Vietnam.” Apparently, this group was envisioned as a kind of undercover guerrilla unit. Allegedly they murdered a number of Euro-Americans randomly in what they deemed to be revenge against racism. Hakim A. Jamal, a comrade of Malcolm X who was reportedly implicated in these slayings, later acknowledged, “I wanted to go to Africa, but not to study Islam. I’d rather join the Mau Mau …”3

Indeed, the first soldier accused of “fragging”, or murder of a compatriot by grenade – an increasingly popular means of disposing of bothersome officers during the armed forces’ sojourn in Vietnam – was an aggrieved black man, as historian Peter Levy relates:

The case of Billy Dean Smith shows the degree to which Army morale could and did break down. Smith, a young black, was the first soldier tried for “fragging” and although he was eventually acquitted, his experience in Vietnam was not considered unusual by either Army brass or antiwar advocates. (According to the Department of Defense, there were 161 cases of fragging in 1969, 271 in 1970, and 238 in the first eight months of 1971.) Smith entered the service in 1967. […] He quickly gained a reputation as a soldier with a “bad attitude.” Within six months of duty in Vietnam, he received three summary company punishments (Article 15) and was being processed for dishonorable discharge when he was arrested for fragging. Smith never disputed the prosecution’s claim that he was not fit for duty, nor that he was a poor soldier. […] Like many other black soldiers in Vietnam, Smith sported an Afro haircut and frequently greeted his fellow black soldiers with a clenched-fist salute or other signs of solidarity (such as the “dap,” an elaborate handshake).4

Hubbard recounts the similar case of Private Ronald McDonald, USMC, who “may well have been a product of Defense Secretary Robert McNamara’s social engineering plan to fill vacancies in the armed forces by lowering entry standards.”5 “When Ronald McDonald decided to retaliate against an imagined affront from a career NCO, fragging was the technique he chose to use,” but the intended victim fortunately survived. McDonald would not be as fortunate as Billy Dean Smith, however:

McDonald was court-martialed and found guilty. In an extraordinary move, the court awarded the maximum sentence available under military law: eighty-eight years in a federal penitentiary. [Special Agent Tom] Brannon recalls, “They led this guy away in handcuffs, but he was still giving the black power salute.”6

“Just as Ku Klux Klan members had earlier been carefully investigated and monitored, extreme black organizations like the Black Panthers were a concern of U.S. agencies,” Hubbard states:

NIS participated in collection programs to assist in this monitoring and discovered that extremists in the United States were encouraging young men to select the Marine Corps for service as a means of acquiring weapons training and other military skills useful in an impending domestic revolution.

Information was gathered about a militant black organization in both the First Marines and Force Logistic Command (FLC), which called itself Maw Maw, presumably after the black insurgent group Mau Mau, active in the overthrow of the white British rule of Kenya in the 1950s. [This “Maw Maw” group, one assumes, is identical to De Mau Mau, with Hubbard employing a variant spelling indicative of servicemen’s mispronunciation.] Maw Maw aims were nonspecific except to destroy the war machine at any opportunity and gain revenge for perceived misdeeds against “the brothers.” […] Aggressive information collection allowed command to preempt some destructive Maw Maw activities then in planning. Preemption combined with transfers from Vietnam and administrative discharges served to defuse the worst of the tensions.7

The history of black military veterans, weeps The New Yorker, is “tragic” and “forgotten”8 – an assessment with which (for different reasons) Aryan Skynet must concur.

Rainer Chlodwig von K.

Rainer is the author of Protocols of the Elders of Zanuck: Psychological Warfare and Filth at the Movies – the DEFINITIVE Alt-Right statement on Hollywood!


  1. Hubbard, Douglass. Special Agent, Vietnam: A Naval Intelligence Memoir. Dulles, VA: Potomac Books, 2006, p. 133.
  2. Moser, Richard. The New Winter Soldiers: GI and Veteran Dissent During the Vietnam Era. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 1996, pp. 58-59.
  3. Horne, Gerald. Mau Mau in Harlem? The U.S. and the Liberation of Kenya. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009, p. 13.
  4. Levy, Peter B. “Blacks and the Vietnam War”, in Krenn, Michael L., Ed. The African American Voice in U.S. Foreign Policy since World War II. New York, NY: Garland Publishing, 1998, p. 281.
  5. Hubbard, Douglass. Special Agent, Vietnam: A Naval Intelligence Memoir. Dulles, VA: Potomac Books, 2006, p. 138.
  6. Ibid., pp. 139-140.
  7. Ibid., p. 134.
  8. Baker, Peter C. “The Tragic, Forgotten History of Black Military Veterans”. The New Yorker (November 27, 2016):

About icareviews

Author, Protocols of the Elders of Zanuck: Psychological Warfare and Filth at the Movies

10 comments on “Mau Mau in Vietnam

  1. icareviews
    September 7, 2018

    Reblogged this on icareviews.


  2. icareviews
    September 7, 2018

    I resisted the temptation to cheapen this post with what seems like the obligatory 365Black joke in reference to Mr. McDonald referenced above. I’m trying to keep this racist Nazi KKK white supremacist website respectable.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A. Vickstrom
      September 7, 2018

      Having read the story of ‘Ronald McDonald the angry black man’ I am left picturing this man suffering a Vietnam flashback:

      Liked by 1 person

    • bob saffron
      September 7, 2018

      Thank you for your decorum.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. bob saffron
    September 7, 2018

    Mau-mauing the Flak Catchers. Now I get it.


  4. Whole Earth Catalog
    September 7, 2018

    Black. Military. Librarians.

    Which of these terms does not belong? Actually it could the first or the third.


  5. Arch Stanton
    September 8, 2018

    I was stationed at Camp LeJune NC in 1972. In those days, a Marine had to serve thirty days of guard duty every year. One evening, during my thirty-day, guard duty stint, I was walking post when I heard several shots ring out. Within moments, I was called to the guardroom and told to report the armory. While on my way, I looked out at the boulevard in front of Tenth Marine Barracks to see an MP truck come roaring up the street with an array of dazzling, bright spotlights on the back illuminating both side of the street.

    A mob of Marines were raising hell in front of the approaching truck that stopped well short of the mob who began running towards the truck. The rioting Marines attacked the truck and the last I saw the of the MPs were their backsides as they beat feet in the opposite direction while rioting Marines turned their truck over on its side. By the time I reached the armory, all hell was breaking loose.

    Once inside the armory, I was told a race riot had broken out, but had now turned into a free for all. Marines were throwing racks and lockers out of second floor windows and generally ransacking the barracks. The armorer handed me a bipod mounted M-60 and told me to set it up out front and open fire on anybody approaching the armory. I was now the first line of defense if the rioters decided to arm themselves. Needless to say, the rest of the evening was spent in trepidation of the fact that I would be firing on Marines and it certainly would not go well if they reached my position. Fortunately, no one approached the armory that evening.

    The base C.O. closed the gates and let the riot continue, after all who you gonna’ call when it’s Marines rioting, the Army? The National Guard? That would have been interesting to say the least, not to mention it would have made front page news. The riot eventually burned itself and by the next morning order was restored and clean up began.

    No one ever said anything about it, no one was called in for questioning or punishment and there was never a peep out of any media source. That was probably the only race riot of that era that instantly disappeared down the memory hole. It was like it never happened. A few years ago, I was talking to a guy who was there. He was amazed when he heard me relate my story as, like me, he could never find anyone that knew anything about the riot. I was equally amazed to hear his version.

    Racial tensions ran high in those times, as Negroes were well aware they had been assigned an unofficial, unstated, special status over whites as our military masters fell over themselves to follow top-level Jew orders to integrate what was impossible to integrate. We had to attend what would now be called racial sensitivity classes; however, I do not recall the name for these classes that were attempts to bring the races together to discuss their differences with the idea of finding common ground with obvious fat chance of that ever happening.

    Despite such rose-colored attempts, the reality was Negroes would often exhibit their typical “ouch ma’ fukin’ way mu’ fukin’ whitey” behavior by cutting in the chow lines. They did this by walking up to their “P”s to begin “dapping” knuckles. As they “dapped” and “rapped” with their “P”s, the Negroes would move into the chow line. The problem was this was not a matter of a few isolated incidents. The chow lines would grow appreciably longer in front of Marines waiting in line. More than once, I saw major fights break out over this type of behavior.


  6. Whole Earth Catalog
    September 8, 2018

    There’s Buffalo Soldiers, the early 90s novel by Robert O’Connor about decadent drug-soaked and drug-dealing GIs in Germany in the 70s or 80s. He wrote, I assume from personal experience, that there was more segregation than in an American prison. If a white soldier was to enter the black floor of the barracks, defenestration, or worse, would soon follow. They made a movie from it with Joaquin Phoenix, but I assume they would have had to have downplayed or eliminated all the race stuff.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. BMan
    September 8, 2018

    The Mau Mau

    In college I played on an all white intramural softball league from the dorms. We played everyone, including an all black team. I was asked to come up with a name for the team and I named the team D’MoFoSi and it was on our jerseys (I wish I hadn’t lost that shirt).

    Even the blacks got a kick out of it and asked if we would relinquish and give it to them.


    Any time someone asked what it meant, we had to do our best ghetto hood rat imitation and say…

    The Mo Fo Si…

    (The Mother Fucker Shit)


  8. Pingback: Mau Mau in America | Aryan Skynet

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