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‘World Trade Center’ omits Black soldier
newpittsburghcourieronline.com ^

Posted on 08/12/2006 9:22:52 PM PDT by doesnt suffer fools gladly

‘World Trade Center’ omits Black soldier

Following disasters of historically epic proportions like the attack on the World Trade Center, there are bound to be countless tales of self-sacrifice, heroism and triumph. Some stories, like those told in the movies “Flight 93” and Oliver Stone’s “World Trade Center,” premiering Aug. 9, are made into blockbusters for the world to see. Others are either whispered quietly among family and friends or confined to the memories and souls of those who refuse to speak of them.

Such is the tale of United States Marine Corps Sgt. Jason L. Thomas--in spite of the fact that his story and the one told in “World Trade Center” are one in the same.

THE STORY

The morning of Sept. 11, 2001 began like any other for Jason L. Thomas. A student at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice of City University of New York, he heard about the attack after taking his daughter to his mother’s house in Queens so he could attend classes.

“At the time I was saying to myself, ‘That’s an attack’. My mother looked at it as if it was an accident, but one of the first things that came to my mind was, ‘They got us,’” he said.

“Immediately after that, I just got in high gear. I had my uniform in my car, my C-Bag. We just moved into a house, so I had a lot of my personal equipment in my vehicle. I ran out to my car, got my uniform, got dressed and shot to the city.”

After a delay in Queens, which Thomas credits for keeping him away from the collapse of the South Tower, he attached himself to a police convoy and made it to the site within moments of the fall of the North Tower.

“Approaching one of the towers, all I see is one at the time, I see the building come crashing down. It just comes straight down. I park my vehicle and I remember this cloud of smoke and ash just enveloped where I was. I stuck my head down in my shirt and scooted behind my car and got on my knees, but it engulfed the area. So I got up and I just ran in the direction towards Ground Zero.”

At Ground Zero, Thomas immediately began to help by fighting fires, establishing triage sites to help the injured and assisting with the overall evacuation. While his primary focus was devoted to the emergency, he couldn’t help being affected by what had become of his city.

“I know this beautiful city, and now here it is, it’s just rubble,” he said. “There are fire engines on fire, and you don’t see that everyday--you don’t see cars and ambulances on fire. I was just trying to take it in.”

After hours of firefighting, assisting survivors and in some cases, praying over the dead, Thomas ran into another marine, Staff Sgt. Dave Karnes. Thomas presented a plan for a search and rescue mission of the area and he and Karnes tried to enlist other soldiers on site to help. When they were told the mission was too dangerous, they decided to go by themselves.

“I found a couple guys, but it wasn’t enough, to them, to start a search and rescue,” he said. “I remember myself and staff Sgt. Karnes saying, ‘We’re going to start the search and rescue with or without you, because someone needs us.’”

THE MOVIE

The World Trade Center movie tells the story of the rescues of New York Port Authority police officers John McLoughlin and Will Jimeno from Ground Zero, as well as that of the men who rescued them. In real life, the officers were rescued by sergeants Karnes and Thomas. In the film, however, they were rescued by Karnes and PFC Dave Thomas; a composite character, played by William Mapother, a white actor, who is meant to represent Thomas.

World Trade Center producer Michael Shamberg said that they knew about Sgt. Thomas’s role in the rescue, but were unable to find him when creating the film. He said producers didn’t discover Thomas was a Black man until after they had started the movie. He also said that in spite of the fact that the film was co-written by McLoughlin and Jimeno was consulted for authenticity, no one ever asked them for a physical description of the man who helped save their lives.

“Frankly, we goofed--we learned when we were filming that he was an African-American,” said Shamberg. “We would change it if we could. I actually called him and apologized, and he said he didn’t mind. He was very gracious about it.”

Shamberg also apologized for another African-American officer, Bruce Reynolds, who was also portrayed as white in the movie.

Thomas, meanwhile, didn’t learn the film was about his story until he saw the unmistakable image of two marines peering into a whole at Ground Zero during a commercial for the movie. He said that while he wasn’t angry about how the film turned out, he does wish it could have been more realistic.

TOO SOON—Marine Sgt. Jason Thomas said that once he spoke to producers, they offered to fly him to the premiere of the film but he declined. He said it was a little “too soon” for him to see the film. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"If you're going to tell a story, you should try to get it as accurate as possible," he said. "Some of the things did bother me to a certain degree--I'm an African-American male, and there's a white character being depicted as myself. But I'm not upset. It's bigger than myself-It's bigger than Staff Sgt. Kearns. A lot of people lost their lives. That's what needs to be remembered."

Although a great deal has changed for Thomas since 9-11-he ended up withdrawing from classes at CUNY after volunteering at Ground Zero for more than two weeks--and the film did not include his input, he says he still hopes people see it. He said he believes there is much to be learned from both the movie and his story.

“I think it’s important to know what occurred that day and to remember the fallen heroes that died for our country by doing their jobs. Come see what a small portion of good people, heroes, do and why they deserve the name and title of hero.”


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: africanamericans; oliverstone; rescue; soldier; worldtradecenter

1 posted on 08/12/2006 9:22:53 PM PDT by doesnt suffer fools gladly
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To: Valin

pong


2 posted on 08/12/2006 9:28:10 PM PDT by nuconvert ([there's a lot of bad people in the pistachio business])
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To: doesnt suffer fools gladly

So, since this is a "Oliver Stone Movie", this will be ignored. But I'll bet if this were a Mel Gibson movie, there would be rioting in the streets (along with yet ANOTHER appearance of todays premier race baiting poverty pimps Jackson and Sharpe)


3 posted on 08/12/2006 9:29:24 PM PDT by MCCRon58 (A man unwilling to fight for freedom and liberty, deserve neither. (Ain't much of a man, either))
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To: doesnt suffer fools gladly
Thank you, Sergeant Thomas, for being a Marine, a hero, and a really big man.
4 posted on 08/12/2006 9:39:48 PM PDT by 300winmag (Overkill never fails)
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To: doesnt suffer fools gladly

God bless these heroes!


5 posted on 08/12/2006 10:05:21 PM PDT by F-117A (They say there is no such thing as an ex-Marine,.Murtha disproves that!!!)
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To: doesnt suffer fools gladly
Frankly, we goofed--we learned when we were filming that he was an African-American,” said Shamberg.

“We would change it if we could.

I actually called him and apologized, and he said he didn’t mind. He was very gracious about it.”

Shamberg also apologized for another African-American officer, Bruce Reynolds, who was also portrayed as white in the movie.

The three white men raising the flag at ground zero are portrayed as white, Hispanic and African American on the commemorative stamp.

No apologies for them that I have heard about.

OPPS, wait! That is the government rewriting history to be PC.

6 posted on 08/12/2006 10:06:12 PM PDT by wanderin
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To: 300winmag

Bravo, Sergeant Thomas!!!!


7 posted on 08/12/2006 10:11:28 PM PDT by Eastbound ('SEATTLE -- None Dare Call It Terrorism!')
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To: doesnt suffer fools gladly

Oliver Stone should fire, or never use again, his researchers. There is absolutely no excuse for this mistake. I also doubt that the 2 co-writers never mentioned this.


8 posted on 08/12/2006 10:15:01 PM PDT by peggybac (Tolerance is the virtue of believing in nothing)
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To: peggybac

Let's not say that a gov't pc motiviated statue justifies leaving this man's ethnicity out of a film specifically referring to him.

He is black and should of been black in the movie. No turn-about stuff need apply.


9 posted on 08/12/2006 10:20:12 PM PDT by Edison (I don't know what irks me more, whether they lied or the incompetence.)
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To: doesnt suffer fools gladly

Well, noone else has said it yet, but he is not a soldier.

He is a Marine.


10 posted on 08/12/2006 10:22:54 PM PDT by opbuzz (Right way, wrong way, Marine way)
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To: F-117A
Just saw the movie today. It was gripping in its reality. Now that I know, I'll always remember and honor that the man with SSG Karnes was a black man.
11 posted on 08/12/2006 10:30:38 PM PDT by ArmyTeach
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To: Edison

"He is black and should of been black in the movie."

ABSOLUTELY! I totally agree.


12 posted on 08/12/2006 10:31:30 PM PDT by peggybac (Tolerance is the virtue of believing in nothing)
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To: ArmyTeach

Where was Karnes in all this.


13 posted on 08/12/2006 10:47:16 PM PDT by pacpam (action=consequence applies in all cases)
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To: pacpam
Don't get your question. As in the movie and as I read the piece above, Jason Thomas was the marine who teamed up with SSG Karnes to locate missing persons in the World Trade Center rubble after the search had been discontinued for the day. He should have been represented in the movie as a Black man, of course. He's a hero.
If I've got it wrong, set me straight.
14 posted on 08/12/2006 11:21:53 PM PDT by ArmyTeach
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To: ArmyTeach
"He should have been represented in the movie as a Black man, of course. He's a hero."

The color of skin has nothing to do with heroism.

A sudden outcry about the WTC movie and skin color doesn't surprise me.

Yeah
15 posted on 08/13/2006 12:40:48 AM PDT by Number57 ("Don't quote Dickens in my apartment!" Joe Young)
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To: Number57

BTW - who can take this stuff seriously?


16 posted on 08/13/2006 12:41:39 AM PDT by Number57 ("Don't quote Dickens in my apartment!" Joe Young)
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To: doesnt suffer fools gladly

Stone = racist?


17 posted on 08/13/2006 12:45:31 AM PDT by ChadGore (VISUALIZE 62,041,268 Bush fans. We Vote.)
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To: Number57
The Last Samurai, for instance. I'm sure we can find more.
18 posted on 08/13/2006 12:48:44 AM PDT by Number57 ("Don't quote Dickens in my apartment!" Joe Young)
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To: doesnt suffer fools gladly
“I think it’s important to know what occurred that day and to remember the fallen heroes that died for our country by doing their jobs. Come see what a small portion of good people, heroes, do and why they deserve the name and title of hero.”

We will never forget!

19 posted on 08/13/2006 12:56:13 AM PDT by Mo1 (Bolton- "No one has explained how you negotiate a ceasefire with terrorists")
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To: Number57

Ghandi (SIR white british dude).

The Cosby Show (whitest black family ever).

Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (DUMBEST group of middle-eastern Bozos ever to try and be black).

Ralph Macchio.


20 posted on 08/13/2006 1:18:06 AM PDT by Number57 ("Don't quote Dickens in my apartment!" Joe Young)
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To: doesnt suffer fools gladly

Tha more I think about it the more this pisses me off. You know it really shouldn't matter what color this guys skin is, what should be important is that his story be told. The fact of the matter is that black people are still segregated my the MSM as a seperate entity within american society(an example is american history and black american history, like black american history is a seperate incident instead of being a part of american history in general)

Just one more brick in the wall the liberal elite build to keep black people under the impression that they are not a legitimate part of this countrry.


21 posted on 08/13/2006 1:40:20 AM PDT by bad company (When Chuck Norris goes to bed at night, he checks his closet for FReeper kanawa)
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To: Number57

"Ghandi (SIR white british dude)."


At least in this case, they got it partly right. Sir Ben Kingsley, the actor who portrayed Ghandi, is of Indian descent on his father's side. Wikipedia has his birth name as Krishna Bhanji.


22 posted on 08/13/2006 3:07:56 AM PDT by Mila
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To: ArmyTeach

I worked with a Marine Corporal named David Karnes (I thought he spelled his name with a "C" but I may have been mistaken) in the late 1980s. I can see him being motivated to "give something back" in a rescue attempt of the type portrayed in this film. To gain only two stripes in 12 years seems odd. When I saw the name matched (maybe) I wondered if it was the same guy.


23 posted on 08/13/2006 4:31:40 AM PDT by blackd77
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To: doesnt suffer fools gladly

"...no one ever asked them for a physical description of the man who helped save their lives."

That is because he is an AMERICAN MARINE not any slob who can only see himself as a color.


Except for USMC GREEN perhaps

USMC 1969 - 1981


24 posted on 08/13/2006 6:27:32 AM PDT by TimesDomain
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To: doesnt suffer fools gladly

I saw the movie and thought that it was a great story about the heroics of the the first responders and recommend that other see the movie. That being said, I agree with this columnist review of the movie:



Real terror not really depicted on the big screen

It is a good thing Oliver Stone got his movie out on Wednesday. Five years must have been too long to wait to put on a dramatization of 3,000 people dying.

Stone got his picture on screens two days shy of four years and 11 months after the fact. This newest cinematic venture has Nicolas Cage grimacing heroically through a mustache. The Mexican locksmith from "Crash" is there, too. He has a slab of concrete on his chest for a good deal of the movie. This looked preferable to getting yelled at by Sandra Bullock, or having an Iranian shoot at your daughter.

Speaking of Iranians, or Middle Easterners in general, you don't see any of them in the Oliver Stone movie. There is no visual representation of who or what took the Twin Towers down, except for a brief moment when they show the shadow of an airplane.

As far as the movie goes, the buildings of the World Trade Center may as well have collapsed of their own accord, and only to set off a mad scramble to find Nicolas Cage, and his buddy the locksmith, and, well, that's about it as far as the search in the movie seemed to go.

It was Cage and the locksmith trapped in the dark, and their families back home, grim with worry. This was topped off by a daring rescue and joyous reunion.

So as not to minimize the loss suffered by the thousands more, they flashed some numbers on the screen before rolling the credits. It was August 2006, and Oliver Stone had managed to turn the darkest day in the history of New York City, of this country, into "The Towering Inferno." He should make millions.

Stone has been quoted saying, "There's a lot of movies to be made about 9/11, and this is just the one I wanted to make at this time. Maybe later, I'll make another one, from a different perspective." That's great. If it wasn't for Oliver Stone, we would be stuck with just miles of footage of the real thing.

There was more of it, the real thing, that is, on the television the day after Oliver Stone's Hollywood version of the Sept. 11 attack on New York was released. It was all over the news, this most recent episode of terror, but the television's imagery was not nearly as dramatic as the big screen's, with its explosions and smoke and depictions of Jesus carrying around a bottle of spring water.

But the real thing was still pretty jolting, in its own way. Nothing Oliver Stone could conjure up with special effects and makeup could match the dread of learning that, an ocean away, there were dozens of Pakistanis supposedly planning to blow up 10 planes headed from London to the United States. The planes, from what was coming out of Europe, were all supposed to explode and go down at around the same time.

The British cut legs out from under the plot and arrested 24, the news was saying, but there could have been as many as 50 people involved in planning the mass murder. This leaves another 26 or so Muslim terrorists running around somewhere.

They have to be Muslim terrorists because the president said so. He called all of this a "stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists."

But not so fast, President Bush. This outfit called the "Council on American-Islamic Relations" that sends me e-mails all the time, I think because they found out about something I wrote once and didn't like it, released a statement from their board chairman, Parvez Ahmed.

Ahmed took Bush to task, saying, "Unfortunately, your statement this morning that America 'is at war with Islamic fascists' contributes to a rising level of hostility to Islam and the American-Muslim community. Just today, Gallup released a poll indicating that four out of 10 Americans feel 'prejudice' toward Muslims."

Four out of 10 sounds like a big number. An even bigger number is five out of 10. This is just about how many of the murderous Islamic terrorists look to have gotten away when their scheme was exposed. They were still out there, around 26 of them, and in grave danger of suffering American prejudice.
http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/heraldnews/columnists/hosey/4_1_1_JO13_JOECOL_S10813.htm

- Contact Joe Hosey at (815) 729-6054 or email him at jhosey@scn1.com


25 posted on 08/13/2006 6:31:51 AM PDT by KeyLargo
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To: Number57

"The Cosby Show (whitest black family ever)."

How? Because the parents are a doctor and a lawyer? Married? Please explain. Intact upper middle class black families DO EXIST, doncha know? And they are not "acting white" by being so.


26 posted on 08/13/2006 6:35:47 AM PDT by Ganymede
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To: doesnt suffer fools gladly

Sgt. Jason L. Thomas, thank you for your courage and heroism on September 11th. You are a GREAT AMERICAN.


27 posted on 08/13/2006 9:34:35 PM PDT by Tired of Taxes (That's taxes, not Texas. I have no beef with TX. NJ has the highest property taxes in the nation.)
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To: MCCRon58
And how telling that a bunch of Hollywood liberals would just make such assumptions without even bothering to check further:

He said producers didn’t discover Thomas was a Black man until after they had started the movie. He also said that in spite of the fact that the film was co-written by McLoughlin and Jimeno was consulted for authenticity, no one ever asked them for a physical description of the man who helped save their lives....

Shamberg also apologized for another African-American officer, Bruce Reynolds, who was also portrayed as white in the movie.

28 posted on 08/13/2006 9:42:57 PM PDT by Tired of Taxes (That's taxes, not Texas. I have no beef with TX. NJ has the highest property taxes in the nation.)
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