Explorations in Black Leadership

Co-Directed by Phyllis Leffler & Julian Bond

Military Racism and Embracing Nonviolence

BOND: And your father, who was in the military, but nonetheless, when you become an advocate of nonviolence, is very supportive of that.

LEE: My father spent twenty-five years in the Army as a lieutenant colonel, and I tell you, he's one of the few individuals who understands very clearly my reasons to be against this war and all wars that I have witnessed in my life, and he knows how much I support him and veterans and the military and how much I support our troops, but he knows good and well and I've seen — he was in two wars, so I've seen what war can do to families and I know what war is about, and I grew up as a military brat. He was stationed at Fort Bliss, and also my dad — I can remember as a child, going to restaurants with him in his uniform, going to theaters in his uniform — my dad, my mother and my two sisters — and being turned away, saying, "I'm sorry, we don't serve," and they'd use the N word and here my dad was serving his country, fighting for his country and still couldn't go to restaurants and so my father's very clear on supporting the troops and why I stand for peace and he was one of the first persons, given some of the tough votes I've cast, that called me and gave me the support and love and said, "You're on the right track, don't back down, you're right, and many of our veterans love you and support you for that."