They say that history oftentimes repeats itself. Even in cases of war and famine. As much as I hate to say it, the adage is true. We are three days away from the end of the “Separation of the States Doctrine”, a treaty that the President of the American States signed to end the Second Civil War and, from all intents and purposes, there will be a Third War; this one will surely surpass the previous two in both financial and human casualties. The people in my encampment are going stark raving mad in anticipation of another mass exodus, and for good reason; the first exodus was brutal beyond comprehension. Five million people, all of mixed race heritage, herded like sheep to slaughter to a place they’d never seen. And forced to live there! This may sound simply unbelievable, but it isn’t! It is the truth, and I’m sticking to it.
When the President of the Whites States of America announced that, in the event of the Third War, all of the Districts bi-racial citizens would be relocated, I laughed. ‘This couldn’t be happening to us again’, I thought. But when he threw in the part about it being “a tremendous benefit for all involved” I knew he wasn’t joking. How could uprooting twenty-five million people and forcing them to live on barren land be for their own good? But he said it had to be done. From what I gather, the powers that be surmised that biracial people have traitorous tendencies and that we should be forced to live separately from the masses. That way when war did erupt we wouldn’t be forced to choose sides. In a crazy insane way that made sense. What didn’t make sense was separating the mulatto males from the mulatto females; I take it they prefer we not reproduce, further complicating an already complicated situation. This part of the plan couldn’t have been given much thought because not only has it wrecked havoc on the men, and women, here, it has also planted the seeds of a possible insurrection.
The day that they legally separated my father and mother-she is white, my father, black-didn’t bother me too much because I saw it coming. For strategic matters, it made sense. Another reason that it didn’t bother me is the fact that my father had already deserted us, anyway; their action was nothing more than a bureaucratic formality. What bothered me-no, what angered me-was that they took away my Lala. She was everything to me. The plans we had to marry will now have to be postponed till war’s end. With that in mind, I wish they would get on with it. Start the war, finish it, and let the chips fall where they may. So that I can get back to my beloved. She is out there, somewhere, and I must find her.
The President of the Black States has announced that if a new treaty can’t be ratified within three days, one that officially turns Mulattoland over to the Black nation, there will be repercussions. If the war begins in seventy-two hours, which I am sure it will, then we will be corralled and taken to another resting place. (Not that one can rest in a place like this!) Hopefully, on the way to wherever they decide to take us, I will get to catch a glimpse of my sweetheart. If so, it will do my heart good. If not, I don’t know what I will do. When we-Lala and I-found out that we would be taken to different encampments, we promised each other that we would keep a journal of our time spent apart and once we are reunited we would share our entries. So, now, I must start mine. And I hope that she starts hers. Before the journey begins…..
"Divided We Fall” is not the story of the life of Jon von Rogue from whose diary it was written. It is the story of how a country tore itself apart and how it tried, and failed, to put itself back together again. It is the story of a race that refused to be denied. It is a story of pride, and war, and what one must do to survive. It is the story of faith, and how faith conquers all, even in the cruelest of times. It is the story of a man and a woman and how their love withstood the test of the time. Above all, it is a homage to Jon. And Lala. And people like them. Keepers of the flame.
L. Johnson in association with, Jon von Rogue
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: My name is Jon von Rogue. I am off to war and in order not to forget, I have decided to record this episode of my life. If this book is found could you please forward it to my fiancée, Lala Ipsonovich, her last known address is:
1222 New Shackle Island Rd.
Des Moines, Iowa, M.S.A. 68631
December 24, of the year 2025. Hello, my name is Jon von Rogue. Welcome to Mulattoland. It is Christmas Eve in the Districkt, but there will be no celebrating here. Not tonight. It has been six days since “The Ultimatumn” was given and we, my people and I, have been in transit for four of those days. The troopers, volunteer soldiers from the White People’s Army, have been more than nice to us in dragging us from our homeland. They keep telling us that things will be much better a few kilometers due left, but I think they just want to steal our land. The area we have settled in is extremely fertile, having been sown meticulously with maize and jalapenos by the Navajos before the White man slaughtered the Navajo in his quest for land. Immediately afterward, to appease his guilty conscience, The White Man washed his hands of Navajo blood by giving us the reservation, smiling all the while as we Mulattoes built our new homes on the Red Man’s old one. In the beginning we worked hard, building homes that we would not be allowed to keep. But what were we to do? Years ago, they discontinued the beatings and began abusing us mentally. No longer do they bash us across our heads with sticks. Now they play games with our minds, make us fight amongst one another, pitting the strong against the weak like pit bull dogs. Then they nurse the loser’s wounds, turning him into a snitch in the process. This way is much more painful, and effective, than the lashings. My people are being annihilated while the enemy paces, his stomach growling as he waits to feed on the carcasses of the dead. War is hell, but it is one of life’s necessities. There will be a war here soon if “The Minister” has his way. The head of the White People’s Army said that if “The Ultimatumn” is carried out, we’d have to move further West, into Idaho, maybe. The head of The White States says it’s for our own safety, to leave our homes and all our belongings, but I think it’s for their safety, too. Since Colonel Quadafy met with the Minister, the shuffle has gone from a move to a better place, to a retreat to a safer one. The White People’s Army is running and they’re taking us along as pawns. Reports state that since the movement began over a million Hispanics have been eliminated by the armies; those who managed to survive have fled south to Old Mexico. If it does come down to a fight, which it probably will, it’s sure to be catastrophic. The Minister has stated repeatedly that there will be no truce this time; there will be a winning race and a losing one. I am sure that if President Hickman refuses to change the treaty, The Minister will carry out his threat. And the Mulattoes will be the sacrificial lambs, again. At twenty-and-a half, my life seems over already.
December 26, the year 2025. We have been marching for two days now, and the elderly are weakening. The first day, we passed through the former state of Kansas, there the tired were put to rest. Scores of my people have died in the last seventy-two hours-many of them women and children. A few paces ahead of me an old man stops to rest; he is shot dead on the spot. Not a soul flinches at the sound of the gun-blast, or the sight of the nearly decapitated monsignor; his murder is only one of many. The steady marching is too much for the feeble, but the heartless warriors will not relent. The caravan moves on. Yesterday, Christmas, I was allowed to see Lala, whose beauty, even after all that has happened, has remained intact. As I watch the people fall, pitifully at my feet, I feel the hand of death tapping gently on my shoulder. To constantly face the reaper weighs heavy on a man, creating a feeling of uneasiness; this feeling of uneasiness can drive one insane. The woman walking next to me tries unsuccessfully to stop the babe from sucking at her breast; knawing on a milk-less tit only causes pain. Women her age make me think of my mother, who I haven’t seen since the first war began. The last nine months have been the longest of my life. There’s a man on my heels, in a black polyester suit, he must me the undertaker; he’s been following me for days. I am so confused. My despondency has turned into thoughts of suicide. I’m pulling my hair out at the roots.