December 6th, 2010

Godzilla, default

More on another US debate that in a civilized country would not be one:

Some comments by the troops who felt that integrating certain minorities into the ranks would be bad for unit cohesion and morale, that it would be the end of the world if they were in fact let in:

U.S. troops haven't always been so accepting. Troop surveys conducted throughout the 1940s on blacks and Jews, and in the 1970s and 1980s on women, exposed deep rifts within a military that was dominated by white males but becoming increasingly reliant on minorities to help do its job.

In a study from July 1947, four of five enlisted men told the Army that they would oppose blacks serving in their units even if whites and blacks didn't share housing or food facilities.

The same study also revealed a deep resentment toward Jews. Most enlisted men said Jews had profited greatly from the war and many doubted that Jews had suffered under Adolf Hitler.

"Negro outfits should be maintained separately," an Army master sergeant from North Carolina told Pentagon interviewers in 1947. "To do otherwise is to invite trouble and many complications. The equal rights plan should not be forced on the Army as an example to civilians."

Troops also offered dire predictions for what would happen if whites and black units were forced to serve together.

"For sure, all the GIs will quit the Army or buck like hell to get out," a 20-year-old Army private first class told the surveyors. The service members were quoted anonymously in the 1947 study.

Added another 19-year-old soldier: "If the Negro and the whites were mixed, there would be a civil war among the troops. There would be a lot of useless bloodshed if this happens."


I'll let these images speak for themselves:
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Every one of these four generals has done a great deal of service for his country. So much for the fears that letting "negroes" into the army would produce "civil war among the troops." So remind me again why we should take seriously the same exact doomsaying that has not been validated before? And correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the US military under civilian control and hence aren't soldiers, sailors, and marines required to knuckle down and follow the policy of civilian leaders regardless of whether or not they agree with them? So where does this idea come from that we should allow the soldiers to dictate policy to the civilians in direct contradiction of our national traditions? 

Unless, of course, mean to tell me that Admiral Moreell and General Powell are not in fact "real Americans" or "real soldiers/sailors"? Or that their being let in was "damn libruls imposing their hedonism and disregard fer tradition on good folk?". And as an FYI, those soldiers interviewed were from the "Greatest Generation" that took this nonsense seriously enough to the point that black GIs were treated worse than German POWs. Let that sink in for a moment or two, shall we? They were willing to treat the enemy better than our own soldiers and were then surprised when the Civil Rights movement resurged with a vengeance by troops who'd fought as hard as any other for bupkiss.

Integrating the armed forces took precisely that, and Truman's generation accepted it with minimal grumbling, where ours fires gay Arabic interpreters in the middle of a still-ongoing war in Iraq regardless of all sense or logic.