Racism In The Military

Improved Essays
When Harry Truman outlawed having a segregated army he did not foresee just how much of an impact it would have on easing racial tensions. The Civil Rights movement and the start of the Vietnam War both helped bring racial inequality to the surface and helped end racial thought for many. Army Integration had a profound effect on racism during the Vietnam War helping ease tensions between races with minor resistance.
The integration of the army had a positive effect regarding racism unlike America because troops had their lives in the hands of soldiers of different race. George Lawrence and Thomas Kane state in their academic article Military Service and Racial Attitudes of White Veterans, that “The U.S. military, unlike civilian America, has
…show more content…
Sue Monk Kidd states in her Novel The Secret Life of Bees that “We can’t think of changing our skin… Change the world” (216). The effects of an integrated army were completely unintentional yet it helped relieve racial tensions during this time period and helped soldiers see their comrades as comrades instead of by lowering their status by race. The integration of the army helped start the idea that people from any race would start at equal footing from one another.
The effect of racism were nullified in the army in units that contained a mix of different races. The effects of an integrated military in these units were overwhelmingly positive and had a huge impact on changing the mentality of soldiers who served with African Americans in the war. The soldiers who did not feel the effects of army integration had little change in their racial mentality proving that army integration was a step toward true equality for all races and helped end racial mentalities with few
…show more content…
Instead racist soldiers would still continue their ways and be allowed to mock African Americans. Troops racist remarks were found everywhere and some openly showed their racism. African Americans were expected to tolerate flags of the confederate flag on many forms of transportation and even Klu Klux Klan members being stationed in some of the bases in Vietnam. Army integration had no effect on relieving racial tensions for the American people. Integration of the army had a profound effect on changing the mindset of many American soldiers. For the first time in American history, african americans could work side by side in the same unit with white soldiers and see themselves as equals in the battlefield. Although there were some negative repercussions from racism due to the integration the overall effect helped end racial ideas for many white veterans when they returned

Related Documents

  • Improved Essays

    African Americans had a key role in Americas success during world War II. Although not all African Americans were brought into the war, there were a large amount that joined. These soldiers that were accepted into the war were beneficial in several ways. At first, white Americans did not want to accept the African American soldiers into the war, but when desegregation was encouraged within the military, the war changed completely. Desegregation was an important factor in the war and should we have practiced it sooner, America would never have struggled during World War II.…

    • 1409 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    But there was only so many spots to fill in the black Corps. This is why most blacks went to work, and were finally allowed in upper jobs. The WWII home front also helped lessen racial discrimination after the war was over. It helped because the whites actually accredited that they had helped them win the war, so the whites treated with slightly more respect. This was significant to the outcome of WWII, because using them in our military and our workforce strengthened both greatly enough to provide more effort towards…

    • 1189 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    The patriotism of the black communities was questioned even after they had openly supported the war effort. Racism appeared to be worse after the war even though many black men went to war as soldiers. This is the obvious assessment of how the war affected the African-American population as racial tensions increased, even though violence against African-Americans existed before the First World War. The white racial attitude towards the African-America community had not changed, but the attitude of the black community…

    • 1094 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Peaceful Protest Essay

    • 1336 Words
    • 6 Pages

    Although it did little to help improve the status and position of blacks, the acts still acknowledged federal responsibility, which encouraged civil rights activists to work for more legislation. So overall this shows that peaceful protest was not responsible for the success of the civil rights movement. On the other hand I agree that peaceful protest was responsible for the successes of the civil rights movement to a large extent form the significant event of Birmingham 1963. King was largely involved in this die to the influence of non-violent demonstrations and tactics. King chose Birmingham as it was expected to produce a high rate of violent white opposition which was needed to gain national sympathy especially when the event was shown through mass media.…

    • 1336 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    While some view him as just a talented leader, many acknowledge that he held great importance in WWII, if not to the final outcome, to his people. This is because Saunders used the war to escape from racism and discrimination and break down racial stereotypes, proving that Aboriginal’s should have equal rights to white Australians. Whilst in the army, he had the opportunity to travel, get regular meals, receive further education, grow in confidence and most importantly be judged fairly on his skill and hard work, not race. Several photos present this well and provide some of the best primary sources regarding Saunders’ involvement in the war. In particular, a photo taken by James Tait depicts Reg with his fellow soldiers of the battalion.…

    • 785 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    It became a low class war. African Americans and other minorities did not fall behind in the Vietnam War, African Americans were drafted by great numbers and they as United States soldiers still did not receive the same entitlements and respect as the Anglo-Saxon soldiers. The civil rights movement had a substantial affect in the United States, the civil right movement was based on equality to all, against racism and discrimination, but it also became involved in the anti-war effort regarding African American casualties in Vietnam. Martin Luther King, Jr. denounced the war in 1967. King was not alone in criticizing the war; Malcolm X, John Lewis and Adam Clayton also were against the war.…

    • 716 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Blacks felt that the military has one goal and that is to complete the specified mission, and segregation does not aid in accomplishing the goal. The society in the military and American society are directly correlated; in other terms, what happens in American society subsequently occurs in the military society. Eventually African Americans grew tired of being neglected and decided to change it. All black regiments began to succeed and blacks were working well together; soon African Americans created a record that other regiments admired. Whites started to miscalculate African American performance and participation in wars, consequently making blacks appear as bad soldiers.…

    • 1493 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Superior Essays

    al., 805). Yet, these documentaries only featured white cast members. Famous movies such as those in the Why We Fight series did not feature black soldiers in their heroic representations of the army, despite 1 million African-American’s serving in the war (Corbett et. al., 798). This national media exclusion of black soldiers served could have contributed to the undermining of their importance in the war, thereby justifying their isolation and murder.…

    • 1531 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Superior Essays
  • Improved Essays

    Nevertheless, there were many faults with how Reconstruction attempted to reunify the former Confederate states into the Union. Militarisation became an indispensable part of how the US government operated – as white violence became an acceptable part of Southern life – more troops were deployed to suppress unrest and lawlessness. In theory, laws that protected individuals’ civil rights were placed to guarantee the fair treatment of African people, but there was no political will to enforce them by a strong…

    • 1333 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Improved Essays
  • Improved Essays

    African-American not only faced injustices in everyday society but also in the military. During the commencement of World War I, a large portion of the African-American community saw the war as a chance to demonstrate their patriotism and to take their place as equal citizen in the United States (Williams OL). Over a million African-Americans responded to the draft calls they received and an estimate of 370,000 were inducted into the army to fight during World War I, the war that would make the world safe for democracy (Williams OL). Even though the African-Americans were risking their lives to fight the war, their ultimate goal was to secure a democracy in the US in which African-Americans and whites were treated equally. However, racial tensions…

    • 1044 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Improved Essays