Most of us learned from our elementary and high school history textbooks that in 1948 President Truman issued an executive order which mandated equal treatment and opportunity for all those serving in the military.
That action, of course, brought high accolades to Truman – and the citizenry viewed his order as a benevolent expression of gratitude towards the black soldiers who served their country in WW II.
But nothing could be further from the truth. Truman had no interest in desegregating the military. It wasn’t until A. Phillip Randolph, the charismatic black president of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, warned Truman that his refusal to desegregate would result in a massive march on Washington of black citizens against the draft —a protest which Randolph himself would lead.
Not wanting to risk such a crisis on his watch, Truman relented. And the rest, as the saying goes, is history.
Sadly, however, that history is not well known by the general public. Those who do know are the ones who have taken courses in Black Studies, or have read American history which promotes impartiality—not propaganda.