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The GI Bill and Race

I didn’t know this.

From NYT:

Katznelson (author of When Affirmative Action Was White’: Uncivil Rights) reserves his harshest criticism for the unfair application of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, known as the G.I. Bill of Rights, a series of programs that poured $95 billion into expanding opportunity for soldiers returning from World War II. Over all, the G.I. Bill was a dramatic success, helping 16 million veterans attend college, receive job training, start businesses and purchase their first homes. Half a century later, President Clinton praised the G.I. Bill as ”the best deal ever made by Uncle Sam,” and said it ”helped to unleash a prosperity never before known.”

But Katznelson demonstrates that African-American veterans received significantly less help from the G.I. Bill than their white counterparts. ”Written under Southern auspices,” he reports, ”the law was deliberately designed to accommodate Jim Crow.” He cites one 1940’s study that concluded it was ”as though the G.I. Bill had been earmarked ‘For White Veterans Only.’ ” Southern Congressional leaders made certain that the programs were directed not by Washington but by local white officials, businessmen, bankers and college administrators who would honor past practices. As a result, thousands of black veterans in the South — and the North as well — were denied housing and business loans, as well as admission to whites-only colleges and universities. They were also excluded from job-training programs for careers in promising new fields like radio and electrical work, commercial photography and mechanics. Instead, most African-Americans were channeled toward traditional, low-paying ”black jobs” and small black colleges, which were pitifully underfinanced and ill equipped to meet the needs of a surging enrollment of returning soldiers.

Something as American as the GI Bill which acted as an economic stimulus for middle America was administered in a racial way. I think this is remarkable. This reminds us that race is an all-encompassing issue in United States. I thank Linda for pointing this out.

Update: This is Katznelson’s web site – Of the 3,229 GI Bill guaranteed home, business, and farm loans made in 1947 in Mississippi, for example, only two were offered to black veterans. At no other time in American history has so much money and so many resources been put at the service of the generation completing education, entering the work force, and forming families. Comparatively little of this largesse was available to black veterans. With these policies, the Gordian Knot binding race to class tightened.

By |2012-04-05T20:48:45-04:00March 18th, 2012|Civil Rights, Military, Race|Comments Off on The GI Bill and Race

Obama cornering the Republicans

Okay, if you want to truly cut spending and get our financial house in order, here you go –

From TPM:

President Obama tried to use the bully pulpit to pressure Congressional leaders to wrest free of some of their ideological binds and come together to hammer out a long-term debt deal, warning both sides he would not accept a temporary 30- to 60-day stop-gap fix.

“I have been hearing from our Republican friends that it’s a moral imperative for us to tackle our debates and deficits in a serious way,” Obama told reporters at a briefing Monday. “So what I’ve said to them is let’s go. It is possible for us to construct a package to involve both parties to take on their sacred cows.”

“We might as well do it now, pull off the band aid, eat our peas,” Obama said.

With the clock ticking down for both sides to reach a deal on raising the debt-ceiling, Obama is urging Republicans to back away from their insistence on no new tax increases and Democrats from refusing to agree to any changes to entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security.

It looks to me that this is the moment of truth for the Republicans. They have an opportunity to show the American people what they are made of. Can they handle it?

By |2011-07-11T12:20:02-04:00July 11th, 2011|Economy, Obama administration|Comments Off on Obama cornering the Republicans

GOP equals hypocrisy (Updated)

With Eric Cantor walking out of the high-level debt ceiling negotiation, I thought it’d be interesting to look back and figure out how many times the House Majority Leader and his colleagues voted to raise the debt ceiling under George W. Bush. One would figure, because they are fiscally conservative, they probably only voted to raise the debt ceiling once or twice under the eight-year tenure of George W. Bush. The GOP hypocrites raised the debt ceiling 19 times 7 times [the original number was an error, sorry. One of my commentors pointed this out. The best data that I have found comes from the Congressional Research Service.](and added over $4 trillion worth of debt) under George W. Bush and not once did they hold the president hostage to debt ceiling negotiations.

Think Progress has more:

After pushing the government to brink of shutdown last week, Republican Congressional leaders are now preparing to push America to the edge of default by refusing to increase the nation’s debt limit without first getting Democrats to concede to large spending cuts.

But while the four Republicans in Congressional leadership positions are attempting to hold the increase hostage now, they combined to vote for a debt limit increase 19 times 7 times during the presidency of George W. Bush. In doing so, they increased the debt limit by nearly $4 trillion. (more…)

By |2011-06-24T12:17:26-04:00June 24th, 2011|Budget, Obama administration, Party Politics, Taxes|Comments Off on GOP equals hypocrisy (Updated)
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