With the Pentagon prepping to survey America’s soldiers about how they feel about allowing their gay colleagues to have equal rights, my colleague Igor Volsky took a trip to the National Archives to examine the last time they attempted this charade:
Today [i.e., yesterday], I traveled to the National Archives and recovered some of the surveys the military conducted about the troops’ attitudes towards black people between 1942 and 1946. At the time, the military — along with the overwhelming majority of the country — opposed integrating black servicemembers into the forces and preferred a ’separate but equal’ approach that would have required the military to construct separate recreation spaces and facilities. One month before Truman’s order, a Gallup poll showed that 63% of American adults endorsed the separation of Blacks and Whites in the military; only 26% supported integration.
These surveys show that the same attitude pervaded the military: 3/4 Air Force men favored separate training schools, combat, and ground crews and 85% of white soldiers thought it was a good idea to have separate service clubs in army camps.
Sometimes you’ve got to do the right thing.
A sentiment I echo unreservedly. We don't need any more handwringing and studies. Prseident Obama just needs to issue the appropriate Executive Order and say, "Make it so." And then we'll see that the sky did not fall, the world did not come to an end, and that gay service men and women pose absolutely no threat to military readiness.