Good morning, it’s Monday, July 26, 2021. On this day in 1948, President Harry Truman issued a simple, 405-word executive order ending segregation in the U.S. armed forces. It began this way:
“WHEREAS it is essential that there be maintained in the armed services of the United States the highest standards of democracy, with equality of treatment and opportunity for all those who serve in our country's defense … it is hereby declared to be the policy of the President that there shall be equality of treatment and opportunity for all persons in the armed services without regard to race, color, religion or national origin.”
Although 73 years is a long time ago, it must also be said that Truman’s executive order was long overdue by 1948. Black combat soldiers had served with valor and distinction in every major U.S. war, and Truman was particularly cognizant of their contributions in World War II. And though he’d grown up in a household where Abraham Lincoln was disparaged and had expressed the racist sentiments common to his time and place well into his 20s, Truman had come to see the bigger picture on race relations. He was especially infuriated by news accounts of brutal treatment received by black GI’s who had returned home from Europe or the Pacific.
“My stomach turned over when I learned that Negro soldiers, just back from overseas, were being dumped out of Army trucks in Mississippi and beaten,” Truman said. “Whatever my inclinations as a native of Missouri might have been, as president I know this is bad. I shall fight to end evils like this.”
Later, with a presidential election looming, Truman did his part. And with that, I’d point you to our front page, which aggregates, as it does each day, columns and stories spanning the political spectrum. We also offer a complement of original material from RCP reporters and contributors, including the following:
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RCP Takeaway. Phil Wegmann and Tom Bevan join Andy Walworth to discuss the "remasking of America" and Hunter Biden’s new career as an artist.
Why the GOP (Apparently) Supports Bipartisan Infrastructure. Bill Scher assesses prospects for the bill’s passage.
The Roots of the Elite Left’s Attack on Freedom. Peter Berkowitz points to pivotal developments in political thought 50, 100, and even 250 years ago.
Cheer the Bucks’ Title -- and Pols Who Kept the Team in Town. Jake Curtis lauds the creation of public-private partnerships that produced a new arena and kept the newly crowned NBA champs in Milwaukee.
Protests in Iran Grow With Water Shortages. Soona Samsami argues that persistent uprisings show the Iranian people want regime change and democracy.
Renewable Natural Gas Has Legs in the Climate Conversation. At RealClearEnergy, Mike Butler spotlights the harnessable benefits from organic leftovers and waste.
Canceled Keystone Pipeline Could Cost U.S. $15 Billion. At RealClearPolicy, Adam Andrzejewski reports on a lawsuit filed by TC Energy Corp. after President Biden revoked its construction permit.
The FTC’s Aggressive Actions. At RealClearMarkets, Kirk Arner and Harold Furchtgott-Roth assert that the agency has gone beyond its mandate to prevent unfair or deceptive acts or practices.
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Carl M. Cannon
Washington Bureau chief, RealClearPolitics