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Malcolm's Post
by Malcolm Scannell - Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 06:57 PM

The United States’ domestic policies passed during World War II characterized the nation’s lingering positions regarding race, as well as the developing ones towards sexuality. The two readings which we have read and analyzed this past week discuss the negative aspects the passing of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, or, the G.I. Bill, which in theory promised benefits to returning veterans, such as loans and higher educational opportunities. While they both discuss the dismal realities that it built with its exclusionary foundation, the aspects that the readings presented that I found most upsetting was the extension of powers that was granted to the military in order for them to discharge all gay members. It was hard to read Margot Canaday’s words in her article Building a Straight State, in which she detailed how military officials were now able to remove soldiers of suspected homosexuality much easier and with not nearly as much evidence that would be needed for a typical court-martial (Canaday, 942). Even though I think any degree of doing so is completely immoral, military officers could now dishonorably discharge people with their own biases and suspicions, which would then disqualify the targeted soldiers from receiving the G.I. Bill’s benefits. They made sure to capitalize on this, because throughout the course of the conflict, more than 5,000 soldiers were dishonorably discharged for being or suspected of being homosexual (942). The other document, Hilary Herbold’s Never a Level Playing Field, details the profound effects that the G.I. Bill had upon the African American community in particular. While I found Canaday’s piece to be more upsetting, Herbold shined light on similar injustices which were enforced by Jim Crowe laws. Such laws legalized segregation, and while they were theoretically creating separate but equal aspects of life for both blacks and whites, the reality was that they were in no way equal, particularly when it came to schools (Herbold, 108). The G.I. Bill built new obstacles for blacks trying to seek an education sustained the mirrored fundamentals of which other discriminatory legislation was based upon.

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Re: Malcolm's Post
by EMMA ATLAS - Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 07:05 PM

I also beleve that the basis for discharging gays in the military was not good. I think it was wrong on all counts to prevent someone from getting the post war benifits because they had all fought loyaly with the US even though they were gay. This should not have been a reason for not giving them benifits, wouldn't just serving in the war be enough to warrent some benifits?

Re: Malcolm's Post
by KAMRUL RUHIT - Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 08:01 PM

It is very much indeed upsetting the power that is given to the military to suspend or dismiss a "suspected" soldier from the army with such ease. It is also very unfortunate how the military not only dismissees the soldier from their current job, but it prevents them from being able to obtain future employment in honorable establishments. The "Blue Papers" that are given to suspected gay soldiers prevent any honorable employer from even considering them as employment options. This keeps much of the homosexual community stuck to the lower socio-economic classes of America.