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GI Bill
by TARA JONES - Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 09:51 PM

Post World War Two America was faced the problem of providing bennefits for veterans many of whom had faught previously while keeping the country from another depression. The 1944 GI Bill was a renound legistlation that provided funds for higher education, an unemployment allowance, employment program and funding for home ownership. The Veterans Administration however, was an aspect of the Bill not commonly acknowledged, one that prevented gay men as well as black men from accessing many of the benefits. In Never a Level Playinig Field: Blacks and the GI Bill, Hilary Herbold focuses on the effects the bill put on the education of black veterans. I was surprised by instances where the government or the Veterans' Administration acted against what was best for black vets but did so in such a way as to make it seem like they were helping. An example of this is when Herbold describes the Admin. in comparison to Booker T. Washington, encouraging blacks to remain in agricultural work. Congressman Charles Rangel's story is recounted in the article. He was an esteemed Korean War veteran who was advised by military counselors not to apply to college, instead to master a trade (pg 107). This is one of multiple times a gov. construct does not actually help blacks but acts as if it does. I struggled with the idea of the government technically granting blacks many rights that aren't realistic for seperate reasons, reasons the government would purposefully ignore due to racist sentiments. The government was paying tuition, but HBCUs were overcrowded, and often lower in quality due to low budgets, blacks couldn't realistically apply to white schools and often times were prohibitted. This can be connected to Fair Employment Practices Committee established by Roosevelt to appear as if it were helping blacks, but was really intended to stop potential violence because of segregation of war camps and had little to no effect or enforcement.   

Re: GI Bill
by XOLOTL ALFONSO CRUZ-DEJESUS - Wednesday, March 9, 2016, 10:08 PM

Along with many of the reasons which you stated I believe that the immense levels of rascism at this time played a huge role in obstructing African Americans from obtaining their benefits. Politically African American veterans were often times targeted by terrorist groups such as the KKK (As I mentioned in my deleted post) and were not able to get their benefits without being persecuted in an even more extreme manner.