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Picture of Beminet Desalegn
G.I. Bill
by Beminet Desalegn - Friday, April 8, 2016, 12:19 AM
 

Authors Hilary Herbold and Margot Canady both discuss the negative effects of the G.I. Bill on minorities and people who were considered outcasts in societies. In Never a Level Playing Field: Blacks and the GI Bill, Herbold examines how African Americans were excluded from the G.I Bill, and the effects it had on their communities. Under the G.I. Bill, many veterans from WWII were granted advantages such as opportunities to go to college and loans with lower rates to buy houses. Education was the basis for a promising future, and while others were granted to go to college, the G.I. Bill did not give those benefits to African Americans. Blacks were already suffering discrimination and segregation from the white society, and their one hope of receiving education was denied to them. Because of the segregated schools, many blacks did not receive an adequate preparation for college-work while they were in elementary or secondary schools (pg. 106). In addition to not being prepared, the black families were mostly poor so money was needed for families which also diminishes the chances of the descendants getting an education (pg. 104). The G.I. Bill was supposed to help them after the blacks put up their lives during the war, however, they received nothing in return. Furthermore, when many white veterans recieved the G.I Bill benefits, it triggered the creation of suburbias, and several of them were able to purchase and live in the houses built in with mostly white communities. However, blacks did not receive any of these rights which made a clear division between the white and black neighborhoods based on location and even economy. But above all, the most damaging results is how it affected the future generations. Being born from a poor family that does not have an adequate source of living, low chances of getting a higher education, and facing discrimination would make it difficult for the descendants of these black folks to succeed. It makes it hard for the descendants get a higher degree and live differently compared to their families and ancestors. 

In Building a Straight State: Sexuality and Social Citizenship under the 1944 G.I. Bill, Canady explores how just like it neglected the African American veterans, the G.I. Bill neglected and discriminated against homosexuals. During this period of time, the society did not welcome the people who were different or acted differently from the values that the community believed in. Because homosexuals were considered different and outcasts during that time, they were prevented from receiving the benefits of the G.I. Bill (pg. 935). Homosexuals became judged and mistreated only because of their sexual orientation, and they deserved to get the benefits just as how other veterans who battled in the same war received it. They were deemed undesirable and given blue papers which affected the solders while and after they were at battle (pg 940). Without solid evidence or rational reasons, veterans were given the blue papers which created many disadvantages. The veterans were frequently harassed by others, and because of their "dishonorable" discharge, they were denied benefits for the war that they had risked their lives for. After they returned home, they faced many psychological problems and difficulties since the blue papers made them rejects amongst their communities. Because the Veteran's Administration denied benefits to the homosexuals, the veterans did not receive the benefits they deserved and faced discrimination from people in their societies.