In addition to asking white troops about black troops, President Harry Truman’s 1940s military officials polled troops about whether they like Jews. That sounds appropriate!
Especially since the military was never even considering any policies about Jewish soldiers — but maybe they wanted to know whether Americans would fight for ’em during WWII?
But that doesn’t make the results any less fun! Wonk Room revisits the National Archive treasures, where non-Jewish whites were asked to mark agree or disagree on things like …
• “There is nothing good about Jews.” (Agree: 86%, Disagree: 13%)
• “Jews are out to rule the world.” (Agree: 27%, Disagree: 73%)
• “The Jews always get the best of everything.” (Agree: 30%, Disagree: 70%)
• “You can always tell a Jew by the way he looks.” (Agree: 61%, Disagree: 39%)
• “Jews are the biggest goldbricks in the Army. (Agree: 51%, Disagree: 49%)
• “A Jew will always play you for a sucker.” (Agree: 48%, Disagree: 52%)
If only Defense Sec. Robert Gates had Westat phrase questions about homosexuals this way. “You can always tell a homosexual by the way he looks.” TRUE!
Congratulations, Obama: Your DADT Survey Is Just As Offensive As Truman’s Was 65 Years Ago!
Yes, well, so what. Harry Truman did integrate the troops, despite the surveys. That took leadership.
And a conscience.
Both of which you shouldn’t hold your breath on with this new one. I think his balls didn’t drop when he was a baby…so the doc just cut ’em right out. Ouch!
Obama’s tactical lying throughout the primaries was designed to win votes and then, once won, to tell us repealing DADT would take time. Then, once having won the Presidency, he went back on his word.
Sorry, Obama, but the only sentiment I have for you right now is “fuck off”.
@jason: … He still has two years of presidency to go through.
Those questions look to me like items designed to measure prejudice psychometrically. If those questions were typical, Truman’s study was probably much more rigorous than the current one, which is simply a poll. The sample size was smaller, but you don’t need 400,000 people for a survey or, for that matter, any study. The military today should have expended less resources on surveying lots of people and more on designing an effective instrument. I’m not aware that Westat conducts the kind of rigorous study suggested by the items above.
If this was a psychometric test, the purpose may also have been completely different from a poll. The focus would likely have been on the prejudice itself – finding ways to reduce it, to pinpoint its causes, and so on. A statement like “Jews are out to rule the world” wouldn’t have been credible, and I’m sure it wasn’t meant to be, even then. No one would point to it and argue that Jewish soldiers shouldn’t be integrated with Gentile ones, especially since no action toward Jewish troops was being considered. Instead, the army would see high prejudice scores, if present, as indicating a problem that needed to be remedied.
With Obama, hope does not spring eternal. It will take us dragging and screaming to bring this religious bigot into the year 2010. Obama must be pushed. Even with overwhelming public support for gays in the military, Obama is so very “bought and paid for by the establishment” that he will likely default once again to the Republican party line. He has a history, you know.
Sorry to be so jaded about Obama, but he now has a clear history.
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