SCOUT'S DISHONOR

Remember When The Boy Scouts Banned Black Scouts?

Screen Shot 2013-01-31 at 1.36.03 PMWith all the furor over gays in the Boy Scouts, it’s worth remembering we weren’t the only group the organization was happy to discriminate against.

When it was founded in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America sidestepped the issue of segregation by allowing local councils to decide—much as they’ve indicated they won’t force them to accept gay scouts.

All-black troops popped up shortly after the BSA was founded, but as NPR reminds us, many white chapters opted to ban African-American scouts. (Asian communities were similarly forced to start their own packs.)

Other councils admitted black youth, but prohibited them from wearing the scout uniform. “Boy Scout officials in Richmond, Virginia, once even threatened to stage a public burning of Scout uniforms if black boys were permitted to wear them,” writes reporter Gene Demby.

The Boy Scouts of America finally did become racially integrated—in 1974.  Keep that in mind as loudmouths defend the Scouts right to remain “morally straight.”