Racial Discrimination and the War Effort

July 1, 1942

Report Outline
Racial Discrimination as a War Problem
Employment of Negroes in War Industry
Service of Negroes in the Fighting Forces

Racial Discrimination as a War Problem

Participation of the United States in a war waged A for triumph of the democratic ideal over the fascist concept of master and subject races has forced to the forefront problems raised by domestic manifestations of the essentially fascist practice of racial discrimination. While Jews and other minority groups suffer some degree of discrimination in this country, the question is presented most conspicuously in the case of the 13,000,000 Negroes, who comprise 10 per cent of the population. Paul V. McNutt, chairman of the War Manpower Commission, said to a Negro mass meeting in New York, June 28:

You have suffered grievous discrimination. And when you demand a redefinition—a reiteration—of fundamental American rights, your claims are just and sound … Discrimination—based upon anything but a man's sheer worth—must go. Discrimination against every race must go, just as economic discrimination must go.

McNutt mentioned expanding opportunities for Negro employment in war industries but declared: “We are not using Negroes enough … There are still too many employers who stipulate on their hiring schedules that certain jobs are barred to Negroes. There are still too many who hire them only for certain service jobs or assign them to work below their best skill. Such employers are protecting their prejudices at the cost of production for victory.”

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
African Americans and the Civil Rights Movement
Jul. 22, 2022  Black Hairstyles
Nov. 15, 1985  Black America Long March for Equality
Aug. 12, 1983  Black Political Power
Jan. 18, 1980  Black Leadership Question
Aug. 15, 1973  Black Americans, 1963–1973
Nov. 26, 1969  Racial Discrimination in Craft Unions
Sep. 11, 1968  Black Pride
Feb. 21, 1968  Negro Power Struggle
Mar. 08, 1967  Negroes in the Economy
Jan. 19, 1966  Changing Southern Politics
Oct. 27, 1965  Negroes in the North
Jul. 21, 1965  Negro Revolution: Next Steps
Oct. 14, 1964  Negro Voting
Sep. 21, 1964  Negroes and the Police
Jul. 03, 1963  Right of Access to Public Accommodations
Jan. 23, 1963  Negro Jobs and Education
Mar. 25, 1960  Violence and Non-Violence in Race Relations
Aug. 05, 1959  Negro Employment
Apr. 18, 1956  Racial Issues in National Politics
Apr. 18, 1951  Progress in Race Relations
Dec. 17, 1948  Discrimination in Employment
Jan. 10, 1947  Federal Protection of Civil Liberties
Aug. 25, 1944  The Negro Vote
Jul. 01, 1942  Racial Discrimination and the War Effort
Mar. 25, 1939  Civil and Social Rights of the Negro
Jul. 22, 1927  Disenfranchisement of the Negro in the South
Civil Rights: African Americans
Equal Employment Opportunity & Discrimination
Segregation and Desegregation
U.S. at War: World War II