lead on, macduff

well now, this is interesting:

as commander-in-chief Truman fought that pervasive racism in the senior ranks and took his generals to task for not initially falling in line with his civil rights initiative.

He noted one instance when five star Army General Omar Bradley, the so-called “GI’s general” given his popularity amongst the rank and file, remarked that the Army “was no place for social experiments.”

Truman’s reaction to the Army Chief of Staff, Hechler recalled, was blunt.

“Believe me, he was called onto the carpet – Harry Truman talked to him in good old Missouri english and Omar Bradley changed his position pretty quickly,” he said.

With Gallup polls in 1948 finding that 82 percent of Americans disagreed with his civil rights program, President Truman faced an uphill battle integrating the military. Coming just 100 days before the national election, the order sparked a revolt amongst Southern Democrats led by Dixicrat Strom Thurmond. Hechler noted that during this time Truman penned a diary entry showing his resolve, writing “how far would Moses have gone if he had taken a poll in Egypt?”

via

the right thing isn’t always the popular thing, nor is it always the easy thing. but that’s why we elect leaders–to make the hard decisions, to fucking lead. too bad our leaders seem to have forgotten that part.

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