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View Diary: Mr. Roosevelt's Social Insurance (197 comments)

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  •  It's fair, however, to argue that he didn't (4+ / 0-)

    do enough to confront it.

    He faced some very, very hard choices.  For example: Segregated CCC, or no CCC.

    I don't think it's unfair to question the choice he made, but it does require looking at the issue in it totality.

    "I'm tired of hearing that it's "pragmatic" to support positions that most people oppose." RFK Lives

    by JesseCW on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 09:41:06 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

    •  the CCC WAS integrated at first (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jimreyn, JesseCW, tardis10, blueoasis
      As with all Civilian Conservation Corps members, black CCC enrollees contributed to the protection, conservation and development of the country's environmental resources. Enrollees planted trees, fought fires, and took part in pest eradication projects. They built and improved park and recreation areas, constructed roads, built lookout towers, and strung telephone and electric wires. Money sent home by CCC enrollees assisted families hard-hit by the depression. CCC camps provided enrollees with educational, recreational and job training opportunities.
      African American CCC members performed their duties in a society divided by race, and often in the presence of officially sanctioned racism...

      In the early years of the CCC some camps were integrated, but prompted by local complaints and the views of the US Army and CCC administrators, integrated CCC camps were disbanded in July, 1935, when CCC Director Robert Fechner issued a directive ordering the "complete segregation of colored and white enrollees." While the law establishing the CCC contained a clause outlawing discrimination based upon race; the CCC held that "segregation is not discrimination" (see Fechner's letter to NAACP leader Thomas Griffith). Although the CCC's Jim Crow policy prompted complaints from black and white civil rights activists, segregation remained the rule throughout the life of the CCC

      I remember a guy writing a book about the CCC came to our house to interview my father because he had worked with the CCC in Colorado , and I remember my father talking about AA people in the camp. I remember it because he talked about people "getting along well, even with the "Black" people".
      My father said there were a couple of white guys that had a problem with it, but as the writer seemed to be fishing for some hot story of conflict my father said those two white guys eventually "got along OK with them".

      My father didn't live long after that interview so he wasn't in shape to talk a lot but when he talked about it he smiled and made sure he pointed out that there wasn't anything else..."nothing else, no money and no work anywhere" and that he has no idea what would've happened without it. He repeated that a few times.

      So with the dustbowl driving him off the farm to a city with no jobs, he found out about the CCC and left Texas to work with the CCC in Colorado.

      without the ants the rainforest dies

      by aliasalias on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 11:27:38 AM PDT

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      •  In California, at least, the "segregation" (4+ / 0-)

        was pretty technical.

        Only the bunkhouses, and only after lights out.  Everyone was still mixed on the work crews, in the class room, in the chow hall, and even used the same showers at some camps.

        There was a rope about a foot off the ground that marked off the "Colored Bunkhouse", to satisfy federal inspectors.

        I had the chance to meet quite a few of them when I was in the California Conservation Corp in the 90's.  We frequently worked on restoring projects they'd originally done, and they'd either be asked to come give us talks...or they'd just show up.

        "I'm tired of hearing that it's "pragmatic" to support positions that most people oppose." RFK Lives

        by JesseCW on Sun Aug 28, 2011 at 03:41:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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