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lie ahead. Uppermost is the need for far vaster opportunities to serve the armed forces. IN JOE'S SPIRIT-A MIXED REGIMENT Two young Navy officers, who attend the Louis-Baer bout for Navy Relief, grasped Joe's hand after the bout and said: "Oh boy, we sure would like to have you with us.... I'd be proud to serve under a fighter like you...." Two white Army lieutenants who used their furlough to see the fight said to Joe: "Say, we'd like to have you in our regiment all right when you come into the army." To both of these sincere responses, Joe smiled and said "Thanks." Both incidents expressed something that is in the minds of many youth, Negro and white-the desire to end the shameful restrictions upon the opportunity of Negro youth to serve in the armed forces. This is the American spirit. Why shouldn't Negro and white Americans fight together? Do they not work together? Are we not fighting for a common cause together? Besides, our nation's history shows we have done so in the past. Crispus Attucks, the first man to fall in our American Revolutionary war, was a Negro. His mates were white. Fifty years ago there were mixed naval units. Negroes served as coxswains, first and second gunner's mates, as well as quartermasters and messmen. What American does not glory in the knowledge that Negro Americans have in each crisis given their last drop of blood for the nation's cause? Despite the positive steps allowing Negroes to enlist in all branches of the Naval service, Negro youth can only give partial service because Jim-Crow still permeates the Navy. But Negro young men and women, fired in the spirit of Dorie Miller and Joe Louis want to give full service. If Dorie Miller was able to perform the heroic deed he did, without training, how much better could he accomplish his task-with training? There are millions of Dorie Millers today who want such raining to defeat the Axis. 10 [[end page]] [[start page]] There is need for greater promotions of Negro officers, equal facilities and training of Negro youth in the Army, cracking down on the vicious indignities such as the Fort Dix incident which result from discrimination in the armed forces. There is no better way to begin the sweeping removal of the indignities from which Negro youth and the entire nation suffer than to put into effect the growing demand for a mixed regiment. A mixed regiment of Negro and white soldiers will help our armed forces and our entire war effort. It would help to stimulate Negro-white solidarity, boost national unity and strengthen morale both in and outside of the armed forces. It would be greeted by our allies everywhere. It would carry into actual life the constitutional rights of the Negro people for full equality in the armed forces. A mixed regiment would be a slap in the face to the Ku Kluxers and the rest of the Axis fifth column who count on false race hatred and myths of "inferior" and "superior" peoples to divide and conquer us. Many Americans have already demanded that such a step be taken and we are waiting for such action by the War Department. That is the way to put into effect the full meaning of the statements expressed by Army officers, such as Col. Howard Gilbert of Fort Dix, who declared that Joe "is the greatest morale-building influence" that an Army camp ever had. JOE UNITES US-THE DEFEATISTS TRY TO DIVIDE US Yes, the nation is proud of Joe. For Joe is a symbol of everything fin and upstanding in American youth. He is a symbol of the character of the American people. Despite the fact that he is a world champion, having defended his title twenty-one times, scoring nineteen knockouts, his simple dignity, modesty and pride are an inspiration to all young Americans. No wonder then that, before the delegates to the Fifth All-Southern Negro Youth Congress, Joe was presented by Brigadier General B. O. Davis with the C. C. Spaulding award for "outstanding service to the nation and the Negro people." Also 11
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