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Job Training Discrimination

The desire of every Negro young person, like all other youth, is to have an opportunity to become a skilled workman.  This healthy desire to receive training for constructive purposes is disregarded in normal times by the Administration.  But in times of war this desire is seized hold of by the Administration, subordinated to the war economy and turned into its opposite.  The present program is based on the desire of the Administration to involve America more deeply in the masses of youth, Negro and white, for constructive work in a peaceful world.  It is this latter aim that the masses of youth are fighting for.

As I indicated before, the decimation that exist on the job is also apparent in the Vocational Training Program. During the past ten years more than 200,000 Negro youth have graduated from mechanical and trade schools, the majority of whom are unemployed and many registered with the State employment Service, not to speak of those who have been thrown out of industry. A survey made of many Northern cities indicated that discrimination  is quite evident. In Hartford, Conn., it was found that not one Negro was receiving training. In Kansas City, no provision fro training Negro youth was contemplated, as announced by the Board of education. In Boston, only two Negroes were receiving training under the Vocational Training Program.

Another difficulty which confronts Negro youth is the fact that, after being trained, it is the efficiency experts, personnel managers and foremen who do the hiring of youth from the training schools. the labor and progressive movement must reject this entire policy. they must demand equal opportunities for Negro youth in training under the program and fight for the employment of Negro youth without discrimination. It is encouraging to see that many of locals of the C.I.O. are beginning to take up this fight in an energetic manner. It must become a uniform fight embracing the entire labor and progressive movement.


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Jim-Crow Army

Jim-Crow discrimination against the Negro conscripts has already become a national scandal.  In Jamaica, Long Island, the appeal of a Negro youth for deferment because of his mother's dependency upon him for financial support was rejected with the following insulting memorandum:

"This particular case is common in our board.  We have a large colored population and there seems to be no regard for moral or financial responsibility...This type of registrant knows very little about the truth."

The leadership for this insulting Jim-Crow policy was given by the national Administrator in legalizing the maintenance and formation of Jim-Crow regiments.  On October 9, an ominous statement was issued from the White House through the President's secretary, Stephen Early:

"The policy of the War Department is not to intermingle colored and white personnel in the same regimental organization.  This policy has proven satisfactory over a long period of years, and to make changes would produce situations destructive to morale and detrimental to preparations for national defense.  For similar reasons the War Department does not contemplate assigning colored reserve officers other than those of the medical corps and chaplains to existing Negro combat units of the regular army."

Think that statement through.  It was issued for the Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, the President of the United States.  The statement says that this policy has proven satisfactory over a long period of years.  Satisfactory to whom and for whom?  To the Negro men and women who are waging a ceaseless battle against Jim Crow?  To the wide masses of white toilers who are in ever increasing numbers participating in the fight to storm the citadels of Jim Crow?  No, to them this policy has been highly unsatisfactory over a long period of years.  Then for whom has it been satisfactory?  Only to that small group in Wall Street whose interest such a policy serves.  The Jim-Crowism felt by young Negro Ameri-


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