Blacks And Vietnam War

Topics: United States, Vietnam War, Cold War Pages: 8 (2213 words) Published: March 8, 2015
Blacks and the Vietnam War
Vietnam War was one of the wars fought during the cold war era. This war was fought between the U.S.A and Vietnamese army, Vietnamese being supported by the Soviet Union and other communist allies. The war as initially fought by small units in the form of guerilla war against the non-communist forces in the region. At times it became more conventional warfare in which large units were committed to attacking the non-communist forces. U.S.A and the South Vietnam fought the communist forces and the reason for U.S forces to intervene in Vietnam was to encounter the growth of communistic approach of Soviets Union. This was ultimately the outcome of the containment policy formulated by the U.S to stop the expansion of Soviets which took its toll after the Second World War. The black involvement was immense during the Vietnam war with highest proportion of blacks serving in the war. Blacks made up 12 % of the population and during the high stages of the war from 1965-69, the total percentage of blacks was really high, they made almost 12.6 % of soldiers present in the Vietnam war representing the U.S.A. Majority of them being in infantry forces and facing huge lot of combat fatalities. They did face discrimination during the war as well, unequal treatment and delayed racial progress in the U.S led to riots during the war in military bases and ships. The issue was taking its toll back in the country as well. Though the blacks have served the countries armed forces during almost every war fought in the U.S including world war one and two they faced serious discrimination with in the ranks of the forces rather than from the enemy. The alleged misuse of blacks in the war and the civil rights movement on the rise in the U.S which included riots as well was not properly handled and as stated by Martin Luther the Vietnam conflict as racist—"a white man's war, a black man's fight." This was because of the fact that blacks were in greater proportion and were greatly undermined in the efforts they put through during the war. Non-violent movement was also being carried out with the blacks not getting their rights, the basic right to vote as a citizen for instance was being denied to them. Hence the mismanagement of and non-acceptable behavior with blacks during the war worsened the issue. Movements leaded by Martin Luther King Jr. being non-violent as compared to that of Malcolm X which consisted of more riots, also movements in different regions took its toll with the two leaders being more prominent, with Malcolm X being one of the first African American leaders to oppose the Vietnam War. Statements put forward by student non-violent coordinating committee asked that “blacks should not fight war for white men freedom until all men in Mississippi are free. Amid the early years of the war, understudies selected in school could acquire delays from military administration. Numerous center and privileged whites were likewise ready to satisfy military commitments by joining the Army Reserve or the National Guard. This led to greater number of black men being recruited than white with the proportional difference 64% consisted of black and just 31 % consisted white men who qualified for the forces. They were recruited through the program called project 100,000 which focused on recruiting poor and uneducated blacks to enlist in the armed forces by lowering the overall conditions for recruitment. Martin Luther took a strong stance against the war as well, with many other black leaders to follow. He strongly opposed the administrations involvement in the South East Asia also stating the importance of not neglecting the world issues and being solely focused at domestic racial issues. Stating this at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) he did face criticism but eventually SCLC conferred to it as well. Types of abuses black troops faced were different in aspect for instance majority of the black troops were...
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