Greetings Brothers,

The Third District History and Archives Committee extends its deepest gratitude and very Happy Veterans Day to all our Brothers who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Your courage, sacrifice, perseverance, and unwavering resolve in the face of a long struggle at home and abroad is exemplary of the brand of MANHOOD that is Omega. Thank you for your service!

This week's Monday Pearl highlights Omega's efforts to advance African American participation, contribution, and leadership in the Armed Forces over time, and in the face of racial discrimination and Jim Crow Era policies. Although there are examples too numerous to include in this communication, the Committee focuses on two significant Omega Caliber efforts: 1) Young Omega, World War I, and the events that led to the creation of what we now call the Reserve Officers' Training Corps; and 2) William Hastie's and 21st Grand Basileus Grant Reynolds' efforts that led to President Harry S. Truman signing Executive Order 9981 on July 26, 1948 that ended segregation in the Armed Forces. The latter not only functioned as a catalyst to the Civil Rights Movement, but thereafter created opportunities for many Blacks in the military. Please view this short video on Executive Order 9981 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCBxC_gk3jY.

In addition, at your leisure, the Committee very much encourages you to read the attached information. The following notes and quotes from Brother William H. Hastie, Jr. are provided for added context.

From 1940-42, Hastie worked as a civilian aide to the Secretary of War Henry Stimson. Hastie urged the racial integration of troops. In 1942 he resigned in protest because the Army Air Force decided to create a separate training facility for African Americans. Hastie's Resignation had a significant impact on the eventual desegregation of the U.S. Armed Forces by President Truman. In 1943, Hastie received the NAACP Spingarn Medal, both for his lifetime achievements and in recognition of this protest action.

"Every Negro can tell a different story of how he became a militant in the war against racism…but one way or another, most of us have acquired the spirit of the battle…with some of us, militancy against discrimination and racial indignity is a heritage from our forebears." - Hastie

"This notion that Negroes have got to be better than other people is about as disgusting as the notion that Negroes are inferior. As a matter of fact, I very much fear that they are rationalizations of the same thing." - Hastie

Crossing swords with W.E.B. Du Bois ‐ [Du Bois] created dissension within the NAACP and the black community by arguing that since blacks could not escape segregation, rather than moaning about it as deprivation of opportunity and dignity, they should seize it as a golden opportunity to marshal their resources both to display negritude and to thwart the apostles of negrophobia. Du Bois propounded his thesis in an editorial, contending that "the thinking colored people of the United States must stop being stampeded by the word segregation." and adding that segregation and discrimination "do not necessarily go together, and there should never be an opposition to segregation pure and simple unless that segregation does involve discrimination….to his assertion Hastie replied, in his column of 25 January 1934, "In theory there can be segregation without discrimination,  separation without unequal treatment. But any Negro who uses this theoretical possibility as a justification for segregation is either dumb, or mentally dishonest, or else he has, like Esau, chosen a mess of pottage." - Hastie

"That blacks had to fight for their right to militarily defend their nation was one of the greatest ironies of World War II." - Hastie

"So long as we condone and appease un‐American attitudes and practices within our own military and civilian life, we can never arouse ourselves to the exertion which the present emergency requires." - Hastie

"Liberty is the only thing you cannot have unless you are willing to give it to others." - Hastie

"The defender of segregation invariably becomes a sophist when he tries to justify his position." - Hastie

"The tragedy is that by not wanting the Negro in the first place and by doubting his capacity, [it] has committed itself psychologically to courses of action which themselves become major obstacles to the success of Negroes in the Air Forces." - Hastie

"The manner in which government itself behaves in the civil rights area has a large educational effect upon all people everywhere…but beyond mere examples, government directly organizes and sets the pattern of much more of our lives than we realize. Until it becomes color blind, government itself will be guilty of the worst and most inexcusable form of 'Un‐American activity." – Hastie

The Monday Pearl is provided by the Third District History and Archives Committee and is a weekly sharing of fraternity content, commentary, and research of historical value we hope Brothers will enjoy and from which Brothers will draw inspiration. The Committee encourages your feedback. Should you have reactions, comments, information, anecdotes, documents, and the like, related to any of the content we share, we'd very much like to hear from you. Please send all communication to 3dhistoryandarchives@gmail.com.

Read More - Reynolds_Oracle1948_May

Read More - Hastie_HessInterviewJan1972

Read More - ExecutiveOrder9981

Read More - YoungOmegaFights2Fight_Gill

F.I.E.T.T.S.
3rd District History and Archives Committee
History and Archives Monday Pearl 11/12/18 – EXECUTIVE ORDER 9981

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