Public Opinion

Supporting the War

Protest on the Homefront >> Public Opinion >> Supporting the War
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Apple, R.W. Jr. "Negro Officer Opposes War Protests." New York Times, May 24, 1967, p. 3.

Captain Earle McCaskill, a military lawyer serving in Vietnam aired his concerns about the attacks against the war by the likes of Stokely Carmichael, Muhammad Ali, and Dr. Martin Luther King. Capt. McCaskill believed that the way for African-Americans to gain civil rights and power in America was to "prove" their patriotism through fighting the war against the Vietnamese. King, according to McCaskill, was wrong when he stated that an end to the war would bring about more funds to help the war on poverty. "They didn't appropriate the money to help the Negroes before the war. Why would they now?" He essentially dismissed Ali as an attention seeker whose opinion on the war was misguided at best. However, McCaskill did see certain amounts of discrimination in the military in its conduct of the war. For instance he saw a disparity in the number of African-Americans serving in Vietnam as compared to the fighting force as a whole. He also saw "subtle traces" of discrimination in promotion and draft practices.

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