About half an hour before the president sent a series of tweets announcing that “the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military,” the New York Times’ archive account tweeted its original story about Truman’s executive order.
″[President Truman] said that men in uniform should have ‘equality of treatment and opportunity’ without regard to race, color, religion or national origin,” the story read.
Though black people have fought in every conflict in American history, it wasn’t until Truman signed the order on July 26, 1948 ― a few years shy of the civil rights movement ― that they fought in the same troops as white soldiers and were given opportunities to rise in the ranks.
On that same day, Truman signed a second executive order to end racial bias in federal jobs, too. “Similarly, he decreed that ‘merit and fitness’ should be the only application for a government job,” the Times wrote, “and that the head of each department ‘shall be personally responsible for an effective program to insure that fair employment policies are fully observed in all personnel actions within his department.’”
Truman’s order became a catalyst for changing the way black people and others from marginalized groups were treated in the armed forces.
Now juxtapose this anti-discrimination order with Trump’s tweets:
Though the U.S. military has had its fair share of modern-day issues with discriminatory practices, Trump’s move is a major step backward, especially since transgender service members have only been allowed to openly serve since 2016.
So much for progress.