Correction: The title should read “1940s Racial Segregation Arguments.” In the writer’s defense, his son is home from school with a chest cold and his daughter is being super clingy today.”
Soledad O’Brien appears to have completely given up the false equivalency that’s infected most of the mainstream media. In recent months, O’Brien has sent John Sununu into a stammering rage on live TV, forced Tim Pawlenty to resort to childish personal attacks and exposed the lies of the gun fetishists. It’s a wonder that right wingers continue to agree to be interviewed by her. Maybe they think that because she’s a woman she can’t possibly be a threat? Professor Kingsley Browne probably thought so.
Bad move. Via Think Progress:
O’BRIEN: I’m going to read a little bit from this colonel who said this: ‘The army is not a sociological laboratory; to be effective it must be organized and trained according to the principles which will ensure success…Experiments are a danger to efficiency, discipline and morale and would result in ultimate defeat.’
BROWNE: I think that that’s true. I don’t think it’s true with respect to ultimate defeat of the United States in a war. I think what’s likely to occur though is the defeat of the United States in small battles, which means people are going to die. […]
O’BRIEN: That was from a guy in 1941. And that argument was about not allowing black people in the military. That was his exact argument of why blacks should not be allowed in the military, because it’s a danger to efficiency and discipline and morale and will result in ultimate defeat.
Here’s the video:
On the surface, Browne’s argument seems sound; women are not as strong or as fast as men. This is simple biology. There’s a reason men and women do not compete in most sports. However, unlike what Hollywood would have you believe, not everyone in the military is a perfect specimen of sculpted muscle and endless endurance. Our troops do not need to function at peak human capacity, just at the capacity the military deems necessary to carry out operations. Therefor, as long as women can meet those requirements (and they certainly can, albeit with more effort than a man of comparable size and health) Browne’s argument is completely invalid. He might as well argue that Asians (aside from Yao Ming) are not as tall as Caucasians and are unsuited for combat.
The bottom line is that women have been on the front line for years. They’ve served with distinction, killed, bled and died for their country. Somehow, in all that time, the Muslim extremists they’ve been fighting have not managed to overwhelm our troops. America currently faces more of a threat from the reactionary right wing than it does from a fully integrated military. Time to quit the He-Man’s Woman Haters Club and grow up, Professor.