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Struggling to Integrate
Enemy propaganda tried to exploit racial tensions among the U.S. troops. Static-filled radio broadcasts from the Chinese capital of Peking tried to stir up outrage among blacks about fighting for a segregated democracy. Combat veterans Curtis Morrow and Samuel King say the enemy would also drop leaflets into their foxholes.
"We all saw those pictures of a black man being hung and a bunch of white faces eating popcorn and little kids jeering and laughing and in the caption beneath the picture they would have 'Why are you here? Why are you fighting us? Is this what you're fighting for?'" recalls Morrow.
King says, "It was an embarrassment for us to have someone in a foreign country know how we were being treated. And we over here fighting these people to make it better for someone back home and we get back home and it's not going to be any better and we knew that, yet and still we had a job to do and we felt that we should do it."
To fight the cold war propaganda battle, the U.S. military made a proud display of integration success stories. This installment of Time for Defense contradicted one stereotype - that blacks were poor soldiers - while repeating another.