Inasmuch as the Roosevelt administration believed that the integration the armed forces was far too risky a proposition during wartime, it did take steps to insure that fair hiring practices were observed by all industries that held defense contracts with the Federal government; during the summer of 1941 a law was passed making such discrimination a criminal act.
The attached editorial from COLLIER'S MAGAZINE applauded the President for doing the right thing:
"For our money, the President's finest single act in the national emergency to date is his loud-voiced demand for an end to all racial discrimination in hiring workers for the defense industries."
"Any loyal inhabitant of this country, says the President, is entitled to a chance at any of these jobs, whether he be of German, Italian, colored, Jewish or any other descent. We don't know of anything more timely that could be said just now."
The primary political force behind this mandate was a group that was popularly known as "the Black Brain Trust''...