Q: The Eisenhower and Truman administrations also expressed concerns about
the problem of racial conflict during the sheltering or evacuation of
populations in the event of a nuclear attack. |
LM: When the Eisenhower administration embraced evacuation as its plan, it
started to map out various schemes about how urban populations would move into
suburban areas. And several planners brought up the question of the result of
mixing different kinds of populations. And what they meant by different kinds
of populations, was...different racial populations. And populations of urban
poor with middle class populations.
And this was brought to the attention of the FCDA by consultants who had
studied civil defense in England during World War II. And they found that the
classes did not mix very well underground in their bunkers and in the subways.
And they suggested that this might be a problem for the United States, if it
decided to embrace evacuation as policy. And in fact the consultant argued
that it was going to be more of a problem in the United States because the
United States was a more racially diverse population than in England....
But these conversations about racial mixing and the mixing of the classes were
conversations that were not aired publicly for the most part. These were
high-level policy discussions that occurred away from the public eye because
they were potentially explosive issues.
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