Systematic Exclusion of Negroes from Selective Service Boards: Some Proposals for Reform

The concept of the local draft board is based on the theory that selection of persons for compulsory military service can be accomplished most fairly by small groups of neighbors of those who are to serve. As the National Office of the Selective Service recently stated: “Because of its comparatively long association with a registrant and knowledge of what he has done, the local board is relatively well qualified to evaluate his ability to perform,” A corollary to this basic theory is that a more flexible selection process evincing greater sensitivity to the problems of individual registrants can be achieved by granting local boards some discretion in determining whether particular registrants are entitled to permanent exemptions or temporary deferments instead of being inducted immediately.