Data Black is a new polling organization that conducts interviews with a random sample of black Americans nationwide.
The dual identity of black Americans was shown again by findings released from the Data Black poll of attitudes concerning the military draft. When asked, "Would you favor or oppose reinstatement of the draft?", 52 percent of the national sample of blacks were in favor but a significant 37 percent were opposed. On the other hand, when blacks were asked, "Which is better for black Americans -- a volunteer or drafted armed forces?", an overwhelming 68 percent favored a volunteer armed forces.
In general, blacks show less support for registration and the draft than do other Americans. The February Gallup Poll produced an 83 percent to 13 percent finding in favor of registering men for the draft. Black are also stronger in their opposition to the registration of women, with 71 percent opposed and only 22 percent in favor. This finding is contrary to a Gallup Poll showing that 56 percent of Americans favored registering women and 40 percent opposed it.
The Data Black findings revealed that black preferred a volunteer approach over a drafted armed services by 61 percent to 31 percent. This result is supported by related findings that 33 percent of the national sample of blacks believed that a new draft system would result in a disproportionate number of blacks being drafted.
Three out of four of the younger blacks (74 percent of those between 18 and 29) prefer a volunteer over a drafted armed forces.
This consistent discrepancy between the relatively negative attitudes of blacks toward registration and the draft and the preference for a volunteer approach to the armed service is all the more significant in the light of the fact that blacks have served in the armed forces of the United States in every major American war from the Revolutionary War through the Vietnam war.
In spite of the fact that blacks have served in the American armed forces when drafted or as volunteers, it is now clear that they differ from the average white American as to whether they should be drafted or be permitted to volunteer.
A total of 1,117 blacks nationwide were interviewed by telephone between March 13 and April 9 in this survey.