I think it’s safe to say we live in a post-George Floyd world. Floyd’s tragic, violent death has spurred a nationwide reckoning on racial injustice in just about every field, including the armed forces. An investigation launched shortly after Floyd’s death has found that Black members of the United States Air Force are more likely to be disciplined and face widespread disparities.
According to NPR, a 150-page report published by the Air Force inspector general found that Black Air Force personnel were 72 percent more likely to face non-judicial punishment under the Uniform Code of Military Justice than their white counterparts. The review was ordered on June 2, just days after George Floyd died while in the custody of a group of Minneapolis police officers.
Over 123,000 current Air Force personnel responded to the Inspector General’s survey. The results found that 2 out of 5 Black service members don’t trust their chain of command to adequately address instances of racism or bias, with 3 out of 5 Black service members believing they won’t get the same benefit of the doubt afforded to their white peers when it comes to disciplinary action.
The report also found disparities across multiple areas including criminal investigations, rate of promotions, and leadership opportunities. The report did not go into the root causes of the disparities. as the goal was for the report to be completed within 120 days and identifying them “would have taken considerably more time.”
I mean, if I had to guess the root cause it would be the fact we live in an inherently racist society. The Civil Rights Act is only 56 years old. Racism was the thing this entire country was built on. I’m just saying, to me, “the root core” of all of this is pretty damn obvious.
One needs only to look at the racist hellhole that is the Virginia Military Institute and it’s pretty easy to put two and two together. Add the fact that the military still hasn’t adequately addressed the issue of white supremacists in the armed forces, and is it really that surprising that the Air Force has the same issue with race that just about every damn business in American does?
Is it a bummer? Of course, but America has been nothing if not one endless bummer.
The review has tasked the Air Force leadership with developing actionable measures to address the disparities raised in the report, as well as scheduling follow-up reviews to make sure the changes are implemented.
“We’re analyzing root causes and taking appropriate actions to address these challenges,” Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., chief of staff of the Air Force, said in a statement. “Now we must all move forward with meaningful, lasting, and sustainable change.”