Remember all those folks who swore Colin Kaepernick disrespected the military by taking a knee in defiance of racism?
We’d love to know how they feel about this report, which spells out how military officials at the highest levels have tried–and failed–for years to eliminate racism from the U.S. Armed Forces.
The Associated Press wrapped up an investigation looking at efforts the Department of Defense has taken to address bigotry in the ranks of the country’s fighting men and women. That includes, as the AP wrote, Defense Secretary Austin Lloyd, who is Black, taking “the unprecedented step of signing a memo directing commanding officers across the military to institute a one-day stand-down to address extremism within the nation’s armed forces.”
Apparently that step, nor the decades of others taken by the Pentagon to address racism, hasn’t changed anything.
From the AP
But an AP investigation found that despite the new rules, racism and extremism remain an ongoing concern in the military.
The investigation shows the new guidelines do not address ongoing disparities in military justice under the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the legal code that governs the U.S. armed forces. Numerous studies, including a report last year from the Government Accountability Office, show Black and Hispanic service members were disproportionately investigated and court-martialed. A recent Naval Postgraduate School study found that Black Marines were convicted and punished at courts-martial at a rate five times higher than other races across the Marine Corps.
The AP investigation also shows the military’s judicial system has no explicit category for bias-motivated crimes – something the federal government, at least 46 states, and the District of Columbia have on the books – making it difficult to quantify crimes prompted by prejudice.
As a result, investigative agencies such as the Naval Criminal Investigative Service or Army Criminal Investigative Division also don’t have a specific hate crime category, which impacts how they investigate cases.
There may not have been a more damning report on military racism since Furious Styles told Trey that a Black man has no place in the white man’s army.