The US military is allegedly investigating the cause of racial disparities in the US military

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/06/23/the-us-military-is-allegedly-i.html

5 Likes

I’m shocked, shocked to find that institutionalized racism is going on in here!

12 Likes

The US military is allegedly investigating the cause of racial disparities in the US military

Thank you for that “allegedly.”

14 Likes

The Military Times doesn’t capitalize Black because of course they’re part of the problem.

Somehow I imagine that this investigation will be led by Col. Cotton Hill.

2 Likes

Chicago Style doesn’t capitalize “black” or “white,” considering them to be adjectives.

1 Like

I get that it is irrelevant to the main point of the post, but our military apparently does not understand statistics.
That “more likely” on the y-axis of embedded graph really bugs me. The axis is showing likelihood ratios; so 1 means equally likely not 1x more likely. 1x “more likely” would mean a likelihood of 2.

This quote is not at all what the data in the linked letter says. The 2019 data in the linked letter has 23.1 out of 1000 black airmen (2.3%) recieving nonjudicial punishment (mostly for drug posession which sounds infuriatingly familiar) compared to 1.2% of white airmen. These data are completely independent of number of courts martial (which were also about 2x as likely for black airmen)

1 Like

CMoS 17 explicitly permits publishers to capitalize them if they so choose. So we can very much judge someone for not doing so.

3 Likes

Isn’t there some kind of disconnect between officers and enlisted? I’ve never been in the military, but from what understand (FWIW), officers are educated, and enlisted are those who don’t have a post secondary education, and aren’t overweight enough to be disqualified.

I also think that there’s a huge segregation between officers and enlisted. Do they ever mingle?

We see leadership talking to Congress, speaking out so as to do the right thing (most of the time), but then I see the kind of stuff mention here, which is anti that.

My dad was in the Army as an enlisted man. He wasn’t a fucking white supremacist traitor piece of shit because he didn’t have a college degree - he wasn’t that because he knew it was wrong. Education has nothing to do with either actual smarts or with being a white supremacist. Pretty much all of the white nationalist in Trumps inner circle have college degrees. There is an intellectual backing to white supremacy. The more we think it’s just a bunch of ignorant hicks without college degrees, the more we fail to see the bigger structures that supports white supremacy.

And yes, there is a split between enlisted and officers. It’s primarily that enlisted men are more likely putting their physical bodies on the line in combat, while officers are directing things from behind. So, you can imagine that might cause some resentment.

9 Likes

Ah, damn! Time to get a new CMoS. Mine’s definitely older.

1 Like

To add to @Mindysan33 comment, the enlisted soldiers these days are much more educated than in the past. In the reserves and guard it is common for senior enlisted to have advanced degrees. In the active component, Navy and Air Force enlisted have a lot of opportunity to pursue degrees and are encouraged to do so. Army and USMC have less opportunity. And having a degree doesn’t free you from being a dickhead. Nor does the absence of a degree make you a dickhead.

The divide between enlisted and officers is intentional. Mingling (fraternization) is strongly discouraged outside of unit functions. You will see a similar segregation between senior enlisted and junior enlisted.

6 Likes

No, it’s more than strongly discouraged - it’s not allowed, period. I was told the reason was that officers may have to order people into harm’s way in order to accomplish the mission, and they can’t be playing favorites when that happens.

2 Likes

I don’t feel as though the best investigations are ever done internally.

Not when I was in the USAF. The officers had their club, the enlisted had theirs. That said, don’t assume that every enlisted service member lacks a post secondary education, especially as the ranks rise. When I was enlisted, there was a strong push toward taking college courses while enlisted.

My dad was in the USAF as an enlisted man. He lied about his age to get in, and away from the farm he grew up on in Oklahoma. Rose to the rank of senior master sergeant. And he was absolutely racist. I heard some of the most fucked up shit from him. I feel like the life I lead from my teen years on helped to keep much of it from sticking to me, and made me more aware of it around me. Not that it was easy to shake; it took getting out into the world to do it. It also helped that my mom wasn’t as racist as he was, left him, and I spent a few years living with her during that time as well.

2 Likes

Since I didnt serve in all branches, only the Army, I chose less-definitive verbiage.

3 Likes

My dad certainly held some racist views. But he also didn’t sell secrets to white supremacist organizations that were seeking to over throw the US government.

2 Likes

As far as I know mine didn’t either. Although he’s no longer around to ask. I also prefer to think he wouldn’t have voted for Trump, but I honestly don’t know. As for white supremacist organizations, he was a member of the NRA for as long as I knew him, so there’s that.

1 Like

My dad served in the US Army enlisted too. He got drafted. Sent to Europe. He was part of Battle of the Bulge (yes, that Battle; he had me when he was much older). But anyways…

Just to be clear, I wasn’t making a point that being educated prevents one from being, how did @Mindysan33 put it, “white supremacist traitor piece of shit because he didn’t have a college degree”. No, that wasn’t my point, but I can understand how you got there.

What I was commenting on is in my last sentence/paragraph. I’m seeing reports of generals or upper level Pentagon types who are denouncing racism or express concern with the US military getting militarily involved with the BLM protests, stuff like that. OTOH, I’ve run into some enlisted (young-ish, usually) dickheads who do hold “white supremacist traitor piece of shit” views and most (all?) of them don’t have a college degree. One difference I thought I knew between enlisted and officer was the level of education. That’s how I got there.

Y’see, I’m thinking that a person getting an education provides exposure, and exposure is one way of preventing, or at least seeing how racism manifests itself in a culture. Like what @Pensketch said, it took getting out into the world to prevent his dad’s views to stick to him. (Good for you, btw!)

Sorry if I wasn’t clear, but I appreciate the confirmations about the absolute segregation between management and labor in the military, and reasons why it exists.

4 Likes

Depends on the college a person attends, I expect. There’s a Trump University after all.

1 Like

Despite living in a very digital world, it’s one of those reference books I love to have a physical copy of. Counts for: CIA World Factbook

1 Like