May 28, 2021
I could have replied to this article, sent to me by my Dad, with a terse statement that it is simply more of the same — the Left wing bashing the military, which habit the Left perfected while President G.W. Bush was in office.
Instead, I decided to respond to some of the claims in the article, and post it on this website. So, let's take the article point-by-point.
Over the course of decades, [Stephanie Davis] steadily advanced, becoming a flight surgeon, commander of flight medicine at Fairchild Air Force Base and, eventually, a lieutenant colonel.This demonstrates — at least anecdotally — that the article title's claim that "deep-rooted racism, discrimination" permeates the US military is false. If the claim were true, Davis would likely never have become commander of flight medicine at an Air Force base nor a lieutenant colonel (promotion to field rank requires U.S. Senate confirmation, among other things).
But many of her service colleagues, Davis says, saw her only as a Black woman. Or for the white resident colleagues who gave her the call sign of ABW — it was a joke, they insisted — an "angry black woman," a classic racist trope.This is her claim. Is the claim true?
If it's false, then she's lying.
If it's true, it supports the conservative tenet that racism is an individual defect of moral character. Her white colleagues were certainly out of line, but it does not follow that the U.S. military is systemically or structurally racist.
As an aside, the author of this article capitalizes black but not white. So I suspect that this author is definitely pushing an agenda — that the military is racist.
White subordinates often refused to salute her or seemed uncomfortable taking orders from her, she says. Some patients refused to call her by her proper rank or even acknowledge her. She was attacked with racial slurs.Disrespecting an officer can get you court-martialed. Refusing to obey lawful orders from a superior officer (or even a higher-ranking sergeant) can send you to the brig. These are serious offenses. Again, these are her claims. I'm not saying she is (or isn't) lying, but let's see some evidence.
And during her residency, she was the sole Black resident in a program with no Black faculty, staff or ancillary personnel.This is the "classic" argument from so-called "disparate impact" theory. It claims that if say, blacks represent 13% of the population (which I think they do), then at least 13% of people (but often more) at you-name-it institution, company, school, or program have to be black or the institution is racist and/or discriminatory (again, the title of article alleges racism and discrimination and this is one claim the author uses to support that allegation). Therefore, proponents argue, we need to establish racial quotas in order to right this alleged wrong.
However, the United States Supreme Court ruled that establishing racial quotas violates the Equal Protection clause of the 14th amendment, Bakke vs. Regents of the University of California, 1978.
"For Blacks and minorities, when we initially experience racism or discrimination in the military, we feel blindsided," Davis said. "We"re taught to believe that it's the one place where everybody has a level playing field and that we can make it to the top with work that's based on merit."This may or may not be true, but again, Davis made it to the proverbial top — she became the commander of flight medicine and a lieutenant colonel. That's a quite a distinguished career — far more distinguished than mine, anyway.
Moral opprobrium should therefore not be directed "against the military" but against those individuals in her career who acted in a racist or discriminatory manner — and if they committed crimes, they should be disciplined according to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
In interviews with The Associated Press (AP), current and former enlistees and officers in nearly every branch of the armed services described a deep-rooted culture of racism and discrimination that stubbornly festers, despite repeated efforts to eradicate it.I see further down in the article the names of people who allege racism in the military however I don't see anyone interviewed who doesn't allege racism in the military. That suggests that the interviewees mentioned were cherry-picked by the author based on their position on this issue.
The AP found that the military's judicial system has no explicit category for hate crimes, making it difficult to quantify crimes motivated by prejudice.Who made the AP the expert on the Uniform Code of Military Justice?
Many Americans don't believe in the concept of "hate crime." Who determines what is a "hate crime," or "hate speech" for that matter, and what isn't? Joe Biden? Kamala Harris? Ted Cruz? Jack Dorsey? Mark Zuckerberg? The man in the street?
The entire point of the First Amendment is to protect what you or I would call "hate speech."
I don't generally subscribe to increased penalties or categories for so-called "hate crimes." Law, with a few narrowly-tailored exceptions, is supposed to judge acts, not motives.
As one possible exception to not categorizing any crimes as "hate crimes," Anti-Semitism, unlike every other form of racism or ethnic bigotry, is exterminationist: Jew-haters don't merely hate Jews; they want Jews dead.
The Defense Department also has no way to track the number of troops ousted for extremist views, despite its repeated pledges to root them out.Extremist views according to whom? This goes back to the First Amendment (and yes, people in uniform, just like every other citizen, enjoy Constitutional protections, although these are nuanced due to nature of military service).
If I'm in the military and I proclaim I am a Communist, is that extremist? Should I be booted out? You may argue Communism isn't prima facie racist, and let's suppose you're correct.
But neither the KKK nor the Nazis murdered 100,000,000+ people in the 20th century alone. Communism did.
In fact, Communism dwarfs Nazism and every other totalitarian movement in history in terms of the sheer numbers of people — from every walk of life — murdered, starved, and tortured in the name of its twisted ideology.
Yet, we don't see the AP writing about Communists and their sympathizers being drummed out of the military or other American institutions. Why?
More than 20 people linked to the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol were found to have military ties.This is a classic Left-wing guilt-by-association smear against our military.
If mainstream media accounts of the riot are true — that the rioters were bad people — this insults every service member past and present.
If the media accounts of the riot are not true, then this claim is as irrelevant as it is defamatory.
The AP also found that the Uniform Code of Military Justice does not adequately address discriminatory incidents and that rank-and-file people of color commonly face courts-martial panels made up of all-white service members, which some experts argue can lead to harsher outcomes.Again, who made the AP the expert on the UCMJ? Who or what establishes standards of adequacy? The press? Seriously?
The AP also insinuates that a panel which happens to be all white is incapable of rendering a just verdict. On what is this racist insinuation based other than the imaginings of some so-called "experts?" Who are these "experts?"
...to take an operational pause for one day to discuss extremism in the ranks with their service members.Again, who or what is "extremist?" Who defines that?
The Southern Poverty Law Center sent Austin a letter...The Southern Poverty Law Center is little more than a hate-filled Left-wing political action committee. The SPLC has been at the forefront in smearing legitimate conservative and traditional organizations as being "hate mongers," dishonestly lumping them in with real hate groups like the KKK. As soon as I see "Southern Poverty Law Center," in most cases I stop reading.
"He said, 'Sir, I just have to come clean with something. ... We never see Black officers. We never see people like you and it makes me extraordinarily proud,"" Collier recalled.Collier admires this black officer, and I have no issue with this.
I would like to ask Collier what lessons he learned from another fellow black, Dr. Martin Luther King.
If we are to take Dr. King at his word, that he believed we should judge not according to skin color but according to the content of one's character, it would not have mattered to Dr. King if his superior officer were black, white, yellow, brown, or pink with purple polka-dots.
But race matters to Collier. Why? Isn't this, ipso facto, racist?
At the very least, it smacks of tribalism ("we never see people like you," that is to say, we never see one of our own).
This article is longer than I thought so I am not going to respond to the rest of it, but I think you get the idea.
Of course I do not deny that racism exists on an individual level (I have never denied this), nor do I deny that some individual military members have acted in a racist or discriminatory manner.
But that's a far, far cry from saying that the United States military is a racist institution, as the title and tone of this article suggest.
Of course, this is only anecdotal, but during my four years in the army I served with troops of every color and creed and never once witnessed a racist or discriminatory incident.
We must prosecute the individuals who violate the law by discriminating based on race, both inside and outside the military. But let's not smear the American institution that is charged with protecting our freedom.