Perspectives on Race

A Discussion about Events Concerning Race

Racism In The Military

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As an Iraq War Vet, I have heard every single racial slur against those from the Middle East.  During my service I have noticed quite  a bit of racism while I served and I am sometimes surprised when I see peoples’ faces become shocked when i tell them of a racist incident that I witnessed while I served.  I think that it is one of the  greatest obverlooked problems that is inherent in military service.  It is unofficially, socially acceptable to make racial jokes in most situations.  In fact, most non-whites in the military that I have encountered and worked with don’t have a problem with less agressive (whatever that means) racially charged jokes or statements.  I don’t really know why they accept this treatment, but I have some ideas:

1. There is a deep sense of fraternity and camaraderie because we need each other in order to stay alive in the military and maybe they beleive that taking it in stride is the right thing to do in order to not disrupt the group.

2.  Maybe they think that taking jabs back at whites, which is also acceptable, “evens the score”.  This is obviously not a solution because it only promotes racist attitudes.

3.  They may be worried that with a majority white chain of command there complaints will fall on deaf/uncaring ears.

This short synopsis in no way encapsulates the whole issue.  There are a lot more facets to this problem regarding racism in the military that should be addressed.  However, in my experience, change of any kind comes very slowly, especially change regarding social issues, as we are seeing now with “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell”.


Written by mwgoulet

April 29, 2010 at 7:25 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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