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BLACKS DIVEST IN AMERICA:
The Gulf War, Desert Storm. 1. The New York Times, 1991.
Defense Department statistics show, account for nearly 25 percent of the American troops in the Persian Gulf and almost 30 percent of Army troops there.
Despite their numbers in the armed forces, blacks make up 12 percent of the nation's civilian population. And as the gulf conflict moves closer to ground combat, a painful debate has divided many blacks about young blacks' role in the war and in the military.
The statistics documenting the number of blacks in the gulf have stirred a deep well of resentment and anger in some blacks who fear that their community will pay disproportionately for a war that many of them do not support.
The most recent New York Times/ CBS News Poll, conducted Jan. 17-20, asked 3,002 adults whether they favored starting military action or continuing the use of economic sanctions. The 250 blacks in the poll split about evenly on the question, and whites favored military action by a 4-to-1 ratio. And in a vote four days before the war started, all the black Democrats in Congress were against the measure authorizing force in the gulf.
Some black critics of the war say they are bitter that their sons and daughters are being sent to war by an Administration that they see as being insensitive to members of minority groups. Others say problems like drugs and crime in this country are more important than Kuwait but will not receive attention because of the preoccupation with the war. And with a fervor reminiscent of the civil rights movement, some are forming antiwar groups to discourage more blacks from joining the military.
The Afghan War, 2. Blackagenda.com, Ken Morgan, August Thirty first, 2017.
Blacks and the War Against Afghanistan. Black troops as much as twice as likely to be punished by commanders, courts. The researchers found that the Marine Corps had some of the most significant issues with race, particularly in instances where the harshest penalties are possible.. In an average year, black Marines were 2.6 times more likely than whites to receive a guilty finding at a general court martial, the military judicial proceeding for more serious offenses. The data also show that guilty findings overall plummeted over that period, peaking in 2010, a period that coincided with peak deployments to war zones in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Black oppression and U.S. global imperialism are complements. What do all of these things mean for black people? We need to see Trump’s actions in the larger context of U.S. and worldwide imperialism. He is not just some crazy, racist bigot. It is all part of the same package. Black oppression and U.S. global imperialism are complements.
According to a complaint filed Racial slurs and a noose strung up outside black barracks were among the alleged harassment to African Americans during the war in Afghanistan.
Eliminate “we” when black people talk about America’s imperialist wars. Remember Tonto’s newfound awareness. The Lone Ranger and Tonto found themselves surrounded by indigenous people in the song “What you mean we white man.” Replace white man with “owner of the wealth and means of production white man.”
Alleged harassment began after physical abuse of black subordinate soldiers was reported by an officer in Afghanistan in 2009.
We need a 365-day independent, anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist, anti-racist, anti-sexist and anti-homophobic black working class led party. A black coalition with similar pedigree will do for now.
World War 1, 3. Texas. Black soldiers of the 3rd Battalion of the 24th Infantry, stationed at Camp Logan, had grown increasingly tired of racial discrimination and abuse from Houston's white residents and from the police in particular. On the night of August 23, 1917, the soldiers retaliated by marching on the city and killing sixteen white civilians and law enforcement personnel. Four black soldiers died as well.
The Houston rebellion shocked the nation and encouraged white southern politicians to oppose the future training of black soldiers in the South. Three military court-martial proceedings convicted 110 soldiers. Sixty-three received life sentences and thirteen were hung without due process. The army buried their bodies in unmarked graves.
Operation Iraqi Freedom, 4. Minorities continue to pay a high price for Iraq, The Philadelphia Tribune, Mar 24, 2013. According to an analysis by the U.S. Army – the service branch with the highest proportion of Black enlistees – the number of African-American soldiers has declined since the 1980s, when nearly a quarter were Black. But African Americans continue to serve in disproportionately high numbers. In 2009, 18 percent of the total Army population was Black, and African Americans comprised 21 percent of active-duty enlisted soldiers, the Army reported.
“Because many Blacks don’t have traditional advancement opportunities – good schools, family college funds, etc. – it makes sense that so many would turn to the military for a leg up,” Jefferson observed. “It’s a choice, but it’s a choice fraught with lots of racist historical baggage.”
In Iraq, Blacks made up an average of 15 percent of combat troops in-country at any given time, and in the earliest weeks of the conflict accounted for a startlingly high percentage of casualties. However, due largely to their concentration in non-combat positions within the military, by the end of the war African Americans accounted for just 9 percent of fatalities – which is actually lower than other ethnicities.
There is anecdotal evidence, however, that African-American soldiers were purposely targeted because of their race. A Sunni insurgent interviewed in Baghdad in 2004 by Guardian reporter Jason Burke echoed the ethnocentrism that permeates much of the Middle East when he admitted: “To have Negroes occupying us is a particular humiliation. Sometimes we aborted a mission because there were no Negroes to target.”
The war in Iraq had a well-documented negative effect on overall Black enlistment in the armed services, but the opposite was true for Latinos. In 2001, Latinos comprised 9.5 percent of the armed forces, but by the end of the Iraq War that total had risen to 12 percent. Like their counterparts in the African-American community, many Latinos joined up to take advantage of opportunities for education and employment; but recruiters had access to another, even more enticing carrot designed to encourage Latino enlistment.
In July 2002, President Bush signed an executive order that established a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who fight for the U.S. Specifically, the order provided for the “expedited naturalization for aliens and non-citizen nationals serving in an active-duty status in the Armed Forces of the United States during the period of the war against terrorists of global reach.”
“Recruiters trying to fill slots have historically pressed vulnerable people into service, but for some people, it's the only way they are ever going to get citizenship,” said Dan Kesselbrenner, director of the National Immigration Project, in a 2007 interview.
According to the Houston Chronicle, by 2006 more than 25,000 immigrants had become citizens under the program, some of them posthumously after being killed in action. Studies show that Latinos are more likely to be in combat roles than technical occupations such as electronics and communications, which may explain why they were more 21 percent more likely than any other race to die on the battlefield in Iraq, according to an analysis by the University of Pennsylvania.
Vietnam. July, 1969, 5. Camp Lejeune, N.C. was the first of several bases to experience racial violence during the Vietnam War. It led to major reforms in military racial policies.
On a hot summer night 50 years ago, while other U.S. troops were fighting in Vietnam, dozens of Marines on Camp Lejeune, N.C. were fighting each other.
The explosion of racial violence on the Marine Corps' main East Coast infantry base left one white Marine dead and more than a dozen others injured − some seriously. Dozens were charged with crimes, including homicide.
There had been outbreaks of racial violence in military jails, but this was a major escalation.
"Lejeune is really the first major racial gang fight in the military," said history professor James Westheider of the University of Cincinnati Clermont, author of Fighting on Two Fronts, a book on African American troops during the Vietnam war. He said racial violence later broke out at bases in Tennessee, Hawaii, and elsewhere.
"So in many ways, it's really the prototype of what the military is going to go through in the next couple of years," Westheider said.
After the Camp Lejeuene riot in July 1969, tensions on the base reached the point where even seasoned combat veterans were afraid to walk around at night. A month after the violence broke out, NBC News correspondent Robert Goralski visited the base and reported that racially-mixed patrol teams had been created as part of efforts to prevent more trouble.
"Large secluded areas have been illuminated with flood lights and all outside lights are kept on until dawn," Goralski reported.
Retired Massachusetts ironworker Robert Jeannotte, who is white, was a young Marine stationed at the base then. He and friends had been at a bar on base watching television coverage of the moon landing.
"There were four or five of us walking back from the from the enlisted man's club, back to our barracks," he said in a recent interview. "And about 40 black marines came around the corner. And all hell broke loose, so to speak."
One of the men with him was knocked down, kicked, and badly beaten.
It went even worse for others. Half a dozen attacks broke out that night as groups of rioters roamed the base. A 20-year-old white corporal named Edward Bankston, who had been wounded several times in Vietnam, was beaten to death. Two other white Marines were stabbed.
The Marines Corps arrested those suspected of participating in the riots. Then the military and a Congressional committee began trying to understand why the riot happened and how to lower racial tensions, which had been rising across the U.S. military for years.
Additional Info. USA Today, June 7, 2017.
Lack of diversity in the military still plays a role in unequal justice for black troops. In 2016, about 78% of military officers were white, and 8% were black. Black service members were as much as two times more likely than white troops to face discipline in an average year, according to an analysis by Protect Our Defenders, an advocacy organization for victims of sexual assault and military justice. The group combed through Pentagon data from 2006 to 2015 for its report.
USA TODAY received an advance copy of the study.
“Over the past decade, racial disparities have persisted in the military justice system without indications of improvement,” the report states. “These disparities are particularly striking for black service members, who face military justice or disciplinary action at much higher rates than white service members in every service branch. In fact, the size of the disparity between white and black service members’ military justices involvement has remained consistent over the years, and, in the case of the Air Force and Marine Corps has increased.”
The researchers found that the Marine Corps had some of the most significant issues with race, particularly in instances where the harshest penalties are possible.. In an average year, black Marines were 2.6 times more likely than whites to receive a guilty finding at a general court martial, the military judicial proceeding for more serious offenses. The data also show that guilty findings overall plummeted over that period, peaking in 2010, a period that coincided with peak deployments to war zones in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The study also found that black airmen were 71% more likely than whites in the Air Force to face court martial or non-judicial punishment, discipline meted out for less serious offenses. Findings for the other services, the Army and Navy, show disparities as well. Black soldiers were 61% more likely to face court martial than whites in the Army; and black sailors were 40% more likely than whites in the Navy to be court martialed. That percentage is 32% for black Marines.
In 2016, about 78% of military officers were white, and 8% were black.
Sources: http://exhibitions.nypl.org/, https://www.blackagendareport.com/, https://www.phillytrib.com/, https://www.nytimes.com, https://www.usatoday.com/, https://www.reuters.com/, https://americanhomefront.wunc.org/