Racism is part of our daily life – and no surprise when it shows up in our military

Mike Blake/Reuters

The U.S. Navy’s top admiral on Tuesday condemned two new racist incidents involving hate symbols on warships, which sources said included a noose that was left on a Black sailor’s bed…

While he did not give details of the incidents, Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday cautioned in a message to the fleet on Tuesday that racial divisions in the ranks cut at the military’s ability to protect the country.

“If we must first question the intentions of our shipmate standing the watch with us, now, and especially, when taking fire, we will fail when the Nation needs us most in combat,” Gilday said…

Reuters was first to report last month that nearly a third of Black U.S. military servicemembers reported experiencing racial discrimination, harassment or both during a 12-month period, according to results of a long-withheld Defense Department survey.

It took appointment of the first-ever Black Secretary of Defense to drag the stink of racism in our military out into daylight…this time. No news to anyone who can remember when segregation in the US military was “official”.

5 thoughts on “Racism is part of our daily life – and no surprise when it shows up in our military

  1. Footnote says:

    “Race riot at sea — 1972 Kitty Hawk incident fueled fleet-wide unrest” https://www.navytimes.com/military-honor/black-military-history/2017/02/28/race-riot-at-sea-1972-kitty-hawk-incident-fueled-fleet-wide-unrest/
    “The USS Kitty Hawk riot was a racial conflict between white and black sailors aboard the United States Navy aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk on the night of October 12/13, 1972, while positioned at Yankee Station off the coast of North Vietnam during the Vietnam War.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Kitty_Hawk_riot
    “The Port Chicago Mutiny involved African American enlisted men in the U.S. Navy who refused to return to loading ammunition after a disastrous explosion at Port Chicago, California on July 17, 1944 that destroyed the Liberty ship SS E.A. Bryan.” https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/port-chicago-mutiny-0/
    “The Port Chicago disaster highlighted systemic racial inequality in the Navy. A year before the disaster, in mid-1943, the U.S. Navy had over 100,000 African Americans in service but not one black officer.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Chicago_disaster
    “The Agana Race Riot (December 24–26, 1944) took place in Agana, Guam, as the result of internal disputes between white and black United States Marines. The riot was one of the most serious incidents between African-American and European-American military personnel in the United States Armed Forces during World War II.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agana_race_riot

    • Footnote says:

      “Captain Mulzac WW2 Hero and America’s First Black Master Mariner” https://gcaptain.com/mulzac-first-black-master-mariner/
      “…In 1942 his career was briefly rescued when the United States Maritime Commission offered Mulzac, at the age of 56, the opportunity to command the first Liberty ship named after an African American, the SS Booker T. Washington. He initially declined the offer because Commission policies required him to command an all black crew. When the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and other black organizations protested, Commission officials then changed the racial policy and from 1942 to 1947 he commanded an integrated crew. Various Liberty ships under his command made 22 round trips, transporting 18,000 soldiers to the war theater in Europe and the Pacific.” https://www.blackpast.org/african-american-history/mulzac-hugh-1886-1971/

  2. Cassandra says:

    “Forgotten History: How The New England Colonists Embraced The Slave Trade” (c1638) https://www.npr.org/2016/06/21/482874478/forgotten-history-how-the-new-england-colonists-embraced-the-slave-trade
    “In August 1619, a ship carrying more than 20 enslaved Africans arrived at a coastal port in the British colony of Virginia. The people on board were sold to colonists, marking the beginning of a more than two-century-long institution that would radically alter and continue to inform the identity of a young nation.” (1619 Project NYT) https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/1619-america-slavery.html interactive, takes time to load

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