Military can’t continue as breeding ground for racism and white supremacy

Military veterans account for 7% of the adult population of the United States, according to a report released by the U.S. Census Bureau last year. NPR looked into the backgrounds of those charged so far in the violent Capitol attack last month by supporters of then-President Donald Trump and found that nearly 20% are veterans — meaning those who have served in the military were nearly three times more likely than non-veterans to have been involved, despite having taken an oath to defend the Constitution. 

This is nothing new. White supremacy and white nationalism have been festering in our armed forces for a long time, and unless we address this problem head-on, it’s only going to get worse. 

In 2009, I was a junior enlisted soldier in the U.S. Army when then-Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano released a reportpointing out an alarming trend of military veterans joining white supremacist and white nationalist groups. To anyone serving in the military at the time, this read as fairly obvious, even if it made some service members uncomfortable to consider. 

Sam Son

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