Thursday, October 11, 2012

History on Affirmative Action in America

In his memoir, "STRIDE TOWARD FREEDOM: THE MONTGOMERY STORY", Dr. Martin Luther discusses his tireless efforts while working with local community leaders and church organizations in the mid-1950s, during the Montgomery Alabama boycott against the public transportation system.  This was in light of the historical "Rosa Park" incident, subsequently resulting in the 1960s Civil Rights Movement.

In recent news, the issue on Affirmative Action for minorities in America has resurfaced.  Across the board, nearly ALL minorities in America are grouped in one class, especially in situations involving colleges, universities and training institutions.

Read the full story here:

The following is an excerpt from my memoir: “Broken Silence” where I discuss diversity and affirmative action issues in the military.  As a civilian, I can easily see a comparison as to how the military is decreasing its minority quotas, similar to or at the same rate; as America is downsizing its middle class.

 Chapter 17 – Selective Prosecution

Each year the DoD military leadership diversity commission (MLDC) performs an analysis of the military diversity initiatives, across all branches of services.  The commission compiles all their findings and conclusions in an annual report and submits it to Congress and the President, offering recommendations for improving diversity initiatives within the military.

The latest report provided statistics of all senior military officers who are serving on active duty, reporting the following breakdown: 77% are non-Hispanic white males, 8% are  non-Hispanic black males, 5% are Hispanic males, 4% are  Asian/Pacific Islander males, 1% other and 16% are women (racial statistics was not provided).  The report suggested an immense absence of minorities in senior leadership roles and is something that needs to change.  The report also offered twenty recommendations on how to increase the proportion of minority officers in the military in order to create a fighting force that better represents the makeup of the population it defends.

As America progresses forward into the 21st century, hatred and bigotry still resides in the hearts and minds of millions of Americans. Even after the election of President Barack Obama, senior military officials have cleverly found ways to disguise their ill-treatment and racism towards minority officers.

One such why is what I view as a “pyramid effect.”  This is when the military drastically decrease its quotas for senior minority officers and increase its quotas for junior minority officers.  Proof of this fact is reflected in the significant number of minority officers who are enrolled at their military training institutions, historical black colleges or a traditional university ROTC officer program.

Meanwhile, there’s a competitively low quota and opportunities for prior enlisted service members to earn a commission to become a Naval officer.  This was one of the main reasons why I decided to get out of the Navy after seven years of prior enlisted service, to seek a commission as a civilian.

Unfortunately “Mustangs” – prior enlisted services members – are always frowned upon by officers who earned their commission through traditional means.  I assumed it’s because it’s harder to recondition us to go along - just to get along, especially at the sacrifice of others.

As quoted by President Obama in his 2005 Knox College Commencement Address when speaking about America, he said, “Her place in history and how she will always rise above her challenges, because America is… “A place where destiny was not a destination, but a journey to be shared and shaped and remade by people who had the gall, the temerity to believe that, against all odds, they could form “a perfect union” on this new frontier.”   It is this very message that should serve as a as motto for our military.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wish there were more stories told about the affirmative action movement. This would let Americans see how people of all races and gender were able to come together, convincing the President to pass legislation on the advancement of Americans Civil Rights.