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Old 01-21-2003, 08:22 PM   #1
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Draft Happy Democrats Got it WRONG!!!!

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Front-line troops disproportionately white, not black Numbers refute long-held belief
By Dave Moniz

and Tom Squitieri
USA TODAY


WASHINGTON -- The American troops likeliest to fight and die in a war against Iraq are disproportionately white, not black, military statistics show -- contradicting a belief widely held since the early days of the Vietnam War.

In a little-publicized trend, black recruits have gravitated toward non-combat jobs that provide marketable skills for post-military careers, while white soldiers are over-represented in front-line combat forces.

The tilt toward white combat troops is recognized by many senior commanders and a small group of scholars who study the military.

''If anybody should be complaining about battlefield deaths, it is poor, rural whites,'' says Charles Moskos, a military sociologist at Northwestern University in Illinois.

When Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., called recently for the return of a military draft, he evoked images of inequality raised during the early years of the Vietnam War, when black soldiers died at rates much greater than their share of the U.S. population.

Though Rangel is right that blacks and lower-income Americans still serve in disproportionate numbers, that fact misses another significant trend. While blacks are 20% of the military -- compared with 12% of the U.S. population -- they make up a far smaller percentage of troops in combat jobs on the front line.

In a host of high-risk slots -- from Army commandos to Navy and Air Force fighter pilots -- blacks constitute less than 5% of the force, statistics show.

Blacks, especially in the enlisted ranks, tend to be disproportionately drawn to non-combat fields such as unit administration and communications. They are underrepresented in jobs shooting rifles or dropping bombs.

Examples:

* Of the Army's 45,586 enlisted combat infantryman, 10.6% are black.

* Of the Air Force's 12,000 pilots, 245, or about 2%, are black.

* In the Navy, 2.5% of the pilots are black.

Senior Air Force officials say they are troubled by the number of black pilots and plan to do better.

* The Army's enlisted Green Berets are among the least diverse groups in the military. Only 196 of the Army's 4,278 enlisted Green Berets -- fewer than 5% -- are black.

The reasons for the racial divide are unclear, but several theories have emerged, including lingering racism in some quarters of the military and a tendency among black recruits to choose jobs that help them find work in the civilian sector.
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Old 01-24-2003, 10:18 PM   #2
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We need Affirmative action.
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Old 01-24-2003, 10:19 PM   #3
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Originally posted by DebbieSG
We need Affirmative action.
LOL...good one!

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Old 01-25-2003, 03:17 PM   #4
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who cares what color they are as long as they do the job given to them.
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Old 01-25-2003, 05:50 PM   #5
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Re: Draft Happy Democrats Got it WRONG!!!!

Ummm, sorry Dread, but the logic in that article is nonsensical. Or maybe the article is just poorly written. Or maybe both.


The article's premise:

Quote:
WASHINGTON -- The American troops likeliest to fight and die in a war against Iraq are disproportionately white, not black, military statistics show -- contradicting a belief widely held since the early days of the Vietnam War.
Okay, tell me more.

Quote:
In a little-publicized trend, black recruits have gravitated toward non-combat jobs that provide marketable skills for post-military careers, while white soldiers are over-represented in front-line combat forces.
Keep going...

Quote:
''If anybody should be complaining about battlefield deaths, it is poor, rural whites,'' says Charles Moskos, a military sociologist at Northwestern University in Illinois.
Hmmm, that's a loaded comment if I've ever read one. Charles Moskos' political viewpoint and the slant of this article are now perfectly clear. I needn't read any further..... but I will.

Quote:
When Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., called recently for the return of a military draft, he evoked images of inequality raised during the early years of the Vietnam War, when black soldiers died at rates much greater than their share of the U.S. population.
USA Today reporters Dave Moniz and Tom Squitieri acknowledge that in Vietnam, black soldiers died at rates much greater than their share of the U.S. population, yet, in their premise they call this truism a "widely held belief," as if it's just a theory. Um, hey Moniz and Squitieri... yer losin' me here. (Keep in mind, where I last quoted the article above, they could have written "....when black soldiers allegedly died at rates much greater...").

Quote:
Though Rangel is right that blacks and lower-income Americans still serve in disproportionate numbers, that fact misses another significant trend. While blacks are 20% of the military -- compared with 12% of the U.S. population -- they make up a far smaller percentage of troops in combat jobs on the front line.
Okay, what are these "combat jobs on the front line?"

Quote:
In a host of high-risk slots -- from Army commandos to Navy and Air Force fighter pilots -- blacks constitute less than 5% of the force, statistics show.
Navy and Air Force fighter pilots? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA... Yes, I'm sure black folks are trying hard to avoid some of the most prestigious jobs in the military (if not the world). lmao.

Quote:
Blacks, especially in the enlisted ranks, tend to be disproportionately drawn to non-combat fields such as unit administration and communications. They are underrepresented in jobs shooting rifles or dropping bombs.
Again, to portray the job of "dropping bombs" as some sort of janitorial work or low-level combat duty is ludicrous. Fighter pilots are highly educated men. They are living a dream -- a dream that many of us had as little boys.

I just read a series of articles in the L.A. Times about the Harrier jet and its pilots. The Harrier has been shown to be one hell of a dangerous aircraft to fly, but the men who fly it are part of an elite cadre, and they're damn proud of it.

(Incidentally, one of the officers who had overseen the Harrier mission in the Gulf War stated that the Harrier pilots were perturbed that they were held out of certain bombing missions in Kuwait/Iraq presumably because their aircraft was deemed unnecessary for the job. They wanted their sorties. They wanted to drop bombs, and they were denied).

Flying an F-14 is not undesirable work. It's considered a privilege, an honor and highly prestigious work. Guys do not shy away from flying airplanes because the work is dangerous. They compete like hell for those jobs.

Even if I accept the notion that black people are underrepresented in "jobs shooting rifles," the point is weakened in light of the authors' contention that people in general have contempt for or fear of the job of being a fighter pilot. I suspect the same holds true for bomber pilots -- perhaps to a bit lesser degree -- but I don't know.

Quote:
Examples:

* Of the Army's 45,586 enlisted combat infantryman, 10.6% are black.

* Of the Air Force's 12,000 pilots, 245, or about 2%, are black.

* In the Navy, 2.5% of the pilots are black.

Senior Air Force officials say they are troubled by the number of black pilots and plan to do better.

* The Army's enlisted Green Berets are among the least diverse groups in the military. Only 196 of the Army's 4,278 enlisted Green Berets -- fewer than 5% -- are black.
Wait, someone help me understand. "Senior Air Force officials say they are troubled by the number of black pilots and plan to do better." How do Senior Air Force officials "plan to do better?" Does that mean they are aware that black servicemen would rather have the more prestigious jobs of flying fighter planes but few do because the pilot ranks are exclusionary, or does that mean the Senior officials are going to institute a quota system, forcing more black servicemen to "do the dirty work" of flying airplanes?

Quote:
The reasons for the racial divide are unclear, but several theories have emerged, including lingering racism in some quarters of the military and a tendency among black recruits to choose jobs that help them find work in the civilian sector.
Lingering racism? What lingering racism? What is being implied here? That blacks are being racist toward whites by not taking the "undesirable" fighter pilot jobs that are being thrown their way? *snicker* The authors have lost me in that last paragraph -- I really don't know what point they are trying to make in light of the comments they make prior.

The other interesting thing about this article is that it seems to cast a negative light on the report that "black recruits have gravitated toward non-combat jobs that provide marketable skills for post-military careers." Gosh, the last thing in the world I'd want for black folks is that they would be able to end their military career with marketable job skills.
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