Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Potemkin Color Guard goes mainstream

As the Midshipmen at the Naval Academy, family, friends, and alumni have been hoping, the story of active discrimination going on at Annapolis has broken into a major daily newspaper of record; The Washington Post. The NavyTimes article by Philip Ewing on Sunday was good - but the Washington Post brings it to a wider audience.

Before we get to Daniel de Vise's article tough, you may want to review the previous posts here from last
THU and MON.

Dan de Vise's has done a good, balanced article. What I would like to do, if the author does not mind too much, is to do a para by para commentary.

For this to work though, you need to read the article in full. So, go over to the
Washington Post and read it, then come back.

Oh, and click an advertisement or two while you are there to thank them and Daniel for running with this article.

Here we go.
Leaders of the U.S. Naval Academy tinkered with the composition of the color guard that appeared at a World Series game last month so the group would not be exclusively white and male.
An affirmative statement of fact. Keep this para in mind as we move forward. This is the core truth of what happened.
Accounts differ on whose names were added to the color guard roster, or purged from the list. But the net result was that one of the six who marched on the Yankee Stadium field Oct. 29, Midshipman 2nd Class Hannah Allaire, was selected because her presence would make the service academy look more diverse before a national audience.
Accurate - though it would have been two of six if one of the Diversity Selectees did not forget his shoes and cover.
The incident has captured the attention of the Annapolis campus and stirred up the broader community of alumni and military observers, who see it as part of a campaign to bring more racial and sexual diversity to the academy. Diversity is a sensitive point at the Naval Academy, an institution that has been accused by some faculty and alumni of forsaking fairness in its quest to build a brigade that mirrors the nation as a whole.
One small point - the issue isn't "...bring(ing) more racial and social diversity...". The issue is the USNA's unwarranted discrimination against individuals based on race and gender.
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, elevated diversity to a "strategic imperative" during his tenure as chief of naval operations. Academy leaders, on their official Web site, call diversity "our highest personnel priority." That thinking reflects "a sea change, in that this initiative was generated from within the military, rather than imposed from without by civilian overseers," said retired Marine Maj. Gen. Thomas Wilkerson, an academy alumnus and chief executive of the U.S. Naval Institute, an independent think tank. Some alumni, he said, "have voiced concerns that it will happen at the expense of quality and combat readiness."
I think MG Wilkerson has a couple of things wrong here. First, talk to anyone with experience dealing with Congress. The push for all things proposed by the Diversity Bullies and the Diversity Industry is hard-run from Congress to the military. The decision was made a long time ago to sacrifice fairness and equal treatment in favor of support for budgets and weapons programs by those members of Congress who fully support the retrograde theories proposed by the Diversity Industry. If you don't do what they want - they will force it on you. Just look what happened to the Coast Guard Academy recently.

No; internally the Navy I know and love wants to treat everyone the same regardless of race, creed, color, or national origin - it is Congress and Big Navy though that decided that equality isn't enough. They must take from others to give to someone else - and will do it based simply on self-identified racial and ethnic groupings.

Second thing that MG Wilkerson has wrong; USNI is not a think tank. It is an independent forum. I hope I don't get dinged at USNIBlog for bringing those two things up - but it is what it is. I mean it in the most polite and helpful way.
A military-oriented blog, CDR Salamander, reported last week that two white, male midshipmen had been pulled from the color guard that went to Yankee Stadium and replaced with two other students, one an Asian American male, the other a white female, to make the group more diverse.
Hey, I get a shout-out too! But .... like Para 1, this is a fact; and this is where things get interesting.
Academy leadership disputed that account.
Hmmmm .... someone here has a different story than everyone else.

My sources? Serving Midshipmen, Commissioned Officers, family, alumni, and friends. I'll stick with my sources ... their stories all agree with each other. Ahem.
"No midshipman was ever given approval to attend this event and then later told they could not," said Capt. Matthew Klunder, commandant of midshipmen, in a statement Monday.
Define "attend." That is different than "perform." Nice trick - but no workie here. Once again - review 8v6.
He said he considered replacing two white males in the group but chose instead to expand it from six to eight to make it more representative of the Naval Academy.
Everyone here who was ever on a precision drill team or color guard, feel free to join in on the CAPT Klunder pig pile.

Did you ever, after training with a specific number of members (say ... four flag and two rifle) ever plus-up at the last minute without practice?
Two of the eight could not perform because one midshipman, Zishan Hameed, had forgotten parts of his uniform. The color guard marches in pairs.
Again - who at the last minute wants to lead a color guard with two extra personnel thrown in - when you didn't plan to perform with that number? Nasty spin.
A report in the Navy Times, citing unnamed sources, stated that two white males were replaced by Allaire and Hameed. The report noted that a pre-game press release named a six-person color guard, including Allaire and Hameed.
That is fact. Confused? You are supposed to be, methinks.
Two members of the color guard contacted by The Post referred interview requests to the school's Public Affairs Office. Another declined to comment on Monday. Two others couldn't be reached for comment.
It should have been mentioned that they can't. They were issued a legal order not to talk to anyone about this. They followed orders.
According to academy spokesman Cmdr. Joe Carpenter, the color guard was invited to present the flag during the national anthem at the World Series game. Senior staff reviewed the names of those who wanted to go, all white males, and decided the group should better reflect the diversity of the academy. Of the 4,400 midshipmen, 20 percent are female and about one-quarter are minorities.
Fact. Now, go read CDR Carpenter again. This starts to get even more fun.
"The color guard that was going to the World Series, which by all accounts is an event on a national stage, with a national audience, needed to be representative of the Naval Academy," Carpenter said.
Really? Where is the "geographical diversity" color guard? Where is the "religious diversity" color guard? Where is the "I like redheads, he likes natural blondes" color guard?

Oh, and the word, "needed." Who defined that need, and in the paragraph above, who was the senior commissioned officer present to agreed to discriminate against two defined individuals on the basis of race?

Is racial discrimination actionable under the UCMJ? I think so. Does it apply in this case? I'm not a lawyer - I don't know. If removing someone from a position based on their race not racial discrimination, what is it?
An academy color guard is assembled from a roster of 28 midshipmen to represent the institution at ceremonies and public events. "That group of 28 can be put together in any combination," Carpenter said. Groups of midshipmen can ask to participate in high-profile events, Carpenter said, but the final decision rests with the commandant and his staff.
OK, CDR Carpenter - you just answered my question. The senior officer that approved the removal of two MIDN based on their race was the Commandant? What does the CMEO had to say about this? The CMEO's webpage states,
It is the Naval Academy’s policy to provide equal treatment and equal opportunity to all midshipmen and staff. The objective of the Command Managed Equal Opportunity (CMEO) program is to promote positive command morale by providing an environment in which all personnel can perform to their maximum ability unimpeded by institutional or individual biases based on race, ethnicity, national origin, sex, or religious stereotypes. To this end, the CMEO program supports the chain of command and addresses issues of sexual harassment and equal opportunity. CMEO officers seek to educate midshipmen about the importance of diversity and to prevent occurrences of sexual harassment and discrimination.
Wow - looks like a clear cut case to me. CAPT Klunder, over to you.

Back to the WaPo article,
Klunder said he originally planned to replace some members of the color guard. "My only guidance to them was that any replacements must be fully qualified team members and that originally proposed team members would still be permitted to travel to and attend the World Series," he said in a statement.
CAPT, you just contradicted yourself.

Earlier, you stated,
"No midshipman was ever given approval to attend this event and then later told they could not," said Capt. Matthew Klunder, commandant of midshipmen, in a statement Monday
Now, I'm not going to play the "attend vs. perform" sea-lawyer game. Let's make that "perform," as that is the issue here.

You then state,
... originally proposed team members would still be permitted to travel to and attend the World Series...
So, we do have an "original" and "Potemkin" color guard team. Thank you CAPT, you just made my point.
After further discussion, he said he decided to expand the guard from six to eight. Klunder said he met with the two midshipmen who could not participate because of the forgotten garments, "to discuss the sequence of events and improve on any communication breakdowns or misperceptions that were experienced."
I am sure the conversation was a bit more than that. Quite a bit more. How about letting the MIDN talk about it? You are.
"It is regretful that assumptions were made" by the six midshipmen who asked to march at Yankee Stadium, Klunder said, "but it has been and will remain the Naval Academy leadership's prerogative" to decide who carries the flag.
Very nice - blame the victim.

No assumptions were make. The MIDN were told by both the MIDN and uniformed chain of command that they were removed because they were white males. That is not an assumption on their part - that is a fact - a fact confirmed by CDR Carpenter.

What is regretful here, is that the Naval Academy takes as its prerogative to openly discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, or national origin. Is that in the finest traditions of the naval service? In the 21st century - is that really where we should be? Is that in alignment with honor, courage, and commitment?
Correction: The “think tank” moniker was Dan de Vise's description, not that of MG Wilkerson.

UPDATE: If you want to see what kind of hate and sectarianism the Diversity Bullies breed in the service - click here for a perfect example.
UPDATE II - Electric Boogaloo: Welcome to all you late-linker-ins ..... if you want the latest in the saga, please click here.

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