Thursday, August 18, 2016

Diversity Thursday

I’ve avoided a DivThu long enough these last few weeks – so let’s get back to this fetid topic for a bit.

“Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards.”
Well, at least on this topic you can’t call us cowards. Sigh; let’s wade in.

Today I ask you to pray, again, for our recruiters. As all who have worn the uniform have done, they have been given an almost impossible set of orders that they will do the best they can to achieve. It isn’t illegal, so it must be done.
Statistically the youngest, most junior and most male of all the military services, the Corps also skews strongly caucasian, particularly in the senior ranks. African-American and black Marines make up roughly 12 percent of all enlisted troops, according to Marine Corps data from February. Less than 6 percent of Marine officers are black, and only 10 general officers in the entire force are non-white.

In 2012, the Marine Corps launched an advertising campaign aimed at attracting black and female officer candidates. Officials cited the importance of developing role models for female and minority enlisted troops in creating the ads, which showed Marine officers leading in their home communities as well as in uniform.

"What distinguishes certain groups, particularly African-Americans, is that they are closely associated with their communities at home," Maj. Gen. Joseph Osterman, then head of Marine Corps Recruiting Command, told The New York Times at the time.

In 2013, then-Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Jim Amos published a memo to Marine leadership saying the Corps had "failed" in promoting diversity in its officer ranks. It was "imperative that the Corps take a fresh approach to diversity, one that reflects our reputation for performance and leadership," Amos wrote.
… "Targeted studies toward specific demographics have been part of our marketing program for several years, to include research focused on races and gender," he said.

As we’ve discussed before, if you treat everyone the same and use objective performance based standards, the US military will never fully reflect the ethnic composition of the USA – much less the various billet types and communities within. Some is cultural, some just is.

There is one fact that is beyond dispute; the US military can only access the talent pool coming out of our education system at the end of high school. For the enlisted ranks, and especially for our officer accessions, academic background and performance are THE entering argument for objective selection criteria.

If each ethnic group showed up at age 18 with the same aggregate marginal propensity to serve and objective criteria qualifications, then within a half standard deviation or so, all ethnic groups would be about the same. For a variety or reasons – all beyond the control of the military – we don’t live in that country.

From just one major highly diverse metropolitan area; here is the entering argument – the facts that recruiters face.

According to just released data, only 31 percent of Duval’s African-American students passed Florida’s annual reading assessments in grades 3 through 10, while Hispanics did slightly better, with 41 passing.

That is worse than the 62 percent passing rate for white students and 68 percent passing among Asian-American students in Duval.

Similarly, African-American and Hispanic students under-performed white and Asian-American students by wide margins in math and other subjects.
But the latest state testing data show that African-American and Hispanic students scored far below white and Asian students in 10th grade reading last spring; 28 percent of African-American students and 41 percent of Hispanic students passed, compared to 60 percent of white students and 65 percent of Asian-American students.

Students need to pass 10th grade reading to qualify for a diploma their senior year.
Know this – you cannot get from there to a military that “looks like America.” You can only get there via a variety of artificial manipulation methods and discrimination through acts of commission or omission against “over represented” self-identified ethnic groups.

That stands against what should be a core belief of all Americans; we do not discriminate against people by race, creed, color, or national origin. 

We should provide equal opportunity based on objective criteria without any consideration to race, creed, color or national origin. If at the end of the day that meant that 80% of surface warfare officers were of Philippine extraction, pilots were African-American, submarine officers of Japanese extraction, SEALS all had last name that began with “Mc,” your doctors Muslim, and Marines had last names that ended in “o,” “a,” or “z” – who cares?

Well, people whose jobs rely on promoting a racialist mindset and keeping us divided do – to their great shame and ours for employing them.

One day we will achieve the goal of judging each other by the content of our character and not the color of our skin - not to mention getting away from the "one-drop" rule that ignores actual diversity from being multiracial, but the Department of the Navy is not there yet.

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