Thursday, July 16, 2020

Diversity Thursday

Self-improvement and self-reflection are a daily requirement and a good thing.

Institutional self-loathing is never a good look and it is both self-destructive and counter-productive.

It appears that our leadership has decided to throw away one of our crown jewels, race relations. 

In the face of the howling mob attacking someone else, it appears that instead of standing up and telling the nation the focused efforts our Navy has made over the last 50+ years to work toward a fair and equal opportunity organization for all – an imperfect but solid sustained effort – we are instead going to accept the false and worst accusations put against us and so invite some of the mob to climb inside our lifelines too.
The Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Mike Gilday, has said, "We cannot tolerate discrimination or racism of any kind."

On Monday, the branch held a virtual first meeting of Task Force One. Its goal: to address the issues of racism, sexism, and other destructive biases and their impact on naval readiness.
Since day-1 I was a MIDN a quarter century ago, the message "We cannot tolerate discrimination or racism of any kind." was clear as can be. With the crooked timber that is the human condition, we have striven to do the best we can for an inclusive force. Something anyone can quibble with here and there in its execution - but still - those doing the quibbling all agree it is something to be proud of and much better than anything going on in the civilian arena.

What is the CNO saying, we have done nothing?

It appears he's found officers that agree and pushed them to the front. 
"I think we should assume there are barriers everywhere for minorities," said LT Destini Henderson, who is African American, and a Naval Flight Officer. "That was definitely the case for me throughout my career, or even getting into the Naval Academy."
No Lieutenant, we should not make that assumption. If there are barriers, you need to point them out and we can continue the conversation from there. No one wants barriers - tell us where they are. I can identify 336,978 active duty personnel, 279,471 civilian employees and 101,583 ready reserve personnel standing by. 99.9% will help you pull those barriers apart, and the 0.01% are in TPU.

So, who is leading this?
Rear Adm. Holsey will be supported by Fleet Commanders and leadership from a number of organizations such as the Judge Advocate General of the Navy, Chief of Chaplains, Surgeon General of the Navy, Chief of Legislative Affairs, Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy (MCPON) Russell Smith and many others.

The task force will seek to promptly address the full spectrum of systemic racism, advocate for the needs of underserved communities, work to dismantle barriers and equalize professional development frameworks and opportunities within the Navy.

“We are at a critical inflection point for our Nation and our Navy and I want to ensure that we are fully responding to this moment as we work to facilitate enduring change,” said Nowell. “We must use the momentum created by these events as a catalyst for positive change. We need to have a deeper inclusion and diversity conversation in our Navy and amongst our own teams.”
First, there is no “systemic racism” inside the Navy if you are using the term as plain English would define it. Are there individuals who hold racist views and may act on them? Sure, the Navy reflects the nation it serves. Are those people properly dealt with once discovered? In my experience, yes.

That is a hell of a charge. You need to define each one of those items you define as systemic racism, and then specifically explain why they have remained in place and who allowed them to stay there.

Next to CNP, VADM Nowell’s comment. Do we read you right here?
“We must use the momentum created by these events as a catalyst for positive change. We need to have a deeper inclusion and diversity conversation in our Navy and amongst our own teams.”
By “events” do you mean the wide spread riots by mostly Marxist led, race-baiting, American-hating mobs taking advantage of real concerns Americans have with the killing of an African American man by a bad cop? How exactly are you going to take advantage of a killing and lawlessness unconnected to our Navy … and it that a moral thing for a Flag Officer to be excited to do?

Are you really looking for a conversation, or are you looking at giving speeches inside a wafer-thin Overton Window?

From the CNO to CNP and down – every Flag Officer needs to be directly asked, “Do you lead an organization that is structurally racist?” Yes or no. 

No one should have to wait for an official report to tell them the answer. If yes, then ask them what they have done in their career to eliminate structural racism that they so clearly see? Did they willingly participate in it? If so, does that make them racist or, being that they clearly benefited from these racist policies, why do they continue to enjoy the fruits of that poisoned tree?

Of course, we all know the answer. The Navy is not racist and has not been that way for the length of anyone serving’s career.

Does our Navy “look like America?” In some ways yes, some ways not. Depending on designator or rating, we can be wildly one way or another. The reasons have to do with the fact that we are a huge nation with a great diversity of people, regions, sub-cultures, and traditions.

Our intake is our nation's outtake. We will see the differences in education, crime, and desire to serve as reflected in our diverse nation when people reach 18-years of age.

Unless “Task Force One” becomes something I don’t think it will, we will once again miss a great opportunity to look closely at who we are to make sure we are doing things right -never a bad idea as the nation you serve is being rendered- but we have an opportunity to show the nation what unity actually looks like. The Navy has a lot to be proud of with regards to our record on race relations. Way ahead of the country in so many ways, yet we seem to be hoisting on board the absolute worst and wrong take. It isn’t just divisive; it is bearing false witness against ourselves.

We didn’t set this self-loathing up overnight; the conditions were set for a long time. Never pushed back against those who smear from the Diversity Industry, never wanting to stand up for ourselves in our imperfect but very real desire to make sure everyone has an even chance regardless of race, creed, color or national origin, and now it looks like we’ve surrendered control to people who don’t want to do that. They want to accuse and shame our Navy by saying it is “structurally racist” and thus needs to be changed.

Changed how? Back to an earlier pull quote;
..equalize professional development frameworks and opportunities within the Navy.
Assign rates, designators, jobs, ranking and promotions by race, creed, color, and national origin? Go towards some kind of Woke Jim Crow where the most important thing first of all is the most useless identified – your DNA?

Is that where we are going? This is real “structural racism.”

If there will be a spoils system, who will police it? Can we self-identify our own race, creed, color, national origin … or even sex?

If we are to set up an apartheid like spoils system, will the Navy share what is the most advantageous? If a retired Navy CDR’s father is from Nigeria, mother from South Dakota German stock, his wife’s father was from Ecuador of mixed Italian/Amerindian heritage, and her mother Peruvian Japanese … if his daughter wants to get in to the Naval Academy … how exactly should she identify herself for the most advantage? As a daughter of a Navy CDR, and all the privilege that comes with it, should she be given any advantage over the son of Bosnian immigrants? If so, why?

In the zero-sum game that is promotions and assignments, if race and ethnicity become a factor for selection, will that drive division and resentment in our navy?

Does any of this do anything to win an urban insurgency in some poor nation, or win the battle of the first salvo against a rising power on the other side of the Pacific?

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