A recent study on racial disparities in military disciplinary actions shows that even respectability can be meaningless in the face of anti-Black racism.
There’s no career path that requires more orderly conduct and respect for authority than the armed forces. Yet, Black people face significantly more punishment across every branch of service than their White peers, according to a report by Protect Our Defenders, the only national organization in the country dedicated to ending the epidemic of rape and sexual assault in the military.
“The data shows that, for every year reported and across all service branches, Black service members were substantially more likely than White service members to face military justice or disciplinary action, and these disparities failed to improve or even increased in recent years,” the report reads, according to NBC News.
“Depending on the service and type of disciplinary or justice action, Black service members were at least 1.29 times and as much as 2.61 times more likely than White service members to have an action taken against them in an average year.”
In fact, Black members in the Army were 61 percent more likely to be punished, 71 percent in the Air Force and 40 percent more likely to face punishment in the Navy.
Given the military’s extensive background checks and minimum requirements, there is a built-in control in the study for criminal background, educational attainment, and other factors.
Still, this racial disparity has persisted “for years,” which some officials of the armed forces have realized, but have taken no steps to remedy or uncover its cause, according to the study.
Unfortunately, the same can be said about racism almost everywhere else it permeates in America.