The military has a hate group problem. But it doesn't know how bad it's gotten.

daftandbarmy

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This should prove to be one of the toughest challenges faced by the US military in recent years:


The Pentagon is confronting a resurgence of white supremacy and other right-wing ideologies in the ranks and is scrambling to track how acute the problem has become in the Trump era.

It's an issue that has simmered in the military for years, but is now front and center following signs that former military personnel played a role in the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol last week.

 

FJAG

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While a timely article, the issue is nothing new to either the military:

The military knows it has a problem with domestic extremists, white supremacists

or the FBI. This report, for example, goes back to 2008:

White Supremacist Recruitment of Military Personnel since 9/11

The problem has always been far greater in the US than Canada because many of their servicemen and women come from regions of the country that are particularly susceptible to extremist right wingism as well as a form of strong patriotic fervour that leans in that direction (not to mention all that 1st and 2nd Amendment stuff).

Knowing about it and rooting it out are two very different things.

And while we're at it, let's not forget about this issue amongst many local law enforcement agencies down there.

🍻
 

brihard

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Multiple prongs to this. Most join the military young and impressionable. Everyone walks in the door with preexisting beliefs, and any set of such beliefs probably exists in microcosm in the military. Some may enter the military with outright hateful beliefs already form. Others may be merry ignorant and bigoted, but stumble into social circles where they can ‘fit in’ by letting those views grow in their fervency.

White nationalism is an ugly reality. There are different visions of America, and a concerning portion of Americans still adhere to old, ugly, racist views of who should hold the power in the country. I would contend that there’s an overlap with the more jingoistic nationalist types who might be more attracted to the military service,

Most of these people will be relatively benign, inasmuch as shitty racists can be. But they’re more likely to hold and espouse views, yet not do anything about it. Certainly, some will carry on to be failures in later pursuits, and may well draw on their military skills in a turn towards crime. Or, seeking a scapegoat for their own inadequacies, they might radicalize within their hate community. That can’t be completely avoided.

What worries me most is the phenomenon of people already in hate groups identifying military service as a deliberate means to pick up skill sets they can use in whatever conflict they think is coming, or want to instigate. While few of these people are likely to get far in a military career, they don’t need to learn much in order to be disproportionately dangerous.

None of this is unique to the US of course. Our house is by no means spotless here. But the presence of radicalized groups in the US veterans community, and vice versa, is concerning in its visibility. I suspect this is probably an intelligence priority in certain circles. I hope it is.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Armies are a reflection of their populations for the most part. I remember the US Army of the 1980's, watching Blacks and Whites brawl in large numbers in Ft Lewis and Yakima, mostly Southern Whites and Northern Blacks, who would not put up with the crap. The modern US Army is infinitely better than it was, yes you find racism and it might well be Asian vs Black or Hispanic Vs Asian, etc, etc. Thinking you get rid of racism entirely is fantasy thinking and people thinking every Trump supporter is racist is also utter nonsense.
 

Remius

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While I agree to an extent that a military like ours and theirs is a reflection of our society I think it is an extent of certain parts of our society. Both are still predominantly male and predominantly white. I do think that it is a place though where you can interact with other elements of our overall society that some people might never get the chance to otherwise. I recall working with some quebec reservists that never made it out out of province never mind out of their town. They were shocked to know that there were Francos outside Quebec and even more shocked at how nice all the English types were with them. I’ve learned more about various cultural and religious diversity being in CAF than anywhere else.

As for all Trump supporters being racist is nonsense I agree with you Colin but will add that I think most racists in the US support Trump though. That’s telling.
 

mariomike

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Everyone walks in the door with preexisting beliefs
Still remember a 30-second lecture on pre-existing beliefs: "You come to us from a society with many prejudices. We cannot change your beliefs. But, if you treat anyone with disrespect, we can change your employment!"

Colin wrote: "I remember the US Army of the 1980's, watching Blacks and Whites brawl in large numbers in Ft Lewis and Yakima, mostly Southern Whites and Northern Blacks, who would not put up with the crap."

I didn't witness any large brawls at Fort Drum, NY. Just individual "soldier fights".

But, as you say, you could "feel" a certain amount of racial tension.

If you watch the film "Yanks", there is a re-creation of a large brawl between Blacks and Whites in wartime England.

There is an interesting official US Army training film on the subject of race relations between American soldiers in wartime England. ( The US Army was segregated during the war. )
 

Jarnhamar

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Still remember a 30-second lecture on pre-existing beliefs: "You come to us from a society with many prejudices. We cannot change your beliefs. But, if you treat anyone with disrespect, we can change your employment!"

Was this the military or civilian job?
If it was the military and pre-1994 then that's a bit ironic.
 

mariomike

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It was emergency services. I don't recall anything like that during GMT ( later known as BMQ ).

I thought it was good advice, and it stayed with me as a citizen soldier.

Not sure why any employer would want to change anyone's beliefs. They have disciplinary tools.
 

CBH99

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One thing my friends & colleagues have always jokingly made fun of me for, is how simple minded I am. I mean, I am daft at times - no arguing there. But my mind truly does work in a fairly simple manner, and folks in my life so jokingly make fun of me for how genuinely surprised I am about certain things.

I just don't understand how racism, in our 'North American' context, is still a thing. I truly don't.



Yes, different races have different stereotypes associated with them. And I find that fairly often, those stereotypes tend to hold true in some regards.

But the idea of liking someone, or disliking someone, simply based on the colour of their skin just blows my mind. I've never understood that, ever since I was a kid.

I remember growing up, one of my best friends since I was 6 years old was a Hindu girl. My parents used to say "We're do proud of you for not being prejudiced" - and once they explained what that meant, and the context of it, I still didn't understand. I remember thinking "What? Huh?" Growing up in a classroom where we had a fairly decent mix of ethnicities probably helped a lot, as I grew up literally not even really realizing we had different colours of skin. (The innocence of a child I guess.)


We don't judge each other based on the pigment of our hair. We don't judge each other based on how tall someone is, or what colour their eyes are. So why do people judge someone else based on the pigment of their skin? That person has just as much of a say in that, as they do their natural hair or eye colour...

The fact that this is STILL an issue at all - anywhere - just leaves me stumped to be honest. (Understanding that elsewhere in the world, it's a different story) :confused:
 

CBH99

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Question for my fellow Army.ca members - just curious to hear your opinions on this, as I've had this chat a few times recently at work.

This is very much my own thought process - please forgive if it doesn't come out the way it's intended, or sounds daft when I write it


I've always thought there are 2 kinds of racism.

1. Superficial / Ignorant Racism

2. "Real" Racism



- When I say superficial racism, I think of a scenario.

Let's say someone we love (an immediate family member) has a brain tumor, and there are only 2 doctors qualified to operate on them.

One is a white male, who graduated medical school near the top of his class. Great marks, smart guy. But, he's only performed the surgery twice before - both successfully.

The other is a doctor of Middle Eastern decent, who has successfully performed the operation 20 times.


Who do you choose? (Aka, if you are somewhat racist - how quickly does that racist nonsense disappear when the life of your child is on the line? Or your mother/father? Wife/husband?)




- When I say "real" racism, I'm thinking along the lines of what some members here have described with their wives or extended family members. Where the racism goes back generations, is still quite 'sharp' and real, and is usually from someone with a certain ethnicity towards someone else from another ethnicity, but with the same skin colour.

(I can't remember who brought it up, but was in regards to their wife, who I believe they said was from Kenya?)



I apologize if the above sounds silly, and I don't mean to take us off topic. This issue still just boggles my mind, and I can't believe that we - both as a society and as a species - it still somehow dealing with this.
 

Jarnhamar

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Trump makes a convenient and comfortable scapegoat for racism in the US military. He's gone now though so it will get better, and if it doesn't then it's his fault since he did irreparable damage in his 4 years.
 

mariomike

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I just don't understand how racism, in our 'North American' context, is still a thing. I truly don't.
Not that Canada is perfect, but since this is a US discussion, and that's where they draw military recruits from, I have heard it said that, "Racism is as American as apple pie."

President Johnson ( LBJ ) grew up in the South and understood the politics of racism to divide Americans. He knew the role the rich and powerful played in promulgating it.

LBJ said, "I'll tell you what's at the bottom of it. ( Racism in politics. ) If you can convince the lowest white man he's better than the best colored man, he won't notice you're picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he'll empty his pockets for you."





 

mariomike

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- how quickly does that racist nonsense disappear when the life of your child is on the line? Or your mother/father? Wife/husband?)
I never figured that out. Must have been a Jekyll and Hyde thing? The most venomous racists in the station were the nicest guys I ever saw when helping minorities. 🤷‍♂️
 

Colin Parkinson

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CBH99 it may have been me, my wife and I experienced racism from the East Indian community who were displeased at her being with a white guy. One of the lesser talked about aspects of multi-culturalism is a much broader palette of racism. Every culture has embedded racism against another group, Asians for the most part despise our FN and look down on Blacks, they tolerate the East Indians and Whites. Indians (as from India) have a whole host of issues including religion, caste and North vs South (light skin vs dark skin) and other regional issues. China has a very complex racial/ethnic pecking order as well, plus a growing superiority complex. Oddly enough the Asians are becoming the "New Whites" in the mind of the radical left as they shun victimhood. What really annoys me is that our government policy really is only directed at Caucasian people vs everyone else. They ignore the other realities that come with the multi-cultural soup they promote.
 

Brad Sallows

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most racists in the US support Trump though.

Racism runs in many directions. I would stipulate that most of the pro-white racists support Trump. However, I find it likely that most of the anti-white racists lie on the political left and do not support Trump.
 

dimsum

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CBH99 it may have been me, my wife and I experienced racism from the East Indian community who were displeased at her being with a white guy. One of the lesser talked about aspects of multi-culturalism is a much broader palette of racism. Every culture has embedded racism against another group, Asians for the most part despise our FN and look down on Blacks, they tolerate the East Indians and Whites. Indians (as from India) have a whole host of issues including religion, caste and North vs South (light skin vs dark skin) and other regional issues. China has a very complex racial/ethnic pecking order as well, plus a growing superiority complex. Oddly enough the Asians are becoming the "New Whites" in the mind of the radical left as they shun victimhood. What really annoys me is that our government policy really is only directed at Caucasian people vs everyone else. They ignore the other realities that come with the multi-cultural soup they promote.
I've seen changes from that after a few generations. I'm Asian and while sure there are some views from the older generation (or the ones that moved to Canada), those are generally gone after a generation or two.
 

Colin Parkinson

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Funny I was just talking to a young Chinese lady and I asked what languages she speaks, she said "Chinese", I replied "Mandurian or Cantonese?" She was completely baffled. I had to tell her that growing up, Vancouver was almost exclusively Cantonese speaking. The newer generation of Mainlanders have had their history whitewashed by the CCP and Cantonese and other languages have been successful suppressed. Having grown up with the original Chinese here and then the two waves of Hong Konger and now Mainlanders, it's interesting to watch the dynamics between the 3 distinct groups.
 

dimsum

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Funny I was just talking to a young Chinese lady and I asked what languages she speaks, she said "Chinese", I replied "Mandurian or Cantonese?" She was completely baffled. I had to tell her that growing up, Vancouver was almost exclusively Cantonese speaking. The newer generation of Mainlanders have had their history whitewashed by the CCP and Cantonese and other languages have been successful suppressed. Having grown up with the original Chinese here and then the two waves of Hong Konger and now Mainlanders, it's interesting to watch the dynamics between the 3 distinct groups.
I hear "the two main Chinese languages are Mandarin and Cantonese" a lot, which is completely false. The reason that Cantonese is known by folks outside China is because people from that region GTFO'd there earliest, and that the population in HK spoke it (which isn't even totally correct because a ton of non-Cantonese-speaking Mainlanders went there during the Chinese Civil War). It's not really spoken by that large of a population - Guangzhou/Canton is a city in China.
 

sher_singh

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Not all racism is created equal, East Indian women were raped en masse for centuries by white men.
A non-white man with a white woman still invites scorn.

Gayatri Spivak described colonialism as White men saving brown women from brown men.

The GOC has adopted a more expansive view of white supremacy which goes beyond overt slurs and policies to attacking the underlying cultural beliefs and assumptions which underpin it. Looks like Joe Biden is on track to do the same. 😊


Certain attitudes and ideologies allow white supremacy to fester & academic writing on the impetus behind racism is similar to LBJ's.

The subjugation of non-white people politically, led to theories of their inferiority to justify it.
Segregation and Assimilation are two strategies to address this alleged inferiority.

In Canada, 70% of Conservative voters admit to opposing the number of minorities immigrating here.
What number have a problem with the ones already present?

This contrasts with 15% of Liberal voters, and ~40% of Conservative & Liberal voters in 2013.
The national percentages have not really changed, only polarisation.



In a multicultural society, how different is hating the Kirpan or Niqab vs skin colour?

https://www.anglicanjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/ReligiousSymbols.png

An example of white fragility is a thread on White Supremacist terrorist groups in the US military being derailed into the small inconveniences White Men face in exercising their privelege. ;)
 
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