Posted by: michelle2005 | December 18, 2008

“Hate Growing in the Military and Schools”

 

The two articles below are from the “Southern Poverty Law Center”.   This is an organization I’ve been familiar for over twenty years.  Their web address is http://www.splcenter.org   There is a wealth of information they have available.   I also have their “Hate Watch” listed on my blogroll.

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Letter to Secretary Gates: Extremists Continue to Infiltrate Military
SPLC President Richard Cohen sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates urging him to adopt a zero-tolerance policy against racist extremists in the military

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 26, 2008

Robert Gates
Secretary of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1000

Dear Mr. Gates:

Two years ago, we alerted Secretary Rumsfeld to evidence that racial extremists were serving in the armed forces, and we asked him to adopt a stern zero-tolerance policy against extremist activity in the military. Secretary Rumsfeld, through Under Secretary Chu, claimed that the armed forces already had such a policy and refused to take further action. Because the evidence that right-wing extremists are infiltrating the military continues to mount, we urge you to revisit the issue.

We have been monitoring the activities of racist extremists since 1981. In 1986, we wrote Secretary Weinberger and presented evidence that United States Marines were participating in Klan paramilitary activities. We urged him to prohibit all military personnel from being members of or participating in the activities of groups like the Klan.

Secretary Weinberger responded forcefully. “Military personnel,” he stated in a directive, “must reject participation in white supremacy, neo-Nazi and other such groups which espouse or attempt to create overt discrimination. Active participation, including public demonstrations, recruiting and training members, and organizing or leading such organizations is utterly incompatible with military service.”

Unfortunately, Secretary Weinberger’s directive proved to be inadequate. Many military commanders interpreted it to prohibit only egregious forms of hate group activity, not mere memberships in such groups or activities like displaying hate group symbols or circulating extremist literature. The problem with the directive vividly came to light in December 1995 when neo-Nazi paratroopers with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg gunned down a black couple in a ritualistic, racially motivated slaying. A subsequent investigation revealed that military leaders at Fort Bragg had overlooked numerous indications that a subculture of violent, neo-Nazi skinheads existed at the base.

Shocked by the events at Fort Bragg and the revelations that Tim McVeigh had distributed racist literature while in the service, the Army formed a task force and the House Armed Services Committee held hearings on extremism in the military in 1996. At those hearings, we testified that any type of involvement with extremist groups should disqualify someone from military service. Following the hearings and task force investigation, the Department of Defense amended its regulations to more clearly define the nature of prohibited extremist activities. Secretary Perry made it clear that the regulations were intended to leave “no room for racist and extremist activities in the military.”

Despite Secretary Perry’s intentions, the amended regulations did not solve the problem. In 2006, we issued a report demonstrating that members of neo-Nazi and other extremist groups continued to infiltrate the ranks of the armed forces. We presented specific examples of servicemen who were allowed to continue in the military even after their white supremacist activities were exposed. Military investigators with whom we spoke attributed the problem to the intense pressure on the military to maintain force levels while the country was at war and to the ambiguity of the existing regulations against extremist activity.

Since we issued our 2006 report, the problem may have worsened. According to a July 7, 2008, FBI study, “Sensitive and reliable source reporting indicates supremacist leaders are encouraging followers who lack documented histories of neo-Nazi activity and overt racist insignia such as tattoos to infiltrate the military as ‘ghost skins,’ in order to recruit and receive training for the benefit of the extremist movement.” Other evidence of the continuing problem of white supremacists in the military is detailed in the attached article that we are releasing on December 2.

After the release of our 2006 report, forty members of the House of Representatives sponsored a resolution urging your predecessor “to immediately institute a zero-tolerance policy with regard to racial and ethnic extremism in the military.” They noted that extremists in the military “pose a major domestic security threat to the Nation and undermine the cohesiveness of its fighting force.” Although there may never be a fail-safe system that prevents extremists from infiltrating the military, we believe that a thorough review of the existing safeguards is long overdue. As Senator Shelby emphasized in a letter to Secretary Rumsfeld, “Of all institutions in our society, the U.S. military is the absolute last place extremists can be permitted to exist.” The armed forces should enact and enforce an unambiguous zero-tolerance policy against extremists in the military.

Thank you for your consideration of this very serious issue.

Sincerely yours,

J. Richard Cohen

 

 

SPLC helps teachers respond to anti-Obama bigotry
The historic election of the nation’s first African-American president has also had the frightening result of increased hate incidents, even among our children. SPLC’s Teaching Tolerance program created “Responding to Obama,” a set of principles to help educators work through racist attitudes and incidents in the classroom and the wider community.

obama-for-president1

 

Teaching Tolerance Offers Educators Strategy to Respond to Racial Incidents Following Obama Election

Responding to reports of racially charged incidents following Barack Obama’s election as the first black president, the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance program is offering teachers a set of strategies to deal with election-related bigotry in the classroom.The new web resource, “Responding to Obama: America at the Extremes,” will help teachers respond to what is happening inside and outside of the classroom by turning it into a teaching moment about race. “Despite talk of a post-racial America following the election, students have been seeing reports of racially charged incidents in the news and, in some cases, seeing and hearing overtly racist behavior among their peers,” said Jennifer Holladay, director of Teaching Tolerance. “We wanted teachers to have the tools to promote understanding and civil discourse, especially with the inauguration on the horizon.”“Responding to Obama” was inspired by post-election correspondence from readers of Teaching Tolerance magazine who asked for guidance on how to address these situations in schools.

Although the majority of racial incidents appear from news accounts to have occurred outside of schools, schoolchildren in many areas of the country have been exposed to them. There have been disturbing reports of racial slurs, racist graffiti and even threats on the life of the president-elect. Some schools have reportedly tried to calm tensions by restricting student discussion of the elections.

“While the election hasn’t produced a post-racial America, teachers can use the reactions we’ve seen to promote a better understanding of race and tolerance that can bring us closer to that ideal,” Holladay said.

 

 

Michelle

 

 

 

 

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Responses

  1. I believe the election has done a lot to improve racial relations in America. Don’t believe the media lies. I have personality witnessed signs of solidarity between blacks and whites.

    leafless…

    I appreciate you taking the time to read this post. However, what was stated in the post are not “media lies”. Granted, there are a few ‘pockets’ of change…but as a whole, we have a long way to go.

    Regards,

    Michelle

  2. there have been similar things that took place at the base where my sister is stationed. Then I read the comment by leafless and wonder if he’s in the real world. of course there have been some improvements in certain spots. but it’s not like that here and definitely not like that where my sister is and she is in the military.

    Craig…

    I want to thank you for emailing me your sisters email address. I will contact her as you asked me to. I will be very interested in what she has to say regarding this topic. You must be very proud of your sister serving as an officer in the military!

    Thank you, too, for taking the time to leave a comment. It’s always appreicated.

    Regards,

    Michelle

  3. My military career of 30 years was officially over as of 2007. This article written by the SPLC is, indeed, accurate. Those that think otherwise need to take the blinders off.

    Dominic…

    Thank you for your many years of military service to our great nation! I understand well your comment about needing to take the blinders off. This was the whole point of this post. I’ve heard from several other military persons that did not want me to publish their comments. However, I will say, that you all are saying basically the same thing.

    Regards,

    Michelle

  4. It would serve the military well to rid themselves of such militant racist groups. I am glad to hear thet the SPLC is investigating this, they have a reputation for thoroughness!
    Thank you for bringing this to the attention of the readers of this blog.

    Your writing is greatly appreciated, keep up the great writing.

    Let me know if your dog graduated from an acredited school.

    Allan…

    Thank you for taking the time to read this post…and for your gracious comment regarding my writing ability.

    Yes, Jenny has graduated from school…although it was NOT a medical school. She is an Agility Champion and has won several other awards. However, her greatest accomplishment is that she is a trained therapy dog.

    Regards,

    Michelle

  5. Sometimes being in this world can make a soul weary. Thanks for your keen insight.

    *switching topics* Michele, is it my mac computer or did you use a different layout for this page. This particular article has been chopped off on the right hand side and doesn’t scroll. I could only read the left side. 😦

    Hey Sis…

    It could be your MAC…no one else has said this. However, this came right off the Southern Poverty Law Center’s web site. There’s an enormous amout of information available through them. Sorry you had difficulty reading this:(

    But…I must say, I sure am grateful for you stopping by and leaving a comment.

    ***Hugs & Tea*** for SteadyCat!


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