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The U.S. military is no place for White supremacists

White supremacists believe that the White race is superior to all others and have used their beliefs to discriminate against those that didn’t share their same ethnic or religious backgrounds. The U.S. government, realizing that such ideologies threaten the health of our country, has spoken out against such groups. In fact, ten years ago, the Department of Defense made it clear that anyone subscribing to extreme separatist beliefs was not welcome in the U.S. military...
 
 Judge Greg Mathis

White supremacists believe that the White race is superior to all others and have used their beliefs to discriminate against those that didn’t share their same ethnic or religious backgrounds. The U.S. government, realizing that such ideologies threaten the health of our country, has spoken out against such groups. In fact, ten years ago, the Department of Defense made it clear that anyone subscribing to extreme separatist beliefs was not welcome in the U.S. military. But, with wars waging in Iraq and Afghanistan, the military is spread thin and desperate to recruit new soldiers. So desperate, in fact, that they are willing to overlook the growing number of white supremacists that have joined the military in the last few years. As long as they are willing to train hard and fight for their country, these new recruits are accepted into the armed forces. Unfortunately, these newly minted soldiers aren’t really in the military to defend the U.S. They are actually, in their minds, training for the race wars that they believe will inevitably take place. These future domestic terrorists are learning much of their trade at the expense of taxpayers, many of whom they will eventually rise up against.

According to a study recently released by the Southern Poverty Law Center, extremists enter the military purposefully; they want to learn combat techniques and want access to weapons, all with the ultimate goal of initiating race wars here in the U.S. Considering the military the perfect training ground, White supremacy groups encourage their members to enlist. Military personnel quoted in the report say that there are several hundred known extremists in the military. They are spread across the different branches of the military, yet manage to communicate with each other about weapons and recruiting new members. One officer based in Fort Lewis Washington noted that there are 320 white supremacists at the base – only 2 have been discharged to date.

The military has always had extremists in their ranks. In 1961, then-President John F. Kennedy reprimanded an Army General for passing out extremist materials to his troops. In 1979, 20 Klu Klux Klan members were uncovered on a Navy aircraft carrier. And, in 1995, Army veteran and Bronze star winner. Timothy McVeigh killed 169 people when he set off a bomb in the Oklahoma City federal building. McVeigh along with his accomplice. Terry Nichols, also a veteran, was an anti-government extremist; the bombing was inspired by a neo-Nazi novel that McVeigh actually encouraged other soldiers to read while he was in the Army.

Extremists present a serious threat to both their fellow soldiers and to the public at large. Ethnic soldiers not only have to worry about dying in combat, but they also have to worry about being the potential victim of their fellow soldier’s racially-motivated acts. Once their tour of duty is up, these white supremacists are back in society, more violent than before and now with an intimate knowledge of guns and explosives.

The U.S. government can’t sit around waiting for the next Timothy McVeigh to reveal himself. By identifying and discharging known extremists from the military, we can stop future domestic terrorists in their tracks. Taxpayer dollars should not pay for ‘white supremacy boot camp.’ The military is supposed to protect all of America, not train those that plan to wreak havoc on its citizens.

(Judge Mathis is Chairman of the Rainbow PUSH-Excel Board and a National Board Member of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.)

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