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January 21, 2003

Cletus, not Leroy, bleeds on the fields of battle for you!

It is rural southerners that fight on the front-lines, not blacks, says this story:


* Of the Army's 45,586 enlisted combat infantryman, 10.6% are black.

* Of the Air Force's 12,000 pilots, 245, or about 2%, are black.

* In the Navy, 2.5% of the pilots are black.

Senior Air Force officials say they are troubled by the number of black pilots and plan to do better.

OK, so now, the story indicates that blacks gravitate toward non-combat positions so they can aquire marketable skills, while putting them on the front-lines puts them at more risk. So, isn't it "racist" to encourage black soldiers to be at the front-lines, instead of allowing them to build skills for the civilian sector? Or is it "racist" to let them be stereotyped as paper pushers? Hmmm....

Posted by razib at 01:07 PM

It's even better than that. When working-class or welfare-class youth join the Army, it's often for vocational training or post-service benefits such as college money. When middle-class and upper-class youth join the Army, it's not for these reasons - they don't have these needs. They join to drive tanks, shoot big guns, jump out of airplanes, blow things up, and learn to kill with their bare hands;
that is, to be warriors.

Posted by: Rich Rostrom at January 22, 2003 12:12 AM

Exactly, Rich. The blacks join to bootstrap themselves up into the working world (likely because they either don't like school or it failed them). but the liberals can't handle that. It must be some racist plot to get them in the Army.

And yes...white kids go to shoot big guns.

Posted by: David at January 22, 2003 09:57 AM

David's remarks are not true. I grew up in a military suburb of Washington, D.C. Many of the blacks I knew who joined the military were middle, middle class. And most of them were following in the footsteps of their military men fathers. Ditto for the whites.

Posted by: Roger Chaillet at January 22, 2003 04:28 PM

I posted something about this relating to Korean linguists:


Posted by: corsair at January 23, 2003 06:39 AM

The Military District of Washington is not terribly representative of the Army as a whole. I don't think you can get an accurate picture of what the "real" Army is like from there. If you want to see a more typical distribution of troops and what sort of people are troops, you must go to an installation that has actual TO&E units. Washington is mostly admin and communications types.

Posted by: FeloniousPunk at January 23, 2003 07:59 PM