black studies

black studies - Madison Jesseman 12-8-10 Black Studies 118...

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Madison Jesseman 12-8-10 Black Studies 118 Black Hardships in Past and Future Wars The America that our ancestors grew up in was not the same place it is today. Although it is a matter of perspective, most would agree that the current America treats it’s minorities better than it did in the past. Many years ago, minorities would face acts of oppression and segregation that would be considered highly illegal in modern society. One would think that in the past, when Blacks would go to war to fight and often die in faraway lands then they would be respected and appreciated upon their arrival home. This was definitely not the case. During WWII and the Vietnam War, Blacks were segregated and put on the front lines of battle in the military to be shot at first. Those who did survive only came home to more hardships. In many cases, they faced more racism and violence domestically than they did in foreign lands. One example is the “Felix Longoria Act of 1948.” This is when the body of Felix Longoria, a US soldier, was returned home for burial and the local military cemetery refused to bury him because the cemetery was for whites only (Black Soldiers in the Jim Crow Military, 1987). Even though much has changed since America’s dark past, Blacks still face many hardships both when enlisted in the military, and when living at home. Today, these mistreatments of black soldiers are causing a rapid decrease in military enlistment. Many are oblivious to the current mistreatment of minorities in the military, but if not acted upon soon, things may get worse. Even though racism does a much better job at hiding itself today than it did in the past, I argue that unless minorities take immediate action in fighting for equal power in the military, then they may soon face the same oppression, violence, and underrepresentation as they did in past wars.
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In 1999, 69 percent of all military promotions to officers were awarded to whites and only 19 percent were given to blacks. This is a very low number considering the large portion of the military that black soldiers make up. Even though only 19 percent were given promotions, black soldiers were being killed at an incredible rate two and a half times more often than Whites, and most under the command of white officers (Scott, 2004). When one considers how difficult it is for a black soldier to be successful in the military, little incentive is given to Blacks to enlist. A young black American is less likely to consider enlisting in the military than a young white American simply because of the fewer job opportunities and the higher risk factor the military will offer them. Recent statistics are proof of this matter. According to the Defense Department, the number of black enlistees has decreased by 58 percent since year 2000
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This note was uploaded on 08/26/2011 for the course BLST 118 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '11 term at UCSB.

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black studies - Madison Jesseman 12-8-10 Black Studies 118...

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