Abusing Equal Opportunity in the Military

The military's equal opportunity training manual could morph into a guidebook for community organizers, or even a corollary to black liberation theology sermons.

Published by the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), the Equal Opportunity Advisor Student Guide is the manual used by the military to train its Equal Opportunity Officers. It sounds innocuous enough, even a worthy endeavor, but the contents are malevolent in the extreme, exhorting readers to be jaded and to "Assume racism is everywhere, everyday."

While it deviously purports to espouse equal opportunity, it is more a manifesto of how to perpetrate reverse discrimination. After all, it contends that "healthy, white, heterosexual, Christian" men have unwarranted advantages over other races, and repeatedly disparages the so-called "White Male Club."

Many EO programs attempt to unify different cultures and groups. Even the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's best practices emphasize inclusion: "Bring everyone into this process, including white males. Help them understand that EEO initiatives are good." DEOMI is shunning this recommendation, choosing instead to wallow in historical iniquities, and essentially demonizing white people who supposedly have "unfair advantages."

Actually, many military recruits are economically disadvantaged, including white males. The highly regarded 2006 study by Amy Lutz, Who Joins the Military?: A Look at Race, Class, and Immigration Status, found that "significant disparities exist only by socioeconomic status," and concluded "the all-volunteer force continues to see overrepresentation of the working and middle classes, with fewer incentives for upper class participation."

With otherwise limited life opportunities, many recruits are afforded an opportunity to "be all they can be" in one of the most diverse and integrated institutions in America. Now, during the tenure of arguably the most racially divisive president in history, DEOMI has published an odious guide to race baiting entirely divorced from reality. In one incongruous section after another, the manual condemns white privilege as though the infamous preacher Jeremiah Wright were the author.

DEOMI's divisive slant seems enmeshed in the brainwashed paradigm of afro-centric curricula or socialist-leaning community organizers. So let's inject some facts. Representation in the military is more a function of economic status rather than race. Further, advancement opportunities for enlisted personnel are at least equal for minorities. For example, Section 2.26 of this official military report on demographics (PDF format) shows that minority representation for all military branches is 30.2%. Yet they represent a conspicuous 37.6% of senior enlisted ranks (E7-E9).

Indeed, under the doctrine of disparate impact, which presumes policies are discriminatory when they have a disproportionately adverse impact on certain groups, one might reasonably conclude that whites have an unfair disadvantage. But apparently this doctrine doesn't apply equally to them.

Minorities are marginally underrepresented in officer ranks, but as Major General Anthony Jackson (U.S. Africa Command's director of operations and logistics) explains, "this has less to do with race or discrimination inside the military than with the role the military has traditionally played in the life of young minorities." Jackson said he never "felt that race was an obstacle to overcome as he rose through the ranks."

Nevertheless, the military's EO manual scapegoats whites with thinly veiled race baiting like this: "Simply put, a healthy, white, heterosexual, Christian male receives many unearned advantages of social privilege, whereas a black, homosexual, atheist female in poor health receives many unearned disadvantages of social privilege."

Wow, they even threw in unhealthy atheists for good measure. It takes a contorted mind to conjure up all that. The people who conceived this putrid venom are brainwashed by hateful victimization rhetoric. Perhaps they seek catharsis for the breakdown in family structure in civilian communities, and the resultant underachievement that entails.

DEOMI's equal opportunity propaganda is not very uplifting; it's hardly a clarion call to unite our military heroes under the umbrella of equal opportunity. But it gets even more insidious: turns out that their EO instructors gave briefings at bases around the country that labeled evangelical Christians, Catholics, and some Christian ministries as domestic hate groups.

This is eerily reminiscent of the demonization of Tea Party groups by IRS rogues. It makes reasonable people speculate there's a politically-driven agenda. As former congressman Lt. Col. Allen West (ret.) put it: "This is the Obama administration's outreach of social justice into the United States military. Equal Opportunity in the Army that I grew up in did not have anything to do with white privilege."

Neither was EO undermined by privilege in the military in which I proudly served for 10 years, long before this pernicious treatise was promulgated.

As a specialist training reservists for recall to active duty, I was awarded a Navy Achievement Medal while serving in the first Naval Reserve Squadron to be assigned the FA-18 Hornet (what the Blue Angels fly when no sequester cuts). I never received the more highly coveted Commendation medal because I was trumped by my friend, a minority. He deserved it more, but more important than the somewhat subjective process of awards, equal opportunity was embedded in our performance appraisal system.

The military I served in incorporated diverse skills and cultivated disparate talents towards solving complex problems in our nation's defense. These values were so imbued in the Navy's culture that they became as intrinsic a measure of our performance as physical fitness or military bearing. Good luck getting promoted if your evaluation report didn't check the box "promotes diversity."

The DEOMI's bible of equal opportunity provokes racial division based on stale preconceptions forged in the cauldron of the Civil Rights movement over 40 years ago.

If ever a book deserved shredding, this is it. Let's eviscerate it from our consciousness.Start over, DEOMI. As Sir Winston Churchill once exhorted, "Come then, let us go forward together with our united strength."

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