African Americans in US military face widespread racial discrimination: Survey
About a third of Black troops in the US military reported experiencing racial discrimination, harassment or both last year, underscoring concerns about widespread racism at the US military.
The 2017 survey by the US Defense Department, whose results have not previously been reported, also showed that US troops who experienced racial discrimination or harassment largely did not report it because of high levels of dissatisfaction with the complaint process.
The data support the findings of a 2020 Reuters investigation here, which found that servicemembers feared that reporting discrimination would likely backfire and was not worth the risk.
“Overall, results reveal much work is needed to improve the reporting process for those who experience racial/ethnic harassment and discrimination,” the Defense Department acknowledged in a report that accompanied the survey data.
The US Defense Department has not explained why the data took so long to release. Critics said the long-withheld report shows that former President Donald Trump’s administration deliberately concealed statistics exposing a racial justice crisis in the US military.
Unpunished discrimination and racial harassment in the US military play a role in pushing out minorities, advocates say.
Concerns about racial discrimination in the military have been under renewed focus over the past year, as America experienced widespread protests against racism.