Monday, March 06, 2006

Thanks, We'll Pass

Even in the heart of military country:

More Blacks Deciding Not To Serve

Defense Department statistics show that the number of black active-duty enlisted personnel has declined 14 percent since 2000. The decrease is particularly acute among the troops most active in the Middle East: The number of black enlisted soldiers has dropped by 19 percent and the number of black enlisted Marines has fallen by 26 percent in the same period.

Even in this area near Fort Bragg, where serving in uniform is a family tradition, the drop in Army enlistment by blacks from 2000 to 2005 matches the national average.


The lack of support for the war by blacks -- in uniform or not -- is striking. A poll of Cumberland County residents, commissioned last year by The Fayetteville Observer, showed that 69 percent of whites said the war in Iraq was worth the costs. Only 19 percent of blacks agreed.

Some will see this as a sign that blacks are less patriotic than whites. I see it as a sign that blacks are more likely to hold a healthy -- and well-advised -- skepticism toward the motivations of the US government in this war in Iraq.


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