Friday Feedback: Military Recruiters Target Poor, Not Just Blacks and Latinos

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Every Friday the LA Progressive features a comment that was particularly noteworthy. This week we are featuring a comment submitted by Trevor in response to Sherwood Ross’s Pentagon Targets African-American and Hispanic Kids to Fight Its Wars: Third in a Three-Part Series:

Trevor responded, “This is ridiculous. When I went to basic training just a few months ago my training company was comprised of about 210 people. There were about 10 black kids and a similar number of latinos. The rest, save a few asians, were white.

The Army doesn’t recruit people based on skin color. They recruit based on socio-economic status. That means that if you are poor and/or unable to go to college for whatever reason, you are the prime target. It just so happens that the proportion of blacks and latinos that fits into the target group is slightly larger, but that hardly makes a difference.

As for JROTC programs, that has more to do with after-school activities in inner-city schools or the lack thereof. People who cannot participate in team sports for whatever reason (lack of ability, their school doesn’t have a team, whatever) often only have JROTC as an after school activity; unless you consider roaming the streets a viable option.

So don’t be so quick to judge the military’s methods of recruiting. Sure, some recruiters lie. Some tell the recruits what they want to hear. But the fact of the matter is these kids are probably better off in the military than struggling to live in whatever poverty-stricken place they come from. They also have a chance at going to college (however remote that chance may be).

I’m not saying “Don’t say bad things about the military”. Far from it. I’m just saying try being a little more rational. There are plenty of other issues you should be focusing your attention on when it comes to the military (how veterans are rotting away in hospital, how troops are being poisoned by KBR, how troops are torturing people, how the military utilized chemical weapons on civilian populations).”

–Trevor

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