Magazine article The Crisis

Letters

Magazine article The Crisis

Letters

Article excerpt

BLACKS IN THE MILITARY

Betsy Peoples' article on the demographics of our military engaged in the Iraqi conflict ["Who Will Fight the War in Iraq?" March/April 2003] included some statistics regarding the "over-representation" of African Americans among the enlisted military: 22 percent of enlistments versus 12 percent of the general population. I am sure Rep. [Charles] Rangel (D-N.Y.) and Sen. [Ernest "Fritz"] Hollings (D-S.C.), a spectacular example of politics making strange bedfellows, rely on statistics just like these to back up their legislative initiative to restore the draft.

While I respect Congressman Rangel's own military service in Korea and suppose that Senator Rollings has friends who see in him some good qualities, I think their current crusade for the draft is simply a pretext to engage in partisan politics and energize the home team, rather than any serious attempt to correct a perceived wrong against African Americans with regard to military service.

A less gracious man or member of the "vast right-wing conspiracy" might call this tactic "playing the race card," but I shall pass over such an unpleasant notion without comment.

Gary Cordelli

Indianalantic, Fla.

STUDENTS AND SOLDIERS

Your March/April 2003 issue included two stories that really caught my attention.

"Affirmative Action: Showdown in the Supreme Court" was a good article, but I recommend you follow up with a discussion on the inequities of American school systems. I think the actual solution to this problem is to improve primary and secondary education learning environments for all children. We need to encourage African Americans to hold our elected officials and administrators accountable for poor schools that are not producing scholars within our communities.

The article, "Who Will Fight the War with Iraq?" was a story that relates to my life. I have served in the United States Armed Forces for 17 years, and I am a decorated Operation Desert Storm veteran. …

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