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Extremism in the U.S. Military


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5 hours ago, Sua Sponte said:

There’s extremism in the military. It’s usually hidden due to obviously the punitive actions that could be dealt if displayed. I’m somewhat shocked at the amount of senior ranking people I know who come out as full-flagged racist once they retire. 

For real, watching a dude come back with a beard and gut complaining about all the new "faggots" was a bit of a head turner.

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That’s the thing, I have seen the rebel flag flown by both black and white people.  
Is it still considered a symbol of hate if a rebel flag is on a the truck being driven by a black person?  I had a black guy in my squadron from TX who drove a big ass F-250 with 6” lift, 35” tires and the back window was covered by a rebel flag sticker.  Still considered a hate symbol?
Again, I’m not defending it and I probably am being dismissive about it because it doesn’t affect me like it does some people.  I never grew up around it and it really wasn’t until I was stationed in MS that it became so prominent around me.  I don’t see it anywhere on my base and I really don’t see it (minus a handful of people) in the town I live in.  
 
also, why can’t you ban it?  I would think, especially in today’s day and age, that a wing/base CC has the right to ban symbols like the rebel flag from being shown on their base.  If the DoD says that the rebel flag is a hate symbol, then ban it!
Me personally, I would rather let the people fly the flag and plaster it all over their vehicles because then I know who they are and where they’re possible coming from.  That’s just me though.  

Banning the flag isn’t going to magically kill the racism/extremism


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Reading through this thread the only issue I can recall encountering was a pilot who was uber-religious and had some degrading views of women.  He tried to stand on those grounds and on one occasion, refused to fly with a female co-pilot.  I was a Major in the WIC and was flying as an attached guy so I wasn't included on all the actions they took but I know he continued to fly and with a female co-pilot.  His career in our community basically ended at that point and they sent him off to AETC not long after (stunned by that choice).

On 3/3/2021 at 7:47 PM, Sua Sponte said:

There’s extremism in the military. It’s usually hidden due to obviously the punitive actions that could be dealt if displayed. I’m somewhat shocked at the amount of senior ranking people I know who come out as full-flagged racist once they retire. 

I honestly never saw overt racism, but obviously it exists in the hearts of some and it would be foolish and a disservice to pretend it does not exist to some extent.

Shocked and saddened to hear this and some of the other stories on here.  We may be the .1% who serve but there is still a normal bell curve distribution of issues and ideologies.  I just hoped we were better.

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Do you have just two pilots in your airframe and no one else?

If so I can understand someone’s decision to not want to fly with a member of the opposite sex without other crew member witnesses around.

Or was their a religious perspective that wouldn’t allow him to work hand in hand with a female?

Not saying I agree to either but I can understand both.

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Nearing 14 years in the AF/ANG. Haven't witnessed or directly heard about (within assigned unit) a single instance of racism, white supremacy or anything of the like.

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There’s 690K people in the AF/working directly for the AF. Yes there’s going to be some of every fill-in-the-blank group that is undesirable, but it’s disingenuous and misleading bullshit to say this stuff is a large enough problem that it requires anything to be done above the wing level. Most cases should be able to be dealt with by SQ/CC or GP/CC level (potentially with interactions with JA, OSI, etc.) The AF is not racist, white supremicist, etc...those things exist in statistically irrelevant amounts, so society/big Gov/DOD should stop acting like they are anything but “one offs” (obviously still address those one offs at the local level).

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Our "extremism stand-down day" just got scheduled.  So it's happening 1 Apr, 0900-1600.  7 goddamn hours.  What a ing timejack.

Yet another case of one person shits and everyone has to wear a diaper.  Why doesn't someone make some of our elected officials sit through this crap?  They arguably need it more than we do.

Sorry, had to vent.

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1 hour ago, wmx013 said:

Our "extremism stand-down day" just got scheduled.  So it's happening 1 Apr, 0900-1600.  7 goddamn hours.  What a ing timejack.

Yet another case of one person shits and everyone has to wear a diaper.  Why doesn't someone make some of our elected officials sit through this crap?  They arguably need it more than we do.

Sorry, had to vent.

You went thru SERE, go back to the circle whenever possible, food-water-shelter.

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9 minutes ago, Tiger said:

My CC sent us all an email the other day saying if anyone was offended by our unit patch to please let him know.  He said he didn’t find anything offensive but was happy to to “acknowledge his unconscious biases” and give us an opportunity to voice concerns.

tumblr_oi6vae6Dom1u6z5ppo1_500.gifv

Offensive squadron patches are a serious matter in the Peoples Non-Binary Trans-Unicorn Positive Affirmation Air Force.

They are often contrary to the ultimate goal of creating the impossible utopia that we will use any means to attempt to achieve for the 690th time.

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All this Air Force / DoD mid-level leadership virtue signaling bullshit is a gold mine for cheap shot jokes.

I am seeing on FB now, O-6s I knew as O-3s spouting the political line to score higher in some apparatchiks list of approved officers for O-7. 

So this is how the end begins... 

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6 hours ago, wmx013 said:

Our "extremism stand-down day" just got scheduled.  So it's happening 1 Apr, 0900-1600.  7 goddamn hours.  What a ing timejack.

Yet another case of one person shits and everyone has to wear a diaper.  Why doesn't someone make some of our elected officials sit through this crap?  They arguably need it more than we do.

Sorry, had to vent.

I guess I lucked out.

We had a 4ish hour chat session going over a couple of modules. Then we all drove to Top Golf where I managed to score a 0/20. But I'm told that a low score is desired in golf. So...good day overall.

Sounds like your Sq/CC (or maybe pressure from the OG or WG) is making it more painful than it needs to be.

Edited by StoleIt
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Just got an email that I have to schedule my attendance for Extremism Awareness. All classes are 1000 EST and I'm a Reservist so I have to make time during my work week on the West Coast to listen to this treasure. 

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16 minutes ago, VMFA187 said:

Just got an email that I have to schedule my attendance for Extremism Awareness. All classes are 1000 EST and I'm a Reservist so I have to make time during my work week on the West Coast to listen to this treasure. 

Make sure you get paid for calling in (UTA, AT, GFTP). 

Nothing is done for free to include calling in to a “mandatory” class!  If it’s required, then you’re required to be on a status and get paid!!

Edited by Tank
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Currently deployed and we spent maybe ten minutes tops talking about this to check the box. Anybody forcing people to spend a whole day on this should be fired for anti-extremism extremism.

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1 hour ago, Q1Checkride said:

From the article, for those who just read the headline:

 

Austin said the Defense Department will achieve this by:

Enhancing current initiatives to push back against foreign governments’ efforts to make being LGBTQI+ a crime

Initiating or supporting initiatives to tackle “discrimination, homophobia, transphobia, and intolerance on the basis of LGBTQI+ status or conduct”

Widening current efforts to make sure the department regularly engages “with governments, citizens, civil society, and the private sector” to advocate for the LGBTQI+ population’s human rights and tackle discrimination

Taking the potential impacts of DOD-funded programs on the human rights of all people (including the LGBTQI+ community) into account when deciding what to spend Pentagon funds on

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I’m anxiously awaiting the headline that says “SECDEF orders Pentagon to focus on winning wars”. Isn’t the alphabet people issue solved already?

 

This actually brings up a question for the masses. In our extremism training the other day I was asked what I would do if I knew a member of the squadron was a racist. Not a klan member or something overt, but just prejudiced. I said if he didn’t act on it but was good at his job, I wouldn’t care. I just wouldn’t be the guys friend. When asked why I felt that way, I said if his actions didn’t affect anyone else beyond feelings and he was good at his job of defending the country by the selective application of violence, that’s my priority.
 

Am I a bad person?

Edited by Danger41
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I've long since adopted the attitude of just not giving a shit about being forced to attend this type of training, which has done wonders for my stress levels.  If they want to pay me $750 to spend a day sitting through this crap, and not working on my flying abilities, then so be it.  However, they only get me four or five days/month, and they just burned one on some bullshit.  Now I'm down to three or four days to get my six sorties.  If I make RAP, cool, if not, well I just don't care...because clearly they don't.  

Edited by SocialD
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I’m anxiously awaiting the headline that says “SECDEF orders Pentagon to focus on winning wars”. Isn’t the alphabet people issue solved already?
 
This actually brings up a question for the masses. In our extremism training the other day I was asked what I would do if I knew a member of the squadron was a racist. Not a klan member or something overt, but just prejudiced. I said if he didn’t act on it but was good at his job, I wouldn’t care. I just wouldn’t be the guys friend. When asked why I felt that way, I said if his actions didn’t affect anyone else beyond feelings and he was good at his job of defending the country by the selective application of violence, that’s my priority.
 
Am I a bad person?

What was the facilitator’s reaction to your brazen belief that individuals are allowed to have their own beliefs and that if those beliefs do not affect the mission or unit that it is no one’s business?

Like you I would just avoid said hypothetical bigot’s company


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I’m anxiously awaiting the headline that says “SECDEF orders Pentagon to focus on winning wars”. Isn’t the alphabet people issue solved already?
 
This actually brings up a question for the masses. In our extremism training the other day I was asked what I would do if I knew a member of the squadron was a racist. Not a klan member or something overt, but just prejudiced. I said if he didn’t act on it but was good at his job, I wouldn’t care. I just wouldn’t be the guys friend. When asked why I felt that way, I said if his actions didn’t affect anyone else beyond feelings and he was good at his job of defending the country by the selective application of violence, that’s my priority.
 
Am I a bad person?


You're not a bad person, and I'd say your view is a normal one. And to be fair, unless a co-worker did something fairly overt (or had a long pattern of questionable actions), I'd probably do the same as you, as I'm fairly non-confrontational on non-mission stuff and try to give people the benefit of doubt.

The hardest part in all this is that your reaction is a normal reaction, yet some of the messaging from some groups is that you're a bad person, which doesn't help the problem because it puts otherwise good people on the defense, even if they would otherwise agree.

The challenge is, what does leadership do?

If that person with racist views had no subordinates, you could make a case that it doesn't matter. But if there's minorities in the sq that are uncomfortable/hurt by that person's racists views, it can deteriorate trust those minorites have in their sq mates.

Maybe that racist coworker later becomes a supervisor, and while they might not do anything that clearly crosses the line, those racial biases can cause other indirect harm. Things like strats, submitting for awards, pushes for upgrades, opportunities (good or bad), etc, all of which can affect someone's career. And unless a minority subordinate is clearly and measurably better, it can be hard to prove that racial bias played a role in lower strats, missed opportunities/pushes, etc.

So this creates a problem to our system, as it strives to be a meritocracy. If people aren't being advanced because of something that has nothing to do with their abilities (like race), then the system isn't advancing the best to positions of more responsibility. That's where

I'll phase the problem another way: what do you do with a co-worker who can do their job, but is otherwise an ass or difficult/unpleasant to work with?

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3 hours ago, Danger41 said:

I’m anxiously awaiting the headline that says “SECDEF orders Pentagon to focus on winning wars”. Isn’t the alphabet people issue solved already?

 

This actually brings up a question for the masses. In our extremism training the other day I was asked what I would do if I knew a member of the squadron was a racist. Not a klan member or something overt, but just prejudiced. I said if he didn’t act on it but was good at his job, I wouldn’t care. I just wouldn’t be the guys friend. When asked why I felt that way, I said if his actions didn’t affect anyone else beyond feelings and he was good at his job of defending the country by the selective application of violence, that’s my priority.
 

Am I a bad person?

Yes

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