I doubt it. However, since Stars and Stripes felt free to run its, “Heroes 2011 – Why do blacks receive fewer valor medals?” article, I felt free to title this column the way I did. (In other words, more blacks receiving valor medals likely would come at the price of more black Servicemen being casualties.)
Stars and Stripes had the potential to do something good with its article and a portion of the article actually does. For instance, the author notes that:
The Defense Department does not track racial data on valor awards, and has no central database of all the troops who have received those honors. So there is no empirical way to determine whether black servicemembers receive proportionally fewer valor awards than their counterparts.
Stars and Stripes also makes other productive points which include things such as:
“So, while Vietnam was fought disproportionately by blacks,” [John Sibley] Butler [author of several books on race in the military] said, today’s wars “are being fought disproportionately by whites.”
In fact, only about 9 percent of the troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan have been black, even though they make up more than 17 percent of the total active-duty force. In contrast, Hispanics make up roughly 10 percent of the active-duty force and 10 percent of the deaths from the current wars.
Yet the very start of the Stars and Stripes article demonstrates that political correctness motivated the article. The author writes:
Every year, we try to present a diverse selection of battlefield stories, to best reflect the makeup of the military. We seek representatives from each of the services. And we want to make sure that every hero we feature isn’t a white male. . . .
. . . But finding African-Americans who have received valor awards has often been difficult. It has meant scouring other newspapers and blogs looking specifically for black heroes. It has meant tactless last-minute calls to public affairs officers asking for help identifying “troops with heroic stories, but they have to be black.”
Stars and Stripes is free “to make sure that every hero we feature isn’t a white male.” But then again, I’m free to criticize it. And if it wants to be part of the politically correct, race-baiting, antagonistic crowd by running articles such as it did, then I see no problem in running a column asking if it wants more black casualties.
The funny thing about Stars and Stripes running its column in 2011 is that during the 2001-2008 period the left consistently vomited the charge that racial minorities and the poor disproportionately made up the ranks of the Armed Forces. The Heritage Foundation debunked this claim in 2005, 2006, and 2008. Yet now that a different era is upon us we find that certain groups want to know why minorities aren’t receiving more valor medals. The intended inference in such questioning is that white America is racist. However, (as I noted with the title of this column) that question can just as easily be used to infer that Stars and Stripes thinks there aren’t enough black casualties–or that there aren’t enough blacks in the Armed Forces. Thus, perhaps the biggest lesson learned from the Stars and Stripes article is that no matter what society does, when it comes to race some parties never can be satisfied.