Originally posted by finnegan
Those of us who do not serve in today’s military cannot assess the extent to which the problems of the Vietnam era persist in 2015. What seems certain, though, is that no report from today’s Congress would produce a diagnosis of those problems as frank as that of the subcommittee report of 1973.
I think that means - as frankly racist as that of the subcommittee report of 1973.
I don't necessarily agree that the report was itself racist. But there may be some.
That was during the period of the draft, at least it's the case that men drafted then or a couple years earlier could have been on that ship, as navy, aircrew or marines.
It is possible that there was racism behind the draft lottery and selection process and withing the services, and the report went as far as it could in pointing this out. I was draft number 83 but easily received a deferment due to a broken femur some years earlier that limited my ability to carry a buddy off the battlefield, but I could have filled an administrative position. They wanted grunts, and my town in the South had plenty of alternatives to white boys in college.
There is some support for the charge of racism in the investigation:
"During the course of the investigation we found no substantial evidence of racial discrimination upon which we could place true responsibility for causation of these serious disturbances. Certainly there were many perceptions of discrimination by young blacks, who, because of their sensitivity to real or fancied oppression, often enlist with a ‘chip on their shoulder.’ Those young blacks, who enter the service from the ghetto with a complete black awareness, probably for the first time find themselves immersed in a predominantly white society which, in civilian life, they had come to mistrust. These young men are subject to being easily led–as was the case in the Constellation uprising where about 15 agitators orchestrated the entire affair. [emphasis in the original]"
This paragraph uses the term 'enlist" which to many means voluntary. I think it needs to be clarified whether the blacks and whites were voluntary enlistees or draftees. The term "real or fancied
oppression" appears to minimize the reality of oppression that existed at the time, and that is evidenced today. "Perceived" would have conveyed more in the way of impartiality.