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KPBS Midday Edition

Understanding The Scope And Impact Of Racial Bias In The Military

Sailors man the rails of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) as it pulls into its homeport in San Diego, May 7, 2018.
United States Department of Defense
Sailors man the rails of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) as it pulls into its homeport in San Diego, May 7, 2018.

The killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police has prompted many American institutions to examine their own racial bias, including the U.S. military. In June Secretary of Defense Mark Esper created a commission and there were some quick reforms put into place, like banning the use of photos during promotion reviews.

On Monday on Midday Edition we’re bringing you an excerpt from "Institutional Racism In The U.S. Military," a KPBS news special event looking at how racial bias affects who leads the nation's military, how it affects individual service members and some perspectives on how military leadership can address the issue.

In the excerpt, KPBS military reporter Steve Walsh speaks with retired U.S. Marine Stephon Williams who works with the U.S. Defense Department to facilitate conversations on racial bias, retired U.S. Marine Keshia Javis‑Jones and retired Rear Adml. Sinclair Harris, who is president of the National Naval Officers Association.

Their discussion was made possible by the American Homefront Project.

On Thursday Walsh will moderate a second panel discussion, "Rooting Out White Supremacy In The U.S. Military." The event is free and open to the public.