Midday Edition Special: Rooting Out White Supremacy In The US Military
Historically, hate groups have targeted the armed forces, wanting access to the skills and the prestige associated with military service. That threat has been growing in the last couple of years.
A Military Times survey released this year shows more than one-third of all active-duty troops and more than half of minority service members say they have personally witnessed examples of white nationalism or ideologically driven racism within the ranks in recent months.
KPBS Military Reporter Steve Walsh has been reporting on the subject and moderated a panel discussion to understand the problem and how the military is addressing it.
Heidi Beirich, Ph.D., is an expert on American and European extremist movements, including the white supremacist, anti-immigrant, antisemitic and anti-government movements, and is the author of numerous reports and academic publications on hate and extremism movements. Prior to co-founding the Global Project Against Hate and Extremism, Beirich led the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, the foremost organization tracking hate and extremism movements in the United States.
Tony McAleer is a former neo-Nazi and founder of Life After Hate, which helps others leave white extremist groups. In 2019, McAleer testified before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties as part of the hearing “Confronting White Supremacy (Part II): Adequacy of the Federal Response.”
Cameron McCoy, Ph.D. is a U.S. Marine colonel and professor of U.S. Diplomatic & Military History, Race Relations, and War & Society at the United States Air Force Academy. He wrote his thesis on the slow integration of African Americans into the Marine Corps.
Dr. Carter F. Smith is a faculty member at Middle Tennessee State University. Smith has taught classes and sessions for many gang investigators associations, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, the National Crime Prevention Council, the Regional Organized Crime Information Center, the National Gang Crime Research Center, the Southern Criminal Justice Association, the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Army. Dr. Smith is a retired U.S. Army Criminal Investigations Division Command Special Agent.
This panel discussion was made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, a major funder of the American Homefront Project. American Homefront is a collaboration between NPR and seven public radio stations that looks at veterans and the military.