The New York Civil Liberties Union targetjoined Congressman Charles Rangel today to demand that the Department of Defense stop targeting people of color and people from low-income families for military recruitment.
The disparity is no accident. Training materials that the NYCLU obtained from the Department of Defense Web site show that the Defense Department's Joint Advertising and Marketing Research and Studies (JAMRS) office specifically targets Latino and African American students for recruiting.
"The materials employ gross and insulting racial and ethnic stereotypes," said Donna Lieberman, NYCLU Executive Director. "They and are part of a campaign that violates the privacy rights of young people and their families and established an unprecedented, intrusive and abusive military presence in schools."
An independent analysis of Pentagon data by the National Priorities Project, released this week, shows that young people from the wealthiest families are the least likely to be recruited -- and that young people of color bear the burden for the ever-expanding war in Iraq.
"The terrible scandal revealed in black and white today is in the fact that even while the heaviest burden of war is being carried by less fortunate Americans, the affluent, whose children are at least five times more likely to attend college, have been rewarded with historic tax cuts while programs that benefit the poor and middle class are on the cutting block," said Congressman Charles Rangel.
Among the Project's findings: Two-thirds of the nation's recruits are from communities populated by lower income families. Nearly half of them come from neighborhoods where poverty rates are high and jobs are few and where the median household income is below the national median of $43,000. The top recruiting counties have dramatically lower household incomes, as low as $22,000.
More on the National Priorities Project report can be found at http://www.nationalpriorities.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view...
The training materials commissioned by JAMRS are available for viewing on http://www.jamrs.org/programs/dm_conference/presentations_2005.php.
More on students' rights and military recruiting can be found at http://www.milrec.nyclu.org/