The article by Larry Purdy posted below about the pro-quota brief filed by a small group of retired military officers in the University of Michigan cases is well worth reading. Buried in the middle of the piece is Purdy’s critique of the officers’ suggestion that the military needs black officers to provide leadership for black enlisted personnel. The implication is that blacks won’t fight as hard unless they are led by black officers, or at least unless they see that blacks are represented in the officer corps to some pre-determined degree. This strikes me as either a slander against black enlisted personnel or a damning indictment of the quality of that personnel — most likely the former. It would take more than the say-so of a few retired officers to convince me that morale is adversely affected by the absence of racially balanced representation among officers. As Purdy suggests, the discriminatory selection of officers who are less than the best is surely the greater threat to morale.
In the unlikely event that the implication of the retired officers’ brief is true, the ex-officers should not be reinforcing, much less pandering to, these racist attitudes. Rather they should be thinking about some rather drastic reforms to combat the unacceptable attitudes they have described.
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