Luria pushing Department of Defense to address racism in U.S. military


(© W. Scott McGill –

There have been 21 criminal cases involving the U.S. military involving allegations of white supremacy.

Congresswoman Elaine Luria, D-Va., said this week in a subcommittee meeting on military personnel that the Department of Defense needs to be in a position to address racism in the ranks.

“Racism and bigotry have no place in our society and especially not within our military,”  Luria said. “DOD must create comprehensive and transparent policies to make it clear that racism will not be tolerated within our armed forces and it will be dealt with swiftly and severely.”

The military has begun tracking investigations into white supremacy and extremism under separate categories. This was done to promote transparency and access to the data and increase the ability of the information to be shared with the FBI.

The number of non-criminal cases handled administratively by commanders that resulted in administrative discharged is still unknown.

During the hearing, Luria questioned Mark Pitcavage from the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism regarding DOD’s policy on extremist activity. She cited testimony that referenced a recent Military Times poll finding that over one-third of respondents and over half of minority respondents say they personally witnessed white nationalism or ideological-driven racism within the military in recent months.

Noting that the DOD’s policy regarding racism and white supremacy dates to 2009, Luria asked witnesses how the policy can be updated to increase relevance and enforceability.

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