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17 Jul, 2009 09:07

Racism among US servicemen on the rise

An American race-hate watchdog claims there's growing neo-Nazi activity within the country's armed forces.

The Southern Poverty Law Centre wants Congress to look into its findings that dozens of military personnel are registered on a social network that identifies itself as white supremacist and that homosexuals are being thrown out, despite rules to the contrary.

It is extremely hard to learn exactly how far the problem extends. US servicemen returning from Iraq and Afghanistan say that the issue is very widespread and extremism and racism are rife in the US military.

Some believe the problem stems from the top commanding officials who express such views. These kinds of attitudes are trickling down to the general soldiery, who are beginning to behave the same way, and exactly because the problem of extremism is so widespread, it is going to be hard to root it out.

This issue has been around for several years now. The Bush administration failed to do anything about it. The Pentagon acknowledged in a 2008 report that the problem of racism has really become serious in the US military.

Very serious approaches from the top need to be taken in order to tackle the problem. However, so far analysts have been saying that the US military really has adopted the “don’t ask – don’t tell” approach.

Whether the call of the Southern Poverty Law Centre, which monitors right wing militia and racist groups in the US, will be heard or not in Washington DC remains to be seen.