Coast Guard Asked to Address Racial Intolerance

Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Following the discovery of two nooses placed among the personal effects of a student and officer at the United States Coast Guard Academy, Congressman Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation, called upon Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thad Allen to address the full Academy and thoroughly investigate the incidents. The Academy announced that it will be expanding training on race relations following the discovery of the nooses—one found in the bag of an African-American cadet, and the second in the office of a white female officer who led training on race relations in response to the first incident. Congressman Cummings has applauded the training but feels it is not enough. Earlier this year, a task force found that minorities comprised only 13.5 percent of the Coast Guard’s student body, compared to 16 percent in 1991. Additionally, minorities comprised only 7 percent of the faculty and staff. Because of the low number of African Americans recruited into the Coast Guard Academy and retained in the Coast Guard, less than one percent of Captains on active duty are African American.

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