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Minorities Make Up Half of DADT Firings


Nonwhite military personnel are more likely than their white counterparts to be discharged under the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" law, according to information obtained by Servicemembers United.

While racial minorities account for approximately 29% of active service members, according to the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, about 45% of the 640 men and women discharged under "don't ask, don't tell" in fiscal year 2008 were nonwhite.

Alexander Nicholson, a former U.S. Army interrogator and the executive director of Servicemembers United, said the disproportionate number of women and racial minorities being discharged under the 16-year-old law was well known before the study. "These new numbers, however, show that the problem is getting worse and that this policy has ultimately failed," Nicholson said in a statement on Thursday. "Lawmakers have a responsibility to address this problem immediately, and the president should hasten the appointment of a new undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness who is qualified and willing to deal with this issue."

Women, who make up 15% of all armed forces, accounted for one third of "don't ask, don't tell" discharges.

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