This report in the Seattle Times indicates that Latino military enlistment numbers have started plummeting. According to the article,
African Americans, who joined the all-volunteer force in disproportional numbers for years, have cooled on military service recently. So have Hispanics.
The piece also asks a question that, on first glance, sounds, well, obvious and kind of dumb,
The reasons behind a recent decline in Hispanic participation are less clear.
Duuuhhhhh, mayybe it has something to do with knowing one of the dead or maimed? But this before and after question saves the piece from the vapidity of the rhetorical question:
“Does the current situation with the war on terrorism make you more likely or less likely to join the military?” a Pentagon-sponsored poll asked high schoolers in November 2002, before the invasion of Iraq. Half said less likely, 37 percent said more likely.
When the same question was asked last June, 69 percent said less likely and 17 percent said more likely.
But we should also remember that the mainstream media constitutionally refuses to acknowledge the existence, much less the effectiveness, of anti-recruitment activism battling the hundreds of millions -maybe even billions- the Pentagon recruitment machine. Latino anti-recruitment initiatives in recruit-heavy cities like Los Angeles, San Antonio and other cities must also be credited for saving young kids from the fate hidden behind embedded reporting (to see which cities go here).
And they helped bring down these numbers without the help of Latino media outlets like Hispanic, Latina Magazine, Univision and most other major print and electronic Latino media outlets. To better understand how so many Latino media outlets have become mouthpieces for the Pentagon, one of their biggest advertisers, check out this story I wrote for Utne magazine. And let’s not even talk about that other (in addition to gushing support for Alberto Gonzales) fly in the Hispanic ointment of National Council of La Raza and LULAC: their Pentagon funding and Pro-Pentagon positions.
Stil, anti-recruitment groups give us more reason to continue the work of rescuing young Latino and other recruits from drowning on the military Titanic. Gracias.