Tags: racial thursdays | army | alaska | racial

Report: Alaska Army Unit Probed Over 'Racial Thursdays'

By    |   Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 07:44 PM

An Army unit in Alaska that allegedly got permission to engage in a "degrading" racial name-calling tradition known as "Racial Thursdays" is under investigation, the Army Times reports.

An unidentified staff sergeant, who is black, told the Army Times he was blowing the whistle on the despicable practice because the infantry unit at Fort Wainwright allegedly "has a bad habit of sweeping things under the rug."

"When I first got to my unit, someone said we should do 'Racial Thursdays' because it's been a tradition," the 10-year veteran charged.

"It's something they made up where you can say any racist remark you want without any consequences. The platoon sergeant said 'no,'" the staff sergeant said, but the practice is "still going on."

"It's degrading to the soldiers," he told the Army Times. "We've had soldiers almost fight over" the practice.

The non-commissioned officer said he's never been the object of any racial slurs because he made it clear he wouldn't participate or condone the practice.

"I care that we should have people who care about soldiers, no matter their race," the staff sergeant told Army Times. "And even if you're playing, you don't play like that. There are consequences to your actions. This has to stop."

The Army Times reports another junior soldier backed up the staff sergeant's charges.

"Every Thursday, they wouldn't make you, you didn't have to participate, but they'd remind your," the soldier charged. "Everybody would get a joke in or one person would be picked out and everybody would say jokes to that one person."

U.S. Army Alaska initiated a commander's inquiry into the allegations late last week, spokesman Lt. Col. Alan Brown told the newspaper.

"An informal complaint was made through command channels, and the commander has already assigned an investigating officer and the investigation is ongoing," Brown said Wednesday, the Army Times reports.

"The command is extremely sensitive to any allegations that involve equal opportunity or discrimination and will investigate every allegation."

The unit where "Racial Thursdays" allegedly took place is the same one that Pvt. Danny Chen belonged to, the Army Times reports. Chen committed suicide Oct. 3, 2011, while deployed to Afghanistan.

Chen's family asserted he killed himself because he was taunted for being Chinese and was cruelly hazed.

At least eight soldiers were either court-martialed or administratively punished in the case.

"There is absolutely no connection between this current investigation and the case of Pvt. Danny Chen," Brown said.

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An Army unit in Alaska that allegedly got permission to engage in a degrading racial name-calling tradition known as "Racial Thursdays" is under investigation, the Army Times reports.
racial thursdays, army, alaska, racial
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2015-44-19
Thursday, 19 Mar 2015 07:44 PM
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