Latinos Face Discrimination When Up for Promotion, Even in the Military


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Latinos historically face discrimination in the hiring and promotion processes.

A few years ago, a Harvard study found that one-third of Latinos say they were discriminated against when applying for jobs (33%) or when being paid equally or considered for promotions (32%).

Now a recent report says discrimination extends to military promotions.

Latinos Rarely Promoted to High Military Ranks

Latinos have a “proud and indeed enviable” record of military service.

Today, the Latino share of the active-duty force has continued to rise. In 2015, 12% of all active-duty personnel were Latino, up from 9% in 2004, according to Pew Research.

But between 1995 and 2016, only one Latino had become a three-star general, even as the number of active-duty Latino officers more than doubled, from 6,117 to 15,033, during that period, according to a study by Casaba Group, a Latino veterans group, The Hill reports.

water contamination militaryAcross the services, diversity increases as rank decreases, particularly for Latinos.

A Latino former Air Force pilot told The Hill that a cultural tendency among Latinos to avoid self-promotion has also played a role in keeping Latinos away from the top posts. The study also evaluates professional positions within Department of Defense agencies, including the Pentagon and, according to the Latino pilot, “the Army has been slow to respond when confronted with the issue.”

A study suggested that naval aviators also say that they were kicked out of training due to racial bias, according to

“[The aviators] allege the subjectivity of flight evaluations and the utter lack of diversity in fighter aviation contribute to an atmosphere of implicit or unconscious bias that leaves minority aviators on the margin at a greater disadvantage than their white counterparts,” according to the report.

The issue of “white nationalism” also persists.

A poll of Military Times readers found prevalence of racist views among troops.

“About 22 percent of service members who participated in the survey last fall said they have seen signs of white nationalism or racist ideology within the armed forces,” according to the report. “Among non-white service members in the poll, incidents of racism and racist ideology increased from 42 percent in 2017 to more than half those surveyed in 2018.”

Discrimination in Promotions in Other Fields?

Graphic on promotion among Latinos2In the 2017 Harvard study, significant differences occurred between low-income and high-income Latinos in personal experiences of discrimination.

Latinos who earned $25,000 or less per year are more than twice as likely as their higher-earning peers to report personal experiences of discrimination when it comes to being considered for promotions.

Non-immigrant Latinos are more likely than immigrant Latinos to report various experiences of individual discrimination. This includes slurs and negative assumptions about their race or ethnicity.

In education, 60% of Latino faculty say racial discrimination on the job is a source of stress, according to a new report from the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Source: Higher Education Research Institute

Regarding recruitment and treatment of women and professors of color, half of respondents in the survey said that their institutions placed a high value on promoting gender diversity in the faculty and administration.

Almost half of Latino/a faculty (42.5%) and 39.2% of Black faculty agreed that there was a lot of racial conflict at their college or university.

In contrast, only 25% of White faculty shared the same perception about racial conflict.

The Future

Latino will power the U.S. economy to a better future. By 2020, U.S. Latino purchasing power will top $1.7 trillion, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth.

As the Latino population continues to grow, so will its presence in the military.

Iraq War veteran Rep. Anthony Brown said more needs to be done to address discrimination in the military, according to the Military Times.

“White nationalism, racism, xenophobia, and extremism have no place in United States and cannot be allowed to spread in the armed forces,” Brown said, according to the report.

“These hateful ideologies run counter to the values and ideals of our nation – principles every soldier, sailor, airman, and marine are fighting for. As we confront threats around the globe, we cannot sacrifice the values that makes us a shining example for the world.”

By The Numbers By The Numbers


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