Thursday, November 12, 2009

Navy Times Reports: USNA Subbed Mids To Look More Diverse

Back in my day, the saying went "excellence is the standard, performance is the criterion". If this report from the Navy Times is true, then the Naval Academy seems to value appearances and so-called diversity more than excellence:

Naval Academy leaders removed two midshipmen from a color guard that performed at the World Series last week because they were white men, and replaced them with a non-white man and a white woman so the academy could present a more “diverse” profile, according to several sources, a move that has reportedly angered mids and alumni.

As it turned out, the color guard still ended up all white because the male replacement forgot parts of his uniform.

Two white, male members of the color guard learned Oct. 28 they were being replaced with a white woman, Midshipman 2nd Class Hannah Allaire, and a non-white man, Midshipman 2nd Class Zishan Hameed, on orders of the school’s administration, according to an internal e-mail message provided to Navy Times by an academy professor. With a national television audience, Naval Academy leadership worried the color guard it planned to send wasn’t diverse enough, the e-mail said.

However, after the color guard arrived in New York for the game Oct. 29, Hameed, whose family is from Pakistan, realized he had left his dress shoes and cover in Annapolis. Midshipman 1st Class Aaron Stroud regained his place and served as a rifleman for the presentation of the colors. Allaire carried the other rifle and the four original members marched with the flags.

What's worse, the report gives the impression that Naval Academy spokesmen are lying:

Academy officials actually sent an eight-person color guard to the baseball game, (Naval Academy Commandant) Klunder said, but the full squad couldn’t perform after Hameed forgot part of his uniform, because color guards need an even number of members. So it wasn’t that the academy administration yanked members of the color guard because they were white men, it’s that Hameed’s “uniform inventory problem,” as Klunder called it, meant that only six mids could march, instead of eight.

But a Naval Academy press release on the morning of the game said six mids were presenting the colors at the World Series, and identified them all by name. Stroud and the other white male mid who had been cut went to the game, according to the e-mail obtained by Navy Times — fortunate, because Stroud was needed to take Hameed’s place — but they never expected to be able to march that night.
This looks bad no matter how you slice it.


Ellen K said...

There is no doubt that political correctness has so permeated the fiber of the military high echelon that underlings actually fear for their jobs and avoid reporting those who act out on their violent backgrounds. One wonders if just one doctor who had been in the seminar that the Ft. Hood shooter hijacked and turned into a diatribe on Islam had bothered to lodge a complaint if thirteen people would not be deadand thirteen families would be grieving right now. Enough is enough. Locally today a middle school kid demonstrated how "I'll Be Home for Christmas" was edited to become "I'll Be Home for Winter" in order to avoid offending the small minority that would be upset at a mention of Christmas in a Christmas song during the Christmas season. I daresay that if there were Ramadan songs, we would be inundated with them. As it is, their cultural limitations are their own to enjoy, but that shouldn't mean that the rest of us should avoid any public mention of the season. Academia has pushed this onto our population and frankly the implementation of politically correct attitudes has resulted in death. How many more will die before we stop being artificially polite to bullies and terrorists?

Anonymous said...

I guess I don't understand how the composition of the color guard (which seems to have been pre-existing, rather than composed specifically for this purpose) was determined in the first place. If the Navy thinks it important to represent diversity in such public displays, why aren't the color guards so chosen to begin with?

Not to downplay the significance of a color guard, but I would hope that basically any midshipman can master the skills needed to present the colors at a baseball game. In that sense, it's different than, say, a choir group that sings the national anthem, where specific skills that aren't expected of all midshipmen are required. (Even in that case, I would think that suitable groups could be found to represent whatever diversity the academy believes desirable.)

Of course, the fact that the guy forgot his shoes may argue against the "every midshipman" hypothesis. What criteria are normally used to select the members of these groups?

Darren said...

Honestly, I don't think he forgot his shoes. I'd bet they were "forgotten" for him.