Discrimination in government needs to be punished

Overwhelmingly, we Americans are not bigots. It grates on us to be accused of tolerating “systemic” racism.

Then we read or hear about situations such as one last year at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

Here, in case you missed it, is part of The Associated Press report on the matter:

“At the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Training Academy in Virginia last year, an instructor on the firing range called out a name that was shared by two trainees, one Black and one white.

“When both responded, the white instructor clarified, ‘I meant the monkey.'” Later, the instructor “also was accused of going on the loudspeaker in the tower of the outdoor firing range to taunt Black trainees by making ‘monkey noises.'”

DEA officials said the instructor was reassigned. He was never disciplined, but resigned from the agency.

Multiple complaints of racial discrimination at the DEA academy have been made, according to the AP. In fact, a 1977 civil rights lawsuit filed against the agency “remains unresolved, despite a serious of court orders governing the agency’s hiring and promotion practices,” it was reported.

Obviously, there are two sides to every story — more than that, no doubt, in view of multiple complaints of discrimination against the DEA. And, it must be noted, it takes only a few bigoted bad apples to tarnish an agency that no doubt is composed primarily of fair-minded men and women.

Still, the “money” episode occurred last year. The alleged offender was reassigned but never disciplined. What kind of message does that send members of minorities about systemic bigotry?

You know the answer to that.

Discrimination on the basis of … well, anything other than ability … has to stop. When it occurs in a government agency, it has to be punished.



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