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Lawmakers to SecDef: End ‘racial-based’ hazing now

Lawmakers to SecDef: End ‘racial-based’ hazing now

Lawmakers representing the Asian, black and Hispanic caucuses in Congress are calling on the Defense Department to end racial hazing within the military following allegations of a practice called “Racial Thursdays” among a platoon of soldiers in Alaska.

“We uphold the military to the highest moral standards, and the fact that hazing continues without [sic] impunity in your ranks is completely incompatible with the ideals of equality and respect we champion as a nation,” the lawmakers wrote in a letter to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. “Our brave service members risk their lives to serve our country, and it is unacceptable that they continue to face the threat of hazing and racial taunting from their fellow soldiers, with little to no intervention from their command.”

The letter, dated May 1, was written by leaders of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, the Congressional Black Caucus, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, collectively known as the Tri-Caucus.

“The [Defense] Department has received the letter from the representatives and will respond promptly and directly to them,” said Lt. Cmdr. Nate Christensen, a DoD spokesman. “We appreciate their concerns regarding this issue.”

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