by Ayvaunn Penn, Your Black World
Specialist Adam Jarrell is the only black man in a unit of 216 soldiers of the New Mexico Army National Guard. While fighting in Afghanistan for the lives of Americans, bullets were not this 23-year-old’s only worries. He had to dodge racial slurs and duck under the noose hung outside of his barracks. Jarrell reported these obscenities to his superiors to no avail. Not only were his complaints ignored, the harassment increased.
According to reports from Reuters, “The American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico (ACLU-NM) filed the racial discrimination complaint with the federal Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Justice asking for an investigation.” Peter Simonson, ACLU-NM Executive Director, says:
“No one should suffer the kind of racial hatred Specialist Jarrell experienced, least of all someone who is on the front lines of battle. Our military is supposed to maintain a professional, disciplined fighting force. People’s lives depend on it. Racism and racially motivated threats have no place in our state’s National Guard units.”
That is right, the above mentioned has absolutely no place in the National Guard units, and as Jarrell puts it, “it’s dangerous when the only people you can count on are the people hanging nooses outside your room, telling you they hate you because you’re black.”
Ayvaunn Penn is a spoken word artist and an award winning writer degreed in English and philosophy. For more of her witty-word works click here. To have your original poetry featured by Ms. Penn on Your Black Poets, email submissions to ayvaunnpennspokenword at gmail dot com.