The US military is allegedly investigating the cause of racial disparities in the US military

During a Congressional hearing on June 16, 2020, top legal officers from the US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps acknowledged the results of a 2019 study from the Government Accountability Office, which noted that Black and Hispanic servicemembers of any gender were significantly more likely to be sent to court-martial for formal punishment after an act of misconduct than their white counterparts. The judge advocates of each of these wings of Armed Forces recognized that this is, indeed, a problem, and swiftly assured the Congressional panel that actions were already underway to uncover what could possibly have caused this striking racial disparity.

As the Army Times reports:

The Army is in the “very early stages of figuring out what could cause this,” Lt. Gen. Charles Pede, the service’s ranking attorney, told lawmakers.

Pede said he has already directed a “comprehensive assessment” in conjunction with the Army’s provost marshal general “to examine why the justice system is more likely to investigate certain soldiers and what our investigations and command decisions tell us about this issue.”

"[The GAO] report raises difficult questions — questions that demand answers. Sitting here today, we do not have those answers. So our task is to ask the right questions and find the answers," he added in his testimony.

Major General Daniel Lecce, the Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant of the Marine Corps, also said, "We have to get after this. We’re at the beginning, but there is a lot of work to be done. Read the rest

Bank of America is freezing accounts of US citizens for not proving residency status

It's legal to have a bank account in the US without being a citizen. But Bank of America has been freezing accounts of people who don't jump through hoops to prove their residency status. It froze the funds of an Iranian Ph.D physics candidate at the University of Miami, because it decided the documentation he'd been providing every six month suddenly wasn't good enough. He couldn't pay rent or credit card bills, even though he had plenty of money in his account. Bank of America is also freezing the funds of US citizens who didn't fill out forms sent to them in the mail.

The Sacramento Bee recounts an incident that shows BofA has xenophobic policies dating back at least a couple of years:

Dan Hernandez, a Broward County native of Cuban heritage now working as a TV writer in Los Angeles, said he had his business account suspended by Bank of America in December 2016. When he asked why, he was told he was under suspicion of doing business with Cuba. His corporation was called Cuban Missile Inc.—”Cuban Missile” has been his nickname since childhood.

“I started screaming that this was racist,” he said. “Like, did you go through every company that had ’Jewish bagels’ in its name, or how about calling someone with ‘Korean BBQ’ to see if they’re doing business with Kim Jong Un?”

He eventually Tweeted at the bank’s social media account—and had his situation resolved within 45 minutes. He says he feels lucky that he was able to leverage that platform and his status to get a relatively quick fix, because he is certain others do not have the ability to do so.

Read the rest