Sunday, November 19, 2006

Much Ado About Nothing

The Tennessean released a front page article in the Sunday paper about "discrimination in the Navy." The story states that the Navy has a specific number of minority "low mental group" enlistees that it can enlist. If it reaches that number and a minority and a caucasion both apply to enlist, the minority applicant is told to come back next month, and the caucasion applicant is welcomed in. Let's analyze the situation.

The mental aptitude groups are determined by the ASVAB (Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery) test. The test has scores ranging from 0-100, with 100 being a perfect score. The "Low Mental Group"(Cat V) are those who score a 9 or lower on the ASVAB. How well you do on the ASVAB test determines what your job in the military will be. Obviously, those who score high on the ASVAB test would recieve more difficult skilled jobs, and lower scores will be given less skilled work.

However, what The Tennessean fails to mention in the entire article is the fact that there is a limited number of Cat V positions available to enlistees. In order to comply with Equal Oppertunity laws, the Navy HAS to fill a specific number of those positions with Minorities, and the remainder are left to Caucasions. The Tennessean fails to even give a hint at the fact that if the roles are reversed, the minority enlistee will be welcomed in, and the Caucasian enlistee will be the one to hear, "Try us again next month."

In my opinion The Tennessean is making a big story out of nothing.

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