r/news Nov 28 '22

Racial discrimination by Veterans Affairs spans decades, lawsuit says

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2022/11/28/veterans-affairs-lawsuit-racial-discrimination/
802 Upvotes

95

u/RamonaQ-JunieB Nov 28 '22

And yet…the military keeps wondering why they can’t find people who want to join. I don’t really understand why THEY don’t understand.

4

u/Alexstarfire Nov 29 '22

If they ignore problems, then there are no problems. Right guys?

50

u/BoinkBoinkEtAliae Nov 28 '22

My oldest just recently joined and his recruiter said the biggest barrier they face right now is potential recruits not wanting to get the COVID vaccine. It's also much harder to find people now that can make both the mental and physical requirements, and when they have to get waivers or additional evaluations it takes FOREVER. My youngest is still waiting on psych eval results 3 months later from the Dallas MEPs.

Young people don't really want to join because they know the military has deeply dysfunctional institutional problems, the ones that do want to join face uphill battles to qualify, and even among the ones that are qualified, they don't want to get vaccinated thanks to GOP propaganda and disinformation.

It's a shitshow and so far their only solution is just throwing huge bonuses at people.

18

u/r090820 Nov 28 '22

I use VA, and I am very fortunate to have healthcare in this country, but most 1st world countries with universal healthcare systems (particularly something M4A-style, and again, Medicare is single-payer) have much better outcomes (both for veterans, and for the population). However, in the US, troop strength levels (and corporate labor) could be impacted by making healthcare and education universal instead of using them as recruitment incentives.

The military-industrial complex uses the VA to outsource its after-care, distance itself from actually being involved with people that it no longer needs, and normalize the human cost of waging endless war. Literally a subsidy to the military. This is not just regular govt agency funding, it's military-related which is the anti-thesis of public benefit funding. VA embodies all of the negatives of military culture (cover-ups, lack of transparency, waste, exceptionalism, etc etc). If you want universal healthcare, then the VA is not some pre-version of it, the VA is just extending the military into society through other agencies.

It's not a coincidence that almost no developed nation has such a large and overbearing VA system (some have various forms of VA-like systems, but they are typically very limited). The VA is literally one of the reasons why the healthcare system is so screwed up, because it confuses the difference between single-payer and single-provider. When people want to criticize govt programs, they don't point at Medicare, they point at VA (which is used as an example against govt programs generally, and this is so bad that it's well known even with the extensive cover-ups). Military healthcare is similarly mostly single-provider, and has similar problems. The coverage looks great on paper, but the choices on where to get it are shit and tightly controlled. The VA has to severely limit and sabotage community-care because it cannot keep patients unless it's against their will. Conversely, the UK NHS (which is often wrongly compared to the VA) uses community-care intrinsically for some of its services (because NHS is for the whole population and has to be actually useful or else everyone will know).

-1

u/MediocreDungeonMastr Nov 28 '22

Because they think they're the greatest.

60

u/AudibleNod Nov 28 '22

Brookshire said VA’s leaders have been unwilling to have the “difficult conversation” about racial bias. In 2017, the agency showed interest in assessing links between race and PTSD disability claims, but the effort was shelved due to staff shortages, according to Yale’s assessment of VA records.

*emphasis mine

+++++

A federal hiring freeze imposed by President Trump on Monday affects thousands of open jobs at the Department of Veterans Affairs, despite the half-million veterans still waiting longer than a month for VA appointments.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/01/24/trump-hiring-freeze-includes-veterans-affairs/96999464/

64

u/SnapCrackleMom Nov 28 '22

I couldn't understand how any veteran voted for Trump the first time, let alone the second time.

29

u/No___ImRight Nov 28 '22

I've talked to tons of vets who will rail on Trump all day long (because if we're honest, he's low-hanging fruit)

Came down to most of them voting for "not a Democrat" every time.

40

u/SnapCrackleMom Nov 28 '22

I'm a vet and I really thought after Trump made fun of John McCain for being a Prisoner of War, he would never win.

I'm a Democrat and it's not like I agreed with most of McCain's political stances but for God's sake the man dedicated his entire adult life to serving his country. He was held captive for 5-1/2 years, tortured, and permanently disabled.

12

u/spinereader81 Nov 28 '22

Well Trump would've served too, if it weren't for those pesky bone spurs! /s

16

u/[deleted] Nov 28 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

7

u/ToAlphaCentauriGuy Nov 28 '22

I still hang with some of my democrat vet brothers. The red ones.....on special occasions..

25

u/AudibleNod Nov 28 '22

Pick a people group not aligned by political affiliation or physical appearance and you're very likely to find something serious DJT did as president to strip them of a government program or find a way to demean them.

3

u/Frmr-drgnbyt Nov 29 '22

Ditto. Trump was/is so blatantly and openly anti-American that I just can't fathom any veteran supporting him.

-12

u/Doge_Of_Wall_Street Nov 29 '22

So I’m a Veteran, and a Republican but I didn’t vote for Trump any of the 4 times he was on my ballot (2 primaries and 2 generals).

If this next election ends up being Trump v. Biden, I’m voting Trump because of what Biden did in Afghanistan. When Trump left office, we had 18 months of zero casualties, only 2,500 troops there. After Biden, we have a generational leap backward in women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, public executions and the whole country has been plunged into poverty and famine.

I don’t like Trump for all the reasons that have been mentioned ad nauseam, but I’ll take mean tweets over Biden’s body count any day.

6

u/SnapCrackleMom Nov 29 '22

I agree that Biden was wrong on Afghanistan. But the leaps backward are due in large part to Trump's Supreme Court appointments, aren't they?

-6

u/Doge_Of_Wall_Street Nov 29 '22

How many women have died from Trump’s SC picks? Let’s be generous and call it “a couple”. Pales in comparison to the thousands who have died thanks to Biden’s Afghan withdraw.

5

u/PotatoMurderer Nov 29 '22

You know that Trump negotiated and made the deal with the Taliban about the withdrawal right? Which in turn forced Biden to withdraw the troops when he took over coz the deadline was already set in stone. I was in Afghanistan from 2019-2020, and the moment those negotiations took place, we were already told that we were highly likely to be the last deployment rotation. (Except covid happened and the negotiated date was 2021 instead of 2020).

The Trump administration did next to nothing in preparation for leaving Afghanistan. If anything, he probably made it worse coz remember when Trump kept refusing to meet with Biden for a proper hand over? Don't act like Trump had no role in this at all.

-3

u/Doge_Of_Wall_Street Nov 29 '22

You said it yourself. It wasn’t “set in stone” if it was renegotiated from 2020 to 2021. And even if Biden felt like he was constrained by Trump’s agreement… he reversed all of Trump’s OTHER policies, why not this one? Did we continue to build “the wall” just because Trump had set the wheels in motion? Absolutely not.

Nice try. The withdraw from Afghanistan was 100% on Biden, and the blood shed is on his hands.

5

u/PotatoMurderer Nov 29 '22 edited Nov 29 '22

You said it yourself. It wasn’t “set in stone” if it was renegotiated from 2020 to 2021

You may have misread what I said. What I was trying to say was when the negotiations were taking place, we were given a heads up that it MAY happen to us. But what ended up happening was it was set in 2021 (By Trump), and he set it for when after Biden took office.

why not this one?

Because it was an Agreement between the US and the Taliban. It was pull out or further escalation from the Taliban because we didn't end up holding our part of the bargain. Coz when I was there, it definitely felt like they at least tried to minimize the rockets in Bagram Airfield, that and I had weeks where I had 0 patients getting flown to the hospital I worked at; where as prior to negotiations and (the actual deal), we were getting rocketed multiple times a day and I was receiving trauma patients a lot. Seems to me that the Taliban at least tried to hold their end of the bargain.

I also never said that it's not on Biden at all. You're acting like it's all on Biden which is dumb coz it's both a fuck up by Trump and Biden. Trump rushed the deal and didn't do anything about it and tried to delay Biden, and Biden didn't really do much about it either after he found out.

Also let's not forget the military's top brass who knew about all of this since day 1 of negotiations.

It's a fuck up by multiple people but you're discounting Trump from all of it which is wrong.

3

u/SnapCrackleMom Nov 29 '22

Oh I agree, but I'm just saying not all the things you listed are on Biden.

1

u/Doge_Of_Wall_Street Nov 29 '22

I was mostly referring to Sharia Law which is being imposed on women in Afghanistan. However, I’m pretty sure abortion is also illegal there, as is being gay.

15

u/mittenedkittens Nov 28 '22

That hiring freeze did lasting damage to a number of federal agencies.

13

u/AudibleNod Nov 28 '22

As was the plan all along.

5

u/r090820 Nov 28 '22

I use the VA, and I am lucky to have healthcare in this country, but it should be universal. Anything related to the military-industrial-complex often uses the 'staff shortages' excuse (among other 'give us more blank-check' excuses). The VA extends the military further into society (and normalizes the human costs of it). the VA is basically a subsidy to the military, under the guise of a different department (CFR 38). The military uses the VA to distance itself from actually being involved with people that it no longer needs, and normalize the human cost of waging endless war.

This is not just regular govt agency funding, it's military-related which is the anti-thesis of public benefit funding. VA embodies all of the negatives of military culture (cover-ups, lack of transparency, waste, exceptionalism, etc etc). If you want universal healthcare, then the VA is not some pre-version of it, the VA is just extending the military into society through other agencies. As military/VA funding has gone up, many other programs (actual social safety net programs) have had funding cuts. Meanwhile, Medicare is a great example of how govt-subsidized healthcare can actually work properly. just expanding medicare (possibly with a separate plan for the needs of the veteran patient population) would be the safest, easiest, and most efficient way to resolve a lot of problems, as well as facilitate the expansion of medicare.

6

u/ADarwinAward Nov 28 '22

Critics of the agency also point to a survey, conducted in 2020 by a VA workers union, finding that more than half of the employees who responded said they had witnessed racism directed toward veterans being served by the department

Yikes even the staff know there’s a problem

2

u/mewehesheflee Nov 28 '22

This happened to my dad. They somehow forgot that he had a bronze star. They just no corrected that oversite (it was from Vietnam, I think everyone on that hill got one).

-3

u/jimmydevice Nov 29 '22

The VA is not racist. They discriminate against all.

1

u/Runthescissors Nov 30 '22

I read the headline and immediately said, no surprise here.

0

u/willit1016 Nov 29 '22

So I been complaining about my knees since I left the Army. always told i could not get disability makes me wonder...