The Coast Guard Academy has stepped up its diversity training programs in the wake of two incidents over the summer involving nooses. WNPRâ€™s Harriet Jones reports.
Commandant of the Coast Guard Admiral Thad Allen visited the Academy Thursday to address the corp of cadets, telling them that expressions of racism wonâ€™t be tolerated in the service. In July this year a black cadet aboard the barque Eagle found a noose left in his personal belongings, and later a diversity training officer found a noose in her office. Second year cadet Jonathan Scott, who is African American says the incidents point to a wider problem at the Academy.
"I think it brought forward a lot of issues that the coast guard command just wasnâ€™t aware of, and that the coast guard community as a whole wasnâ€™t completely aware of. Problems with diversity, problems with just a general sense of tolerance. Just for instance, the noose incident was taken as a joke by some, and wasnâ€™t taken seriously. I personally take it very seriously, so itâ€™s just a lack of understanding."
Congressman Elijah Cummings, who chairs the house subcommittee with oversight of the Coast Guard has criticized the service for being slow to react to the problem. But he congratulated Admiral Allen for his strong stand at the Academy this week, and says he hopes that the culprit will be identified soon.