Can Veterans Benefits Help Black Americans Fight Discrimination?

Posted by Juliet Badmos on

There is a burning question in the minds of most young adults: How do I get ahead in life? For some, that answer may be college; for some, it may be to find a job; some choose to join the military. Notice the word “most” in the first sentence. Typically, black people in America are faced with different options due to economic circumstances, or the lack of education and skills. But, there is one option that almost all Americans, no matter their race, can take advantage of, and that’s the option to join the military. This option does not require a 3.0-grade point average or upfront tuition, so joining the military is an attainable goal for almost all young black Americans.

Overcoming Poverty through Military

Discrimination will always be alive in some form or fashion. Black Americans that have experienced financial success have been discriminated against, as well as Black Americans that live in poverty. Due to societal issues, Black Americans that live in less desirable conditions tend to be discriminated against more than those living in the suburbs. A choice to join the military gives one a chance to achieve more with less and provide a head start to upward mobility. The question is: Can Veteran's Benefits Help Black Americans Fight Discrimination? The answer is in the numbers—according to a 2016 census by statista.com the poverty rate of black people in the U.S. is the highest in the country. About 27 percent of black people were living below the poverty income threshold, while only 9.6 percent of white Americans lived below the poverty line. Subsequently, black people only make up 18% of the U.S. military.

Benefits and Education

The military can provide education, social skills, societal benefits, discounts on purchases, free travel, and a host of other benefits. A post-secondary education will play a huge roll in the lives of most Americans. Most major employers require candidates for employment to at least have a post-secondary education. A Bachelor’s Degree will give one a chance to at least compete for those job openings. The military will pay for that degree to help the Veterans stay competitive in the job market. This has proved to pull Black Americans out of economic disadvantages with a chance to stay out of the poverty. Black Americans that are well educated with a nice job and income will have a choice to live in areas that are less discriminatory than others.

VA Home Loan

Veterans also have access to special loan programs such as the VA Home Loan. Buying real estate is a proven way to build wealth while owning an appreciating asset. This is another benefit provided to veterans that can assist black veterans to defeat economic poverty and attempt to combat discrimination.

Elected Officials

There is an excellent chance for an educated veteran to become an elected official. Politics play a significant role in how cities, towns, counties, and states are governed, therefore, it would be advantageous for black military veterans to become elected officials after retirement. Their input could be an invaluable contribution to equal rights and laws.

Black Londoners

There is an overwhelming history of systematic racism and discrimination in Britain as well. But, much like the United States, Britain offers special assistance to help their military personnel get ahead in life. Black Londoners can take advantage of that assistance in an attempt to live a better life than the average Londoner. As a result, the black military personnel can attempt to fight discrimination through education and community relations.

Closing

There are tons of advantages to joining the military that could help Black Americans fight discrimination. The military provides a very rewarding career and generous retirement for those that stay enlisted for 20+ years. Being a veteran does not guarantee that you will not be discriminated against, but the military life can provide an education, life skills, respect, and a steady income that can help one avoid systematic discriminatory living conditions. Veterans typically have good income and skills to help change communities for the better.

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References:

Military.com

Statista.com

Low VA Loans

National League of Cities


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