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Diversity in the Air Force: Fairness and Representation of Black Airmen


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Former President Obamas 2008 election as the nations first African-American President symbolized progress in society toward overcoming years of minority repression that marred the American spirit. His administration placed tremendous value on diversity in all of its forms. Early on, they sought to place a premium on diversity credentials by hiring or appointing as many minorities, women, and LBGT members to key government positions possible. Within the Air Force, he appointed the first openly gay service undersecretary, The Honorable Eric Fanning, who later went on to become the Secretary of the Army. Later, President Obama selected The Honorable Deborah Lee James to serve as the Secretary of the Air Force (SecAF), the second female SecAF in Air Force history. President Obamas decision to end the controversial Dont Ask Dont Tell policy ended formal discrimination in the armed forces based on sexuality. While all of these efforts were underway America was changing African-American communities grew fed up with perceived injustice from the justice system. Tamir Rice, Philando Castille, and Michael Brown's deaths at the hands' law enforcement spurred the Black Lives Matter movement. A byproduct of this controversial movement was that police and law enforcement were villainized and eventually came under attack themselves. Then counter-protest movements like Blue Lives Matter and All Lives Matter began to emerge to lend a voice to other minority groups that felt unheard. The protest and counter-protest momentum carried through the 2016 Presidential Election where many pundits expected former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to defeat billionaire tycoon Donald Trump to become the nation's first female president. President Trump's surprising win, courtesy of the silent majority,' inspired many women to protest the new presidents rhetoric related to women. The day following his inauguration marked the largest womens single day protest in U.S. History.



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