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Tag: white

FBI Continues to Become Whiter Despite Recruitment Campaign

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s campaign to integrate its predominately white ranks has failed to bring more African Americans on board.

In fact, a smaller share of the FBI’s ranks are African American than a decade ago, when black agents made up 6.5% of the ranks. Today, only 4.4% of the bureau’s 13,500 agents are black, even though African Americans represent about 12% of the U.S. population, Intercept reports.

Intercept wrote

“And that’s just the race problem within the FBI. It’s hard to diversify an agency that many still associate with the systemic surveillance, infiltration, and repression of civil rights activists in the past — and which maintains ample discretion today to target individuals and groups it deems suspicious based on criteria that all too often reflect their race or religion. The bureau’s efforts at reform, so far, have been mostly aimed at recruiting a more diverse force. But people of color who do sign up to join its ranks often find themselves isolated as they come face to face with racism and discrimination within the bureau, as well as with the bureau’s often racist and discriminatory policing.”

In July 2016, then-FBI Director James Comey delivered a speech at a historically black university and called the lack of diversity a “crisis,” pledging to reverse the trend.

A year earlier, Comey, in his “hard truths speech,”  declared, “The FBI is overwhelmingly white and male among my agent force. … I have to change the numbers.”

Some experts say the problem isn’t recruitment; it’s alienation.

“National security policies that the public should know about demonstrate racial and ethnic bias that make it hard for people to work there who are not conformists,” Michael German, a former FBI agent and a fellow with the Brennan Center for Justice, told The Intercept. “The problem is that the FBI is a very conformist organization. So anybody who publicly criticizes the FBI is ostracized from the wider FBI fraternity – and I say fraternity because it is still almost all male, as well as almost all white.”

 

Marshall Project: Why Is the FBI So White? Bureau Could Use Diversity

By Simone Weichselbaum
The Marshall Project

Richard Garcia, the FBI assistant director in charge of the bureau’s Los Angeles office, was unfazed to learn in 2005 that the agency had agreed to cooperate in the making of a Hollywood film based on his work managing a rogue agent who was suspected of being a Russian spy. Garcia was two months from retiring, and says he “had already seen it all.”

Four years earlier, the bureau’s counterterrorism division had assigned Garcia to keep a close eye on an agent named Robert Hanssen, an operation that ended with Hanssen serving a life sentence in a federal supermax prison on espionage charges.

But Garcia was nonplussed when “Breach” was released in theaters in 2007. The Mexican-American law enforcement veteran — proudly the highest-ranking Latino in the FBI when he retired — was portrayed by the unmistakably Anglo actor, Gary Cole.

“They made me white,” Garcia says.

Hollywood may have gotten Richard Garcia wrong, but it got the FBI right. The bureau has historically been the least diverse of the majorfederal law-enforcement agencies, and, according to a recent breakdown of the FBI’s 13,455 special agents, decades of lawsuits and promises have not moved the needle on diversity.

The agency’s elite law-enforcement roster is 4.5 percent black, down from 5.7 percent in 1998 and 5.1 percent in 2008. Another 6.8 percent of special agents are Latino, down from 7.1 percent in 1998 and 7.9 percent in 2008, according to bureau statistics.

The higher you go up the agency ladder, the less likely you are to encounter men like Richard Garcia. Latinos make up 2.8 percent of the high-level managerial positions in the agency, according to an FBI spokeswoman. (Blacks make up 5 percent, and Asian-Americans are 2.5 percent.)

To read more click here.