By Steve Neavling
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.
“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.”
One thought on “FBI Continues to Become Whiter Despite Recruitment Campaign”
Competency not skin pigmentation