Danticat writes about the 1937 massacre of Haitians by a Dominican dictator, Refael Trujillo (3). Between October 2nd and 4th the Dominican Republic solders under the political influence of prominent landowners slaughtered approximately 15,000 – 20,000 immigrants from Haiti at the massacre river (Danticat, 3).
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The reason for massacre was to force out the squatters and make way for the big landowners to take over. The next year, the two governments come to an agreement of settling the matter without international court proceedings. The Dominican Republic agreed to pay $750,000 but paid only $500,000, which translated to approximately $25 for every victim to overrule need for justice.
The massacre river that was once a swallow of bodies is today a place full of life, peace and habitual routine. The Haitians’ tale is part of global history as a remembrance of Haitian community, as well as correlation to the global denotations or results of such massacre. Danticat (11) presents the case of Haiti not only as a Haitian community problem but also as a global concern especially in relation to the military projects.
There are therefore various facts that stand out from the massacre. This paper forms a critical analysis of racial discourses and the delimiting factors on military projects. The paper aims to advance understanding on effects of discrimination through analysis of the relationship between military men and women as well as between military and civilians. What really subjects soldiers to racial, cultural or ethnic hatred and thus negatively affect military projects?
Historical Analysis the Haitians’ Massacre
The Dominican Republic army used tactics to cover up their tracks from possible prosecutions. For instance, the murder of victims using machetes, bayonets, pitchforks, smashing children’s heads on walls, forcing some to jump over cliffs and drowning others. They avoided using firearms and this meant that it was not easy to trace back the murderers (Danticat 13). The agreement between the two governments shows the complicity of the Haitian government to cover-up the massacre thus ensuring denial of justice to victims.
These are clear indications of racial discontents within the military and the vast effects on overall performance as well as project development for their units. Since time in history, particularly in a close reference to Haitians’ massacre in 1937, racial and ethical discriminations seem to be an element in the daily military contracts.
General Analysis of the Army
The appointment of army personnel occurs through assignment of duty and analysis of specialty, rather than general selection of personnel. However, the assignment procedure is certainly not an arbitral procedure, therefore the appointment frequently occur based on chance. The assignment to duties is deliberate procedure, based on expertise and proficiency, without considering a soldier’s ethnic or racial background.
The military argument is that, when personnel are in ranks, then assignment of duties is likely to occur within a particular hold up basis. The military personnel often express interest and preferences for duties and work locations as they advance through the ranks and experience. The army’s requirements ought to be the main force over appointments. This is not possible because performance and allocation of duties as well as advancement of rank have very high influences to appointments.
Common Sources of Racial Discourses in the Army
War or inhuman acts such as the Haitian’s massacre starts due to negative administrative assertions. Racial discourses or affirmations by administrative units in the military catalyze its emergence. Discrimination is part of political fight or strategy to gain power and authority and these influences are common within the military as evidenced during the 1937 Haiti massacre (Niebuhr 32).
Good examples are military affirmations indicating that war starts because of violation of resolutions, such as being in possession of weapons of mass destruction. Fight for peace is also another issue that fuels inhumanity since some governments feel the need for ensuring favourable conditions and run into unsuccessful endeavours to promote dialogue for peace. This subsequently degenerates to threats, and eventually to war.
Military personnel react pro-actively and make the most of all in its power to enhance racial hostility either against external forces or within themselves. However, power of command controls conflicts that lack logical or solid reasons and proof for justification. In most cases, racial discourses results to negative effects on human lives by depriving military men and women the most essential needs and respect for civilization. Some of the cases occur through political instigation in favour of a certain category of people.
The main reason why racial segregation or racial talks are not justified is due to the negative effects on human rights for instance, most conflicts among these great military compatriots is due to haste by administrators such as the political figures in the government. Racial indifferences within military setting are the foundation for work-based conflicts and in some cases deaths, thus depriving many families their special members whom are responsible for love and basic provisions.
Other than fatalities, many casualties who are immediate family providers may end up depending on others in different ways due to physical, mental and psychological injuries caused by racial-related wars. Such conditions increase pressure on the coalition governments, particularly on the military projects for instance, when those assigned are of conflicting views.
Cost of Racial Discourses within the Work Setting
Racial discrimination causes high dependence humanitarian aid and reconstruction assistances and primarily leads to compromise on human dignity (Sifry and Cerf 27). Humanitarian crisis during racial conflict are very high. Loss of human life such as the Haiti massacres is attributable to greed, fright between the rich and the poor. In line with Sifry and Cerf (27), racial war distracts the non-governmental organizations plans for humanitarian assistance due to the uncertainty during and after such conflicts.
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Poverty is one of the main effects associable to human racial-related discordances. Basic needs such as medicines, shelter, hygiene facilities and food therefore remain scarce during wars. There are fears over shortage of basic assistance even among the solders. Casualty reports confirm the fears, as the numbers of victims are overwhelming during that period.
Effects on Education and Healthcare
Racial discrimination causes people especially women and children to vacate their home and settle in displacement camps due to need for safety. This remains a permanent scar to the society and leads to diversification of resources to cater for the affected. Regardless of some humanitarian assistance from well-wishers, there is often refusal to offer physical assistance in settling of victims. People lack comfort to attend school and access health services.
The military is responsible for provision of some health care services and education programmes. Racial discourses leads to poor or lack of proper governance and this means that the affected sectors are not able to cater for the indispensable needs. Innocent children end up suffering from something they rarely understand and furthermore such racial conflicts causes psychological suffering of their naive minds.
Compromise on security is one of the critical effects of racial conflicts or discourses on military projects and is a big challenge. The racial discourses in the military camps halts major operations due to broken trust.
This cause worries over security since protection by the involved parties may compromise work-related collaborations. The compromise of social security pervades the human working environment. This causes low working morale, difficulties of finding trained or retrained workers and disrupted training or supervision when undertaking military projects.
Compromised security also affects activities especially during combat. For instance, when required to maintain teamwork and team strategies in the fields such as the war-torn areas, the social opposition may compromise confidentiality and lead to weak coordination or poor communication among personnel.
A co-officer may give up on others due to rivalry brought about by racial discourses among soldiers. Those emotionally effected individuals or the discriminated parties may find other possible payback mechanisms for instance, exposing fellow soldiers’ to opponent attacks.
Compromised human rights
The biggest effect of racial discourses on projects is denial of various human rights. Most military projects in majority of the countries especially areas involved in wars fail due to racial divisions. First, the situation causes financial segregation owing to the fact that decision makers may try to favour certain groups over others in the same base camp.
Seniority therefore prohibit equal access to resources in what is supposedly a teamwork activity thus compromising on success of projects. The racial reasoning also compromises provision of the basic needs such as health care and eventually there are shifts from the normal form of equal provisions, to categorized care. This adversely compromises military project.
Disrupted health surveillance and compromised public health programs negatively hinders humanity, for instance favour on usage of health resources like clinics, referral systems and vehicles. Additional, racial discourses affect the communication logistics. It may also lead to poor equipments maintenance procedures during projects. Finally, it is evident that majority of the adversely affected projects results from prejudice against the essential basic human resources such as sanitation, food security, water and power.
Majority of the military projects are concern with restoration of peace and order. The projects are important especially when humanitarian needs are in consideration. Racial discourses are the main barriers to restoration of understanding. Provision of human needs for such peace-related projects mainly depends on a nation’s infrastructure.
Generally, war activities such as the Massacre of Haitians by the Dominican Republic soldiers caused compromise on communication, which is the main support for humanity and human rights (Danticat 13). After such war activities, it is not easy to enforce peace since effects of insecurity shifts focus towards individual involvements and personal acts.
In most instances, racial talks or discriminatory acts brings in the negative influences on employment such lack of job satisfaction thus affecting majority of the projects, which are often group assignments. According to Chancellor (71), one in every ten soldier’s experience, racial discourse or their family suffer from similar discriminatory acts.
Effects of Military Discourses to Consumer Projects
Some of the military projects relate to local consumer markets. The discrimination reasoning within the military camps extends to the non-military personnel. The local consumer may thus face discrimination during interaction or transactions with the military. The military has extensive orders that prohibit racial talks and discrimination.
The desegregation policies work extensively well within the military bases, but rather slowly off the barracks. Some of the communication policies within the military base guards against discrimination that relate to job specifications, training opportunities and schooling or training within the base. On the other hand, state laws fight against any formal or informal state of segregation.
Racial discourse or segregation gets support from soldiers’ reluctance to implement their rule while off the base, arguing that the policies are not applicable outside barracks. Lack of proper reinforcement of rules is certainly a setback to majority of these projects outside of the military settings.
The civil right leaders increase the pressure to fight against off-base discriminatory acts and emphasize the need for enhanced troop morals during the off-base projects. Discourse within the community causes members to respond in a less partisan manner to assist such project completion.
The high-ranking officers have powers to respond to discriminatory practices that may affect projects both outside and inside the military base settings. They have to encourage immediate control of situations that may get out of hand and affect military projects or those of the neighbouring communities. These officers have to ensure that all projects that promote racial discourses or discrimination face immediate rejection or possible termination.
Today, there is no need to have project termination approvals from the secretary of defence; the commander has power to terminate any discriminatory acts (Chancellor 71). According to Chancellor (71), sociologists’ estimates indicate existence of less racial segregation in the military due to influences by the commanders and the locals’ activists.
Considering that there is low individual’s propensity, to report discriminatory behaviours in the workplace, it depends with the amount of discrimination and individual’s tolerance to such behaviours as racial discourses within the work setting. Solder’s propensity will also depend on the nature and frequency of contacts with workmates. A person who lives off base is likely to react very differently, compared to the single personnel who live with others within the base.
Racial discourse mainly occurs due to cultural diversity. Diversity boosts individuals’ competitive abilities and neutralizes the racial situation within the workforce. Unlike the early days when soldiers’ appointment was confined to policies, the current job market is full of challenges.
In order to enhance good services when tackling a project, there is need for a universally acceptable strategy such as appointment of culturally diversified personnel. The engagement enables today’s soldiers to know that different cultures demand for different opinions.
Racial discourses prevent understanding of concepts and importance of working in a multi-cultural setting. A culturally diverse group is rich in knowledge due to inclusion of people from various countries thus has enough chances of enhancing project achievements (King and Stivers 81).
Soldiers’ garrisons having ethnically diverse personnel can easily serve a wide base of clients without discrimination and with a great deal effort considering the ease for workers to relate with each other and with clients. This kind of situation would have prevented the Haiti’s 1937 massacre.
There is a wide and equally diverse and well-balanced pool of knowledge created by diverse cultures in the workplace. Knowledge is power to gain experience, creativity, customer support or participation, lasting results and eventually long-term high profit margins (King and Stivers 81).
Discrimination acts and lack of acceptance are the barriers to enhancing cultural diversity in the workplace. People from different background still have personal feeling that hinders this form of development. Society with such people can be the main source of social conflicts, group-work failures, fall of operations and eventually poor economic growth. The discrimination issue can therefore be a negative aspect if it lacks proper control measures.
Consequences Related to Racial Denounces at the Workplace
Implementation and acceptance of culturally diverse community in military barracks requires subsequent strategic planning. Execution or change in management must entail inspiration through infusion or integration of different aspects such as those involving diversification into project procedures or requirements.
Cultural acceptance ought to apply from the top executives, who should show commitment and importance of diversity. Having the soldiers to understand significance of diversity from the word go reduces any possibilities of racial conflicts.
Fostering cultural diversity at the workplace
The top officials must engage in upbeat measure of solving racial-related conflicts by regularly emphasising on cultural benefits to the military. Cultural commitment to diversity requires legal gazetting with the external regulator body to emphasize on the consequences regarding those racial conflicts that break the project rules. In relation to King and Stivers’ writing (82), a corporation need to have programs for performing prior training to employees on how to deal with counterparts from different cultural setting.
Arguably, it is impossible for employees to grasp various complex cultural nuances in one sitting, therefore the need for them to be careful on issues regarding stereotyping, language differences, time differences and individual versus collective racial mind-set, as a measure of avoiding or resolving diversity related conflicts.
Promotion of cultural differences in the workplace ought to take place before commencement of hiring. This means that commanders should include need and importance of stressing diversity in the recruitment plan. In line with King and Stivers (82), discovery of strengths or benefits of an action occur well prior to proper planning.
These calls for the management to be responsive over recognizing respecting and capitalizing on various positive aspects regarding ethnic, race and gender difference. There is need for soldiers to note that even outside the work setting, they can find exposure from various cultural practices.
According to King and Stivers (82), a good system capitalizes on the employees strengths while minimizing on their weaknesses. The differences between employees’ culture should therefore entail proper usage, to strengthen understanding and enhance stronger bonds through team works as a measure to capture and workout global projects.
Militaries ought to understand that diversity is something more than mare moral obligation. It is a necessity for enhancing growth opportunities and avoiding inhuman activities such as those experienced during the Haiti massacre by the Dominican Republic Soldiers.
Chancellor, Schroeder. Remarks on anti-war Stance as Saddam Crumbles. Mexico City: Agence France-Presse, 2003. Print.
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King, Cheryl, and Stivers Camilla. Government Is Us: Public Administration in an Anti-Government Era. California: Sage Publications, 1998. Print.
Niebuhr, Reinhold. Moral man and immoral society: a study in ethics and politics. New York: Continuum International Publishing Group, 2005. Print.
Sifry, Micah, and Cerf Christopher. Iraq War Reader: History, Documents. New York: OpinionsSimon & Schuster publishers, 2007. Print.