Politicians Wonder if Kirsten Gillibrand's Bill to Address Military Sexual Assault Might Be Too Anti-Racist

Some, like Sen. Susan Collins, are reluctant to endorse a bill that would combat military rape that also combats military racism

Politicians Wonder if Kirsten Gillibrand's Bill to Address Military Sexual Assault Might Be Too Anti-Racist
Image:Anna Moneymaker (Getty Images)

Amid an independent investigation that found the U.S. military does virtually nothing to address its rampant culture of sexual assault and harassment, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has introduced a bill that would change the ways in which sexual assault cases are reported and prosecuted. However, a lot of politicians are hesitant to get on board because the bill also seeks to address the disproportionate number of non-white servicemembers prosecuted for crimes under the current system.

Gillibrand’s bill would remove commanders from the decision-making process around which cases of sexual assault and harassment get prosecuted, a change that has received bipartisan support in wake of the recent report. However, many are walking back that support after learning that the changes would apply to almost all felonies, a move Gillibrand deems necessary because of the numbers around who, exactly, gets prosecuted for crimes within the U.S. military, according to the New York Times:

“A bill that would cover most felonies is “necessary,” she said Tuesday on the Senate floor, “‘because the current military justice system is simply not delivering justice, especially not to service members of color.’”

And while the bill has the support of cretins like Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley, others, like Susan Collins, who has made a career of never being sure of anything and then making the worst choice possible two seconds before the buzzer goes off, just don’t know:

“‘Her bill is far broader than I had realized,” said Senator Susan Collins, Republican of Maine and an early proponent of Ms. Gillibrand’s measure. “I believe she’s made a compelling case on sexual assault and related allegations to be taken out of the chain of command.’”

Last year, a report by the Inspector General of the Air Force found that Black service members are 1.64 times more likely to be the suspects of crimes investigated by the military. The Pentagon’s suggestion is the create a special victims unit to handle sexual assaults while still allowing the military to keep its racism.

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