Racists Must be Purged From the Military and Policing

It’s not a free speech issue — remove them now

Tim Wise
7 min readDec 27, 2021


Image: Bachurin Maksym, Shutterstock, standard license, purchased by author


It is time to purge all white supremacists and overt racists from positions of official authority and power.

  • Without exception;
  • Without mercy or sentimentality; and
  • Without delay.

They have declared war on the best principles of this nation. It is time we return the favor.

These are not 17-year old high school students posting stupid shit on TikTok because their brains aren’t cooked yet. I’m not talking about someone who works at a fast-food joint and makes some racist comment in a private text to a friend.

And I’m not talking about “microaggressions” or simple conservative views on immigration or affirmative action.

I’m talking about overt racism and extremism.

And I’m talking about people in positions of power and authority, who by virtue of these can do significant damage, and whose jobs require of them an ability to treat people equitably lest real injury come to those against whom their biases are activated.

We must be especially unsparing with law enforcement officials and those in the military.

These are the only two groups in America whom we give license to kill and, in the case of the latter, whom we train for that purpose.

To allow bigots and those who belong to extremist organizations or support them in any way to receive such training at taxpayer expense is obscene.

To give such persons the right to kill or brutalize others is perverse.

And yet, both policing and military service are career choices in great demand among America’s white nationalist set. And both law enforcement and the military have significant numbers of overtly racist members in their ranks.

Sadly, little of substance has been done about the problem up to now, with police being allowed to stay on the job or being rehired despite their extremist connections and racist views.

Most recently, the Pentagon announced an updated set of rules for dealing with such matters…



Tim Wise

Anti-racism educator and author of 9 books, including White Like Me and, most recently, Dispatches from the Race War (City Lights, December 2020)