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OR Peace Groups: War is Unfair Burden on Minorities and the Poor

June 26, 2007

For low-income populations and people of color in Oregon, the military can look like the way out of poverty. But advocates say the military is unfairly targeting those populations, and they're adding their voice to those calling for an end to the Iraq War.

Francisco Espericueta with the student activist group Latinos Unidos Siempresays it's not right that the hard core recruiting happens in schools and areas with more low-income citizens and people of color.

“They know for a fact that they can't afford school and they can't afford the bills, and so they just say you have no other ways to go; you might as well just join the military.”

Supporters of military recruitment efforts say the military offers an education and other skills that low-income citizens and people of color might otherwise not be able to afford.

Espericueta believes they're not being given the same opportunities as other troops.

“The ideology of democracy is there in Iraq. But because it's being pushed so much, the military is forgetting about democracy with their own people.”

Dondrea Warner/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR