West Point Graduates Pledge to Combat Racism
As West Point alumni, we each served in the Army and are committed to a lifetime of service to the nation. At graduation, we took an oath to “support and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” For the entire existence of our nation, racism has been an insidious, divisive enemy that inhibits our ability to attain the envisioned “more perfect union.”
Racism has no place at our Academy, in our military, or in our society. It is not a question of politics or beliefs; it is a question of right, wrong and readiness. As graduates of a premier leadership institution, it is not enough for us to not be racist. Observing or allowing racism among friends, family, or colleagues tacitly condones such behavior. All of us, as leaders, must consistently work to identify and eliminate racist behaviors, policies, and processes wherever they are found.
Inspired by current events and advances in racial equality, both in and out of the military, and in support of the combating racism pledge written by our Naval Academy brothers and sisters, we the undersigned alumni of West Point, make the following pledge:
1) Recognizing that we are men and women of action, we commit to actively fight racism, and through our actions affect positive change.
2) It is not enough to recognize and speak against the mistreatment of our brothers and sisters, we now commit to actively working to end that mistreatment as leaders and allies.
3) We are ready to work with and support the Superintendent, academy staff and faculty, fellow alumni, and current cadets by providing our time, talent and resources to help eliminate racism, sexism, misogyny and all other forms of bigotry at our Alma Mater. Furthermore, we make the same commitment to act within our communities. We will:
a. Listen. We will interact intentionally with others and have real conversations about our respective life experiences. Our commitment is to hear and understand.
b. Lead by example. We will engage to address any displays of injustice and any statements of untruths. If among friends or peers and something insensitive, derogatory, or untrue is proffered, we will reject it and encourage others to do the same. Silence is not an option. What we can do, we will do.
c. Leverage our networks. We will use our sphere of influence to benefit West Point cadets, staff, and faculty, our fellow alumni, the Army, and our communities. We affirm our commitment to fairness and integrity, and we will carry our message to the broadest audience possible.
Although we come from different backgrounds, we are connected through our shared experiences at West Point and in the Army. And though we may have differing political or religious beliefs, it is our diversity of thought and life experience that strengthen our efforts. As leaders of character deeply invested in America, we support the vision of equality and justice for all and remain committed to working toward a more perfect union. Now is a time for action. We stand ready to Do More Together to defeat the insidious enemy of racism. This is our pledge and together, we will win this fight.
We are a coalition of West Point Alumni united in our efforts to improve our Alma Mater and our communities. The current list of signers is located here. If you are a West Point graduate and wish to add your name to this pledge, please complete the form located here.
The views expressed are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the United States Military Academy, United States Army, Department of Defense, or the US Government.