Top enlisted airman's message on fighting for justice and understanding

Elizabeth Howe
June 02, 2020 - 2:52 pm
Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth O. Wright

DVIDS

Categories: 

The Air Force's highest-ranking enlisted airman, Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force Kaleth Wright shared a lengthy Twitter thread Monday about the nation's fight for justice, freedom and understanding. Wright is only the second black man to ever hold the position of CMSAF. 

Wright opens his 31-part Twitter thread by likening himself to black men like Philando Castile, Michael Brown, Alton Sterling and Tamir Rice. 

"Just like most of the Black Airmen and so many others in our ranks…I am outraged at watching another Black man die on television before our very eyes," Wright wrote. 

As "shocking" as it may sound, Wright continued, what has happened to so many black men in America could happen to him just as easily -- the Air Force's highest-ranking enlisted airman. 

"I hope you realize that racism/discrimination/exclusion does not care much about position, titles or stature ... so yes, it could happen to you, or one of your friends, or your Airmen, or your NCOIC, your Flight Chief, your Squadron Commander or even your Wing Commander."

Wright also addressed the Air Force's own issues of racial disparity. According to a report released in late May, the Air Force spent years covering up issues of racial discrimination in its ranks rather than address the issue. 

Air Force spent years covering up racial discrimination, advocacy group says

"As I struggle with the Air Force’s own demons that include the racial disparities in military justice and discipline among our youngest Black male Airmen and the clear lack of diversity in our senior officer ranks … I can only look in the mirror for the solution."

Wright outlined steps he has taken and ones he plans to take to impact positive change in his community, for his airmen, and as a black American.

"I am Kaleth. I am a Black Man who happens to be the Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force and I am committed to making this better," his thread ends.

While Wright's message has been widely-circulated, no senior official within the Department of Defense had shared it as of Tuesday afternoon. 

--

Reach Elizabeth Howe on Twitter @ECBHowe.

Want to get more connected to the stories and resources Connecting Vets has to offer? Click here to sign up for our weekly newsletter.