Local News

Swastika Found In Barracks Room at Fort Bragg

Posted March 26, 2000

— Racism is back on the front line at Fort Bragg. Army investigators are trying to figure out who ransacked a soldier's room and left disturbing graffiti behind.

Investigators say a six-inch reverse swastika was scrawled in marker on a dresser in the barracks room of two soldiers -- one black and one white.

Several soldiers who live in the area are shocked and angry about the incident.

"To me, it's ludicrous and very repulsive for the simple fact that someone would actually go to ransack a room and put a swastika," says Fort Bragg soldier Ken McNeal.

Investigators say they are looking for suspects.

"The chain of command is very concerned about getting to the exact nature of this incident and making sure it gets cleared up so we can continue to have good, deploying units," says Maj. Jim Marshall, Fort Bragg spokesman.

Fort Bragg has handled racial incidents in the past. In 1997,former paratrooper James Burmeisterwas convicted for killing a black couple, execution-style.

AU.S. Department of Defensesurvey shows nearly two-thirds of service members say they have been racially harassed in the past year. Ten percent reported that they were being threatened because of their race.

Asian-Americans and Native Americans were among the most-threatened ethnic groups in the survey, followed by Hispanics and African Americans.


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