A prominent Democratic lawmaker is calling on the Pentagon to create a special inspector general to investigate the extent of white supremacists within the ranks as well as racial disparities in the military’s justice and promotion systems.

“The department has been talking about these problems for decades, nibbling around the edges, while too little progress has been made too slowly,” Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) told Task & Purpose. “Service members, such as one in Italy who plotted with neo-Nazis to attack his own unit, have been found to have white supremacist links. Racial disparities in representation among military personnel and in the military justice system have persisted for decades, with little or no progress.”

Racial disparities and white supremacists within the military have been long-standing problems. A 2019 Government Accountability Office report noted that African American and Latino service members are more likely to be investigated and sent to court-martial than their white counterparts.

And Air Force Staff Sgt. Steven Carrillo, who is accused of killing a sheriff’s deputy in California, is just one of the latest active-duty service members and veterans who have been linked to extremist groups.

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