"Concerns about white nationalist groups were more pronounced among minorities in the ranks. Nearly 42 percent of non-white troops who responded to the survey said they have personally experienced examples of white nationalism in the military, versus about 18 percent of white service members.
When asked whether white nationalists pose a threat to national security, 30 percent of respondents labeled it a significant danger, more than many international hot spots, like Syria (27 percent), Pakistan (25 percent), Afghanistan (22 percent) and Iraq (17 percent).
But a notable number of poll participants also bristled at the assertion that white power ideology is a real problem.
Nearly five percent of those polled left comments complaining that groups like Black Lives Matter — whose stated goal is to raise awareness of violence and discrimination towards black people — weren’t included among the options for threats to national security.
The poll did include unspecified “U.S. protest movements” and “civil disobedience” among the potential threats to America. But respondents’ concerns about those issues fell well short of the perceived white nationalist threat.
Singling out white supremacist groups irritated some of the troops surveyed.
“White nationalism is not a terrorist organization,” wrote one Navy commander, who declined to give his name.
“You do realize white nationalists and racists are two totally different types of people?” wrote another anonymous Air Force staff sergeant.
More than 60 percent of troops who took the survey said they would support activating the National Guard or reserves to handle civil unrest arising from white nationalist activities like the Charlottesville event. In Charlottesville in August, Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency and activated the Virginia National Guard to help with crowd control and to deter violence."