Officials urged to meet with NAACP about Coast Guard Academy

NEW LONDON  — A Mississippi congressman is urging his Connecticut colleagues to meet with NAACP members to discuss concerns about racial discrimination at the Coast Guard Academy.

The Day newspaper reports Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson recently talked about those concerns with NAACP members in New London, the academy’s home. He’s urging three Connecticut Democrats — U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy and U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney — to do the same.

Blumenthal says plans are in the works for such a meeting.

New London NAACP members say they have received complaints of hate crimes at the academy. Thompson is ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, which has oversight over the Coast Guard.

Academy officials have said the school does not tolerate racism and has accountability and disciplinary systems in place.

Sen. Bluementhal’s office confirmed he is working to schedule meeting with NAACP and has written the Coast Guard. “This issue is deeply serious and concerning. There have been a number of issues raised regarding lack of diversity and a climate of discrimination at the Coast Guard Academy, so I think a meeting is long overdue,” said Blumenthal in a statement.

Sen. Chris Murphy said in a statement:

“The reports of discrimination and harassment at the Coast Guard Academy continue to be troubling. These are outstanding men and women who decided to serve our country. They should never feel unsafe or discriminated at the Academy. We absolutely need more accountability. I’ve been in contact with the Coast Guard Academy leadership and community leaders at the NAACP, and I’ll continue to work with them.”