This month, the push for a “woke” military may have reached a tipping point. The United States Armed Forces have been rocked by a series of firings, accusations, and controversies all stemming from the alleged adoption of Critical Race Theory in military training.
On September 23, 2020, then-President Donald Trump signed an executive order that banned a wide range of military training programs inspired by CRT. The ban did not restrict discussions on race or diversity, only those that had their basis in ideology that was “divisive.” As his executive order described, the programs he was targeting were a form of unlawful government discrimination. They asserted that “some people, simply on account of their race or sex, are oppressors; and that racial and sexual identities are more important than our common status as human beings and Americans.”
“Unfortunately,” Trump’s order continued, “this malignant ideology is now migrating from the fringes of American society and threatens to infect core institutions of our country.”
Indeed, it is now clear that Trump’s CRT ban for the military was prescient and necessary.
Almost immediately after assuming office, President Joe Biden signed an executive order rescinding this prohibition, and under his leadership, the military quickly resumed its indoctrination. Once Biden signed the order, an Air Force spokesperson stated that “Diversity, inclusion and equal opportunity education and training are essential to cultivate positive values and behaviors, as well as an environment where inclusion and equity for all personnel is achieved.” While all of this sounds nice, close observers understand that “diversity, equity, and inclusion” used conjunction is common Critical Race Theory jargon and a dog whistle for far more controversial concepts tantamount to left-wing racism.
In any event, if the intent is supposed to create a more inclusive U.S. military, recent news suggests the exact opposite is occurring.
On Thursday, during a Senate Armed Services Committee Hearing, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark,) revealed that he had received “hundreds” of messages from military personnel of every rank expressing frustration and concerns with the implementation of the CRT curriculum within the military. Nearly 30 of these complaints have become public, they include some rather shocking allegations. Among the most consistent allegations are that:
- “Black Lives Matter” flags, shirts, and other BLM clothing items are permitted, while items stating, “all lives matter,” or “Make America Great Again” are strictly banned.
- Servicemembers are forced to participate in race-based seminars that all explicitly state, as a fact, “America is Racist” and that all white people are “privileged.”
- Servicemembers are being instructed to spy on one another and report anyone reading or displaying “white supremacist” paraphernalia—a term that is increasingly meaningless as Critical Race Theory extremists label virtually all conservative and traditionally American ideas as “white supremacist”.
One of the most surprising stories comes from a member of the National Guard, assigned to Minnesota. Even though his unit was called up to protect Minneapolis from the destruction caused by Antifa and BLM during the George Floyd protests, none of these groups was mentioned in training about “extremists.” When soldiers asked leadership why these groups were excluded, they were told that the US government does not “acknowledge them as hate groups.”
The military’s explicit and bizarre new focus on targeting what is referred to as “whiteness,” as many soldiers have testified, raises many questions about the intent of this training.
Concern over the potential damage these courses might be causing is growing. Most recently, Rep. Mike Waltz (R-FL), an Army Special Forces reservist, questioned West Point Superintendent Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams on whether or not this controversial CRT curriculum was being taught on campus at one of the world’s premier military academies. Gen. Williams neither confirmed nor denied that such a curriculum had been adopted, instead stating:
“As a world-class institution of higher education, an overarching goal of our academic program is for graduates to integrate knowledge and skills from a variety of disciplines so that they can anticipate and respond appropriately to opportunities and challenges in a changing world. Achieving that goal requires us to expose our cadets, staff, and faculty to diverse thoughts and perspectives. Through this exposure, we aim to teach our cadets how to think, not what to think.”
Rep. Waltz considers his question unanswered.